The August Tote Bag Project from Stitchin' Heaven is not a tote bag but a tote bag insert. From Studio Kats Designs, the Encore Purse Insert is HUGE and can definitely hold anything I would want to carry in a handbag on a regular basis. Check out the rest of the Studio Katz web site as they have some neat free paterns and a unique challenge.
This is not a quick sew and your sewing area can get a bit messy with about 50 different pieces of fabric and other necessities. It is very important that you follow the 71 sewing steps exactly in order or you can get thoroughly messed up in the construction process. Let's just say I had a lot of bits of thread littering the floor around my chair by the time I was finished from all the ripping out I had to do when I mistakenly skipped a step or did something out of order.
Here's how mine came out:
As you can see I will not have any trouble filling it up, it even holds my Kindle nicely, and it will make changing purses a whole heck of a lot easier in the future. My only concern about the whole thing is that the chosen fabrics (the pale, pinky, girlie prints) will get soiled and I don't think this insert will go into the washing machine and come out of the dryer in tact.
I did make a couple of changes from the printed pattern. The middle zippered pocket was to be made of the floral fabric on the exterior. I did not have enough of it so I made it completely out of the interior, spotted fabirc. Also, there is large pocket on the exterior that calls for two zippers to meet in the middle. I substituted a purse zipper (tan zipper above) which made the construction a little easier.
As I said, not a quick sew but an incredibly useful product. I can aslo see this as useful to carrry sewing or other crafting tools to classes or retreats. The site also suggests it as holder for tools that get scattered on your cutting table. Heck, it's pretty enough to use as a clutch all on its own.
BTW - if you like the idea of a purse zipper but don't want to spend the extra time, effort and money on one, there is a clever tutorial here on how to make one of your own. I have not tried this out but it certainly looks doable.
UPDATE - I have used this thing for two days now and have found it very annoying. I keep my purse contents cotained in separate containers... money stuff in a wallet, Kindle in a case, lip gloss, pens and other bits in another case, coupons in another and wipes in another case. With everything on one container I had to literally pull out the whole thing everytime I wanted to find what I needed. I think I am going back to my old way of doing things and putting this in the Fish Pond for 2011 unless you let me know that you'd like it and I'll send it on. Just thought you'd like to know.