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Blue Calla Mash-Up: Thistle Pocket Cross Body Tote Meets The Oleander Organizer Bag!

Mash Up Oleander Thistle tutorial

Hi Everyone! It's Wendy from W.D. Handbags, today I'd like to do something a little unusual with you. We're going to take the Thistle Pocket Cross Body Tote and we're going to mash it up with the Oleander Organizer bag. We'll end up with a cross body hobo-esque bag that measures 13 1/2" at it's widest point, 10 1/2" high, and 4" deep. It will also have an organizer compartment on the front and in that you will find 8 card slots, a zippered pocket, an open slip pocket and a slip pocket with a flap and magnetic snap closure. Sound good? Great! Let's get started.

First off you're going to need both the Thistle Pocket Cross Body Tote pattern and the Oleander Organizer Bag pattern.

From Oleander, we will print and cut out the following pattern pieces:
Organizer Front Panel piece C
Organizer Back Panel piece D
Organizer Slip Pocket piece E
Organizer Zippered Pocket piece F
Zipper Panels piece N (Optional - you can use a magnetic snap closure if you prefer)

You'll also need to cut the card slots piece per the pattern instructions/measurements.

From Thistle, we will print and cut out the following pattern pieces:
Main Body piece A
Main Body piece A - Bottom Only
Flap piece B
Top Band piece C

Before cutting any fabric we're going to need to make some marks and adjustments on a couple of our pattern pieces. First, we're going to make the new bottom piece - take the extra bottom piece of Main Body A from Thistle and mark a line  4 1/2" up from the bottom and trim at that line. That will be your new bottom piece.

We're going to take the full Main Body A piece and mark lines for the new back panel (outlined in yellow), and the side pieces to the organizer pocket on the front (outlined in blue).
So first, mark 7 1/2" down from the top of the piece (marked with yellow arrow), you can fold along that line now to get the rounded bottom out of the way for the time being. Using the yellow lines as your guide you're going to cut one piece on the fold - that will be your new back panel. 
Next from the fold line on the pattern piece, mark 3 1/2" over (marked with blue arrow). That triangle-ish shape outlined in blue, is going to be the side piece for your organizer pocket and you will need to cut two of these in mirror image for either side of the organizer pocket. When cutting mine I had my pattern folded at the yellow 7 1/2" line and the blue 3 1/2" line for easier tracing to my fabric. 
The pink marking is your guide to cut out your Lining pieces. You'll need need to cut two of those full size pieces on the fold.

All of the pattern pieces will need to be interfaced per the original pattern instructions.

Also, a note about the interior of the bag, this tutorial is providing instructions for the front exterior of the bag and back exterior panel - you're welcome to add whatever pockets, strap style, etc you like on the inside, so cut those pattern pieces as necessary.  

You'll begin by assembling the front pocket of the Oleander Organizer to page 13 - once you arrive at the Exterior Assembly steps, you're going to use the two mirror image pieces we cut from Body Pattern Piece A, instead of the side panels as called for in the original pattern. Your pocket panel piece should look like below:

Next we're going to sew our flap together per the directions in the Thistle pattern, with one small change - for this step instead of using the usual 3/8" seam allowance, we're going to use a 1/4" seam allowance. This ensures our flap fits the organizer pocket perfectly!

Centre your flap on top of your assembled card slot/front panel piece we just made and clip. We'll go ahead and baste stitch that in place with a 1/8" seam allowance. Next up we're going to clip our Top Band Piece C to the assembled card slot/front panel piece-the flap we just basted in place will sandwiched between the two pieces.

To attach your thumb lock refer to pages 14-16 in the Oleander pattern instructions.

Now we're going to sew the bottom piece on. Once the Top Band piece C and Modified Bottom Piece A are sewn on, you'll want to top stitch along the edge per the instructions on page 3 of Thistle.

How's it looking so far? Good? Excellent! We're now going to assemble the back panel, with your trimmed Main Body Piece A sew the Top Band Piece C and the Modified Bottom Piece A and top stitch both pieces. 

The image below shows what your front and back panels should look like once assembled. 

Now, if you decided to add a magnetic snap instead of a zipper closure, you'll finish assembling the bag per the original Thistle pattern instructions - including adding interior pockets etc.

If you decided on a zipper closure - you'll assemble the zipper panel pieces per the Oleander Organizer instructions on page 21 but sandwich the zipper panels between the Thistle Main Body Piece A lining and the interior Top Band Piece C, do this on both lining pieces and top stitch each Top Band Piece C

Once your zipper panel is complete, you'll complete your bag per the Thistle instructions, including adding any interior pockets you may like, your strap etc. 


I hope you love your new and organized bag! 

-Wendy xo

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