While the materials used did not pass muster, I was very content and happy with my first attempt at making a tote bag with little to no direction. I am also happy and proud of the fact that I engaged sustained effort (pretty much guaranteed need with hand-stitching) and focus into this (Even a couple years ago, I was not keep my attention on one art project. I had (still have, but less) a hard time focusing, and would always flit about to the next thing before finishing my project because I would get bored after 2 hours). This finished product is a reflection of my progress over the years in improving my ability to focus on one thing at a time.
I did enlist the help of an unused bag; what I did was deconstruct it by its panels, and study that. That must have influenced the success story above.
Learnings from Experience
I understand now why all sewers use thimbles. Sewing with a metal needle for hours on end feels like playing the guitar for hours without any calluses having formed on my fingers. It leads to a unique, unpleasant burn.
I understand fully now why totes are made often with lighter, more thin material, and things that are more structured are made with more durable fabric. It has a lot to do with desired aesthetic.
What I’d Like to Do Better
I would like to start with materials (fabric, straps, colors) that are ideal.
I would like to improve the evenness of my stitching while also getting better on time.