Firefly in Kept

I wanted this Firefly in Kept to have its own post. I made this sample of my newest pattern, the Firefly Tote and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to talk about fabric weights and combinations.

Firefly in Kept

Fabric Weight

This sample uses Big Sur Canvas in Black (I purchased mine from Stitch Supply Co. for this tote). Canvas is one of the suggested fabrics for the exterior fabric selection. I try to be very specific with suggested fabrics because in bag making it is very important (it’s actually always important no matter what you’re sewing, as it does affect the outcome of your project – so always check that out the suggestions for the pattern you’re making!).

Firefly in Kept

I suggest a 7-9 oz. canvas for the exterior fabric requirement. Big Sur is at the top of that range at 9.6 oz. so it’s a perfect choice! Anything lighter then 7 oz. will either require more interfacing for the same/similar results OR a different combination of fabric/quilting, etc. This includes Essex which is too light weight of a fabric (5.6 oz. weight) for using as the Exterior! Essex is the substrate my fabric collections have been printed on (Forage, Driftless, Quarry Trail, etc.). Essex is perfect for the accent fabric however!


For this particular sample and as written in the pattern, my personal preference is Pellon 809 for interfacing (it’s considered a medium-weight fusible for bag making). It’s a bit stiff and perfect for a tote like this. I have no difficulty with wrinkles or fusing it to canvas (sometimes it can be very fussy when fusing to quilting cotton), but with canvas it goes on perfectly! You could also substitute Decovil light! (Let me know how you like it if you do.)

Kept Fabric

This sample showcases Carolyn Friedlander’s latest fabric collection, Kept as the accent fabric. I love being able to use a beautiful print like this and I think it is such a fun pop of interest to the front pockets/drawstring closure.

Project Details:


Lastly, I’m putting together a sew-along for the Firefly Tote that will begin June 22nd (the first email will go out then!). It’s an email-based newsletter style sew-along. You can click here to sign up! No pressure to keep up with the schedule, it’s just for fun. If you’re busy during this time sign up anyway and keep the emails for future use!

2 thoughts on “Firefly in Kept

  1. Carol says:

    Nice tote. I’ll anxios to see how to put it together. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Leslie says:

    I love this pattern and am looking forward to making the tote size for my granddaughter. She’s 2 — probably seems a little young to want a tote bag — but she loves zippers and drawstrings and little pockets for hiding treasures. She also loves butterflies. I’m going to make a few felt butterflies to attach with small hook-and-loop circles to the outside. I hope it’s a cute idea. I’ll send pictures when I’m finished.

    Anna, I so appreciate the precise and creative focus you bring to your pattern designs. I have been following you for years and have used several of your patterns. I love them. You are the one who clearly taught me how to get the zipper to look professional in a pouch. I recently moved cross-country to be closer to family and I’m looking forward to getting my sewing room settled — ready for play time. Thank you, Anna, for all you do to help us create and tell our stories through fabric.

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