The Genoa Tote

I’m fairly sure that for most of you, the Genoa Tote needs no introduction. Released in September last year, it’s a most excellent collaboration between Pattern Fantastique and (Blogless) Anna and has had some very worthy blog and Instagram coverage.

The pattern is simple (perfect for beginners and for gift-making), yet still features some finishing touches that bring the final product to the next level of tote-dom. There’s a zipped pocket and a key clip (genius with this deep design – no crazy blind scrambling), and the rivet-applied leather handles are plain classy.

The instructions are pretty much everything you want in a pattern, with steps and illustrations that are both clear and easy-to-follow.

When it comes to bags, I firmly subscribe to the theory that ‘bigger is better’ so my Genoa is the largest size and I went with the longer handles. I made mine in this wicked designer vinyl – Bags and Stuff White (which also comes in this fun colour way, Bags and Stuff – Colour) – and the firmer structure gives great tote shape.

With a trusty walking foot and Jeans needle, my Bernina handled the fabric like a pro. The lining – a silver speckled black linen – was a satisfying stash bust and purchased from Mood Fabrics many years ago.

When it came to applying the leather handles, the 8mm rivets weren’t long or strong enough for the four layers so I had my local shoe repairer apply them professionally. My bags hold expert levels of “stuff” so I needed expert levels of hold.

And to finish up, THIS Shearling Genoa Tote. Officially want!