More Explorer Totes!

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

Thanks so much for your excitement over the new pattern, the Explorer Tote. I’ve been eager to release it for so long that it feels really great to be able to show off some of the samples I’ve made along the way. So I’ve got a lineup of quite a few to show off, hope you don’t mind seeing a few more Explorer Totes.

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

These are a couple of the small size available in the Explorer Tote pattern. Again, it’s not a small tote, but rather one that’s great for everyday. I think this size is perfect for students and anyone who has to carry items to and from the office. I’m personally excited to use mine for taking along in the car when we go on short trips as I love bringing a sketchpad and a few small things to work on.

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

Anyway, the gray and black is all waxed canvas on the exterior which I absolutely love. It’s so rugged and durable. I had made myself a super simple version of this same tote about 2 years ago that just wears so well. I kept the insides simple on this version and left out the optional top recessed zipper plus I didn’t do any interior pockets. And it makes for such a quick sew!Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

The other is made with a beautiful cotton/linen canvas by Ellen Luckett Baker, from her collection Charms. I’ve always loved Ellen’s designs and the cotton/linen canvas is my absolute favorite for bags. I know the collection is a few years old so finding this particular print might be hard to come by, if you know a shop that still has some in stock let me know in the comments and I’ll add it here. She does have newer collections that have the canvas as well, Parallels and Rough Cut and Monochrome. So check those out as well!

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

I did include the recessed zip on this version. And I’d like to mention that you can totally use separating zippers for this pattern. Sometimes they’re easier to come by, so for sure use them if you find them more readily available!

Pattern: Explorer Tote (small)
Fabric: Waxed Canvas from AL Frances Textiles,
Charms by Ellen Luckett Baker
Leather: from my shop (natural and medium brown)
Turn Locks: both from

Explorer Tote Pattern (small) - Noodlehead

14 thoughts on “More Explorer Totes!

  1. Lesley says:

    These a beautiful and so practical altogether – Congratulations!

  2. Cindy says:

    Love your patterns Anna. I bought your book, Handmade Style and I am looking into working with waxed canvas. You have great style.

  3. Sarah says:

    Which size would you recommend for a diaper bag?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hey Sarah,
      It’s really a personal preference, but for me I would use the small version. For me I never packed a ton of stuff, it was more about being able to carry what I need and still be able to carry kids and easily get around. I’m sure that doesn’t help much, but it’s also worth a try to check out the finished measurements on the shop listing and then compare to a few bags you might already own. 🙂

  4. erin says:

    you make me want to make bags and bags and bags!

  5. mrs robinson says:

    Must make time to make more bags…

  6. Lydia says:

    I love bags! These looks great of course!!

  7. marybeth says:

    What thread do you use to sew up the waxed canvas bags? Thanks they are beautiful! def my next project!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      polyester 🙂

      1. Marybeth Nemec says:

        Thanks, I should have read the pattern, says in the instructions! Lol

  8. Cheryl says:

    I love this pattern! Very easy to follow the instructions. I made the small one and cut the width one inch smaller to fit my fabric. I also used leather for the flap and the bottom. Love it!

  9. Kimberly says:

    Do you think this pattern could be made out of faux leather? I would like to make a leather purse and trying to figure out what pattern would work well!

  10. Elda Arana says:

    Hi I was wondering if u have visual of how to make this bag I have the pattern

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Elda, the illustrations in the pattern are the only visuals I have. If you have questions feel free to email me or stop by my facebook group:, lots of fun and helpful sewists to chat with. 🙂

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