We are all in awe of the incredible submissions for our Big, Big Bag Month Contest. It’s been a fun month full of fantastic tutorials and guides, some excellent pattern reviews and lots of inspiration as well. You all were busy and you outdid yourselves, submitting a collection of works of art our judges found very professional and impressive. It was difficult for our judges to make their decisions! In addition to thanking all of you for your beautiful bags, we’d like to thank Carrie Sommer of Sommer Designs, Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom (and Mod Girls & Girlfriends fame), Linda of Craft Apple, Liesl Gibson of Disdressed and Sara Piaseczynski of The Bag Blog for all of their time, expertise and thoughtful deliberation as judges. We’re announcing the Tote Winners today. Stay tuned for Handbag, Shoulder Bag and “Other” (Messenger, Backpack, Makeup Case, etc.) category announcements all week. Without further ado, our Tote Category winners:

Grand Prize Winner
BB Bag by Dena, Sugar Shop
Dena writes that the inspiration for her winning bag came from a friend in need and two favorite fabric designers:
Two of my favorite designers sewn together! Amy Butler’s Nigella on top and Heather Bailey’s Freshcut on bottom. This tote was going to a business women’s network meeting and had to go with a black and white outfit (my friend had asked to borrow a tote and I decided to make one for her). It had to be a bit sophisticated yet I wanted it to be summery. It was a fun challenge. It’s my own pattern. I have the measurements sketched and I cut with my rotary cutter on a self-healing board.
  • From the judges: Our judges felt this was a beautiful combination of design, fabric and sophisticated embellishment. Linda wrote, “This bag is SO pretty! The fabrics are tied together nicely with the ribbon and the vintage-looking pin. Just beautiful.” Carrie echoed the sentiment: “These two fabrics work so beautifully together, like they were meant to be and are perfect with the bag shape as well.”
  • Dena wins: A $50 Gift Certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew! For more on Dena’s BB Bag visit her discussion on her blog Sugar Shop.

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    Second Place Winner:
    Margaret’s Birthday Bag by Elizabeth,
    Oh, Fransson!

    Elizabeth is a very nice sister; she made this bird tote for her sister’s birthday! Elizabeth writes:
    I finished my sister’s birthday bag… This bag is my original design and I’m pretty pleased with the way it came together. I’m looking forward to making another bag with this pattern so I can perfect the craftsmanship– particularly the use of interfacing.
    • From the judges: The judges loved all of the special touches added to this bag. Liesl wrote, “The strap is great, and I really like the print on the inside of the handles.”
    • Elizabeth wins: A Fabric Pack of 10 half yards from the beautiful Joel Dewberry fabric group. For great details on Elizabeth’s process visit her discussion of the bag on her site Oh, Fransson!

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    Third Place Winner:
    Tote by Sarah, Sarah P dot.
    Sarah wrote in her entry discussion that this tote would be perfect for “carrying the new Harry Potter book to the pool, or my fruits and veggies home from the Farmers’ Market.” She adds:
    Using a pattern I drafted from this Japanese craft book (see this post for more pictures of the book), I turned a linen shirt and a blue cotton shirt into this!
    • From the judges: Our judges thought this tote was “minimal and subtle without being simple,” as Liesl wrote. Sara added, “The delicate colors of this tote really appeal to me, as does the ruching on the side. It reminds me of a favorite shirt…which made sense once I read it was created out of two shirts.”
    • Sarah wins: An Amy Butler sewing pattern courtesy of Amy Butler Design.

    More fabulous bags to come!