I recently tried out Sprout Patterns for the first time and was mostly thrilled by the experience. There are still a few things I’d like to see them work out, but it is a lot of fun making customized totes!
Here’s a list of the designs shown in this post if you want to sew any of the bags yourself:
- School Teacher – https://sproutpatterns.com/projects/nhunsak-everyday-tote-school-teacher-146233
- Moose Feathers – https://sproutpatterns.com/projects/nhunsak-everyday-tote-moose-feathers-146250
- Spiders – https://sproutpatterns.com/projects/nhunsak-everyday-tote-lovely-spiders-146236
What is Sprout Patterns? Sprout Patterns is a company that online has a variety of clothing patterns from women’s dresses, shirts, and PJs, to menswear and baby clothes to bags, totes, and other fun accessories. You can select the pattern you want to sew and then you get to totally customize your fabric.
You can select any fabric available on Spoonflower to make your final sewing pattern truly one of a kind. Once you’ve decided what fabric design you want, Sprout Patterns will print your fabric as part of the sewing pattern by dynamically filling the pattern directly with your designs of choice. This is really cool because you don’t buy more fabric then you need and each piece of your pattern can be a different design. The idea is really crazy awesome.
I’ve really hesitated using Sprout Patterns, because no sewing pattern except Grainline’s Lakeside PJ has fit directly from the pattern (see review here). Therefore, for my little experiment, I went with an accessory that I knew didn’t need adjustments to the pattern. I needed to make gifts for several friends and I thought a personalized reversible tote would be just the project. The Everyday tote is simple easy to sew together and results in a very cute, very versatile final product.
I designed several totes for my husband, an elementary school teacher; two close friends, one who loves spiders and other horses; and my mom, who needed some mountain moose inspiration! For each tote I used linen cotton canvas ultra fabric. It ended up begin a great fabric for these totes. The designs printed really well on the linen cotton canvas ultra fabric and the fabric has enough softness while still being sturdy for a tote.
For the first bag, my husband’s school teacher theme, I ironed on fleece interfacing to one of the bags to increase the sturdiness of the tote overall. This made sewing the bag a little tougher, because I had to sew through more layers and flipping the bags right side out at the end was less then fun. In the end, I don’t think adding the fleece interfacing added much to the tote overall awesomeness. The bag is “fluffier”, but doesn’t seem sturdier. That’s why the linen cotton canvas ultra fabric is so great. Also, the fleece interfacing obscured the sewing lines to create the box on the bottom, so my sewing was less precise. Ugh.
For the remaining totes, I didn’t add any interfacing. I think the totes turned out really great. The best part of using Sprout Patterns to design and print patterns, is that you just have to cut your pattern out directly from the fabric. No more tracing patterns, putting together PDF patterns, trying to lay fabric out just right to cut, etc. With Sprout Patterns, you just select pattern and designs and wait for the fabric to show up at your front door. I didn’t prewash this fabric, because shrinkage isn’t a concern, so I was able to just cut and sew. No fuss! I will definitely continue using Sprout Patterns for fun projects where I want something unique.
The only drawback to the whole process is that there are still issues with aligning your designing inside the pattern. Although Sprout Patterns does allow you some fine tuning of pattern placement, when I received my printed fabric, the designs were not centered like I had them on the 2D placement. Oh well. I’m sure they will improve that in the future.
Speaking of patterns that work straight from the pattern with no alterations. I’ve already ordered Sprout Patterns for Grainline’s Lakeside PJs. I’ll post about my experience later.
If you want to make any of these bags with the designs as is, you can purchase the fabric / designs here: