Introducing: the Big Rock Tote Bag


Hi everyone! My latest pattern is one that is near and dear to my heart. I hope you take a minute to read what it’s about.

I’ve wanted to create a large bag that doesn’t need hardware or zippers, but offers an interesting look. My very first prototype was a winner!

The Big Rock Tote Bag looks complex but is surprisingly simple to put together. As written, it includes a minimal amount of hardware, but can also be made without any hardware. It features several low-bulk techniques, that result in a layered look and finished straps that are made to be be shown off.

Now You See It…

Check out those sneaky pockets! There are four of them, and each one fits a large smartphone. No more catching on a pocket when trying to put something into the bag. Want to get inside the pocket? Lift the flap!

…Now You Don’t

Between the snap, closure strap, and those hidden pockets, you can keep your stuff where it belongs — inside the bag!

Layered Details

This gusset only LOOKS complicated. Trust me, if your machine can sew through it, you’ll be able to make this. But, stock up on double-sided tape!

Why ”Big Rock”?

From the beginning, I’ve named my patterns after friends and family. However, for this tote, I chose the name of a special place: Big Rock.

When my 15 year-old-son was a toddler, he was such a handful. He always did the unexpected and, often, dangerous. I joked that he counted as five kids: it was SO much work keeping him — AND his surroundings — safe!

He used to climb and play on a large boulder on our property, and named it “Big Rock”. When his little brother was old enough to play, he’d invite him to go play on Big Rock. I took lots of photos on Big Rock, including the one here. My boys still talk about Big Rock, even though we’ve now moved far away.

Those early years were such a whirlwind and I had no idea how we were going to get through. It was a crash course into a world of exasperation and exhaustion.

As my son grew, he matured in ways I never expected. He developed a love for piano, trumpet, and computers. He has an attention to detail and gets things done. He’s secretly and quietly clever and smart.

I look back on those photos of him playing on Big Rock, and remember the loving, happy kid that he was. I remember what it was like to see a bright future ahead for him, before the tumultuous years. I see a bright future for him again, and am so thankful for the young man he’s become.