The 241 Tote from Noodlehead – Review, Part 2

As anyone who sews or quilts can tell you, individual patterns have gotten more and more expensive over the years, especially if you like to seek out and support independent designers. Being able to download patterns and save them as pdfs can help (as opposed to buying printed patterns, with or without paying additional for shipping), but it’s still enough to make you think twice – especially when there is actually a lot of free content (albeit of varying quality) out there.

Here are the factors I consider when thinking about buying a commercial pattern:

  • Clarity – Are the instructions well-written and all measurements accurate? Are the photos and/or illustrations clear and to the point?
  • Value – Am I likely to use this pattern more than once? Can I envision it made up in different colorways or fabric styles?
  • Versatility – Does the pattern offer more than one option? (e.g. different sizes, embellishment possibilities, or optional design elements that can be mixed or matched)
  • Giftability – Is it a design that is likely to appeal to multiple generations (e.g. Would my mom like it? My kids?)

I mentally award bonus points if the pattern gets my own creative juices flowing with lots of possibilities for additional customizations of my own.  🙂

The 241 Tote from Noodlehead (see my previous post for more details) ticks all of these boxes.

In fact, I think it’s one of my favorite commercial tote patterns!

Here is my latest version of the 241 Tote:

The 241 tote – pattern by Noodlehead, adapted by Beth Ann Williams; fabrics from Changing Seasons Collection by Beth Ann Williams at

As you can see, I’ve made some changes in the original pattern!

  • I enlarged the pattern 120%

    241 Tote from Noodlehead – original size. Fabrics from Changing Seasons collection by Beth Ann Williams at
  • I added piping along the top of the side pockets. (I used Nancy Zieman’s Wrap ‘N Fuse to quickly make the exact amount I needed.)

    Adding piping (made quickly & easily with Wrap ‘N Fuse) along the top of the pockets
  • And also around the side pockets (and later around the top of the bag, too!)

    Adding more piping around the pockets
  • I used a thicker fleece interfacing (shown here with a generic version of Wonder Clips – much easier to use than pins when working with thick layers!)

    Clips are AWESOME when you are dealing with thick layers – MUCH easier than pins!
  • I lengthened the strap and added hardware (just because I like the look).
    I switched out the plain straps for longer straps with D rings and swivel hooks


    The 241 tote – pattern by Noodlehead, adapted by Beth Ann Williams; fabric from Changing Seasons collection by Beth Ann Williams on

I’m already thinking about how I’ll change it up again next time… 

Which, in my opinion, is the mark of a great pattern!

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Beth Ann

When health challenges made hand-sewing (and hand appliqué and hand-quilting) no longer physically viable for her, Beth Ann’s first instinct was dismay and discouragement. But Grandma Baldwin gave her a loving (but stern!) “No pity parties – just figure out a different way.” So Beth Ann turned to her trusty sewing machine and began devising ways to achieve the fine quality appliqué look she craved faster and easier than she ever thought possible. And a career was born! Now Beth Ann enjoys sharing her accessible “invisible” machine appliqué and creative machine quilting techniques with other quilters and fiber artists around the world.

6 thoughts on “The 241 Tote from Noodlehead – Review, Part 2

  1. Glad I found this! I just made my first 241 and I want it big enough to fit a water bottle in the side pocket. Glad just printing it bigger worked. 😀

  2. I’m a bit late to the party on this bag. Is it possible to have the side and front zip pockets? I like how you added hardware to the handle, I like to have a short and long strap on my bag so I have the option of holding it by hand, your adaption allows for this which I like. I haven’t bought the pattern yet, just reading reviews to see if worth it but your reviews gives me confidence that it would be, thanks.

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