Breaking the pattern – Nummi Bag

Let me start by saying I absolutely love Named Patterns. Often their styles that appear to be the simplest, hide some design detail that makes you giddy with excitement to try them. Also, I have to make hardly any alterations, their block is for a person measuring 172cm and that’s pretty close to where I am, so no lengthening required!

I had been resisting buying their book Breaking the Pattern for quite a while since I already have a collection of under-used sewing books, but last summer, while I was visiting my family, I finally gave in, and bought the book in the Dutch version. Maybe I should have bought the English version, because I only half understand the sewing instructions in Dutch… (and I’m not sure if it’s the translation or just my lack of using Dutch sewing instructions…)

I haven’t made any sewing related resolutions for the new year, but I did promise myself that I would sew the entire book, one version per pattern, in the order of appearance in the book. I don’t necessarily have to finish the book in 2020 -although I am highly motivated to get to the patterns towards the end of the book- and I can add other projects in between to my sewing queue, I just can’t switch the order of the book…

The project

The first pattern in the book is the Nummi Bag, a roomy but very basic tote bag. At first glance, I was a bit disappointed with this pattern, even though I have seen a lot of cool versions on IG.
All the other patterns come with 1 or more variations, and this one doesn’t even have an additional pocket, just the one compartment and that’s it.

It’s a nice pattern to get yourself acquainted with some more specialized seams, such as the English seam (which I know as French seam) and felled seam (in the Dutch version this is called jeans seam), especially because you can practice these on straight, short stretches of woven fabric.

Changes made:

First of all, I added 2 pockets, one zippered pocket on the outside of the bag, and a patch pocket on the inside.

For the outside zipper pocket, I made a welt opening, with a piece of exterior fabric, and I just stitched one layer of lining fabric to the exterior fabric behind the zipper, following the pattern of the fabric. A little bit of a lazy solution, but I think in this case it works well.

I also added a key chain ribbon to the inside. It’s one of those features that I try to add to the bags I make because it is just so handy! No more rummaging around trying to find the house keys that inevitably end up being at the bottom of the bag…

And finally, I added some rivets to the handles. I’ve had these laying around for ages, and I never actually got around to using them. I think they’re a nice added detail, and the colour goes well with the zipper pull of the pocket.

I might still add a zipper to the top to be able to close the bag properly.



Great for beginners; it teaches some advanced seam techniques on straight lines

Roomy and with a nice shape, IT FITS A SEWING MACHINE! Which is awesome, because one of my machines didn’t have a bag!


I am missing extra options for this bag. Just a few pocket options, some explanation on how to make some decent handles, markings/options for a closure…

The construction of this bag doesn’t make much sense to me. I understand that it’s meant to teach some techniques, but because of the French side seam on the exterior, the pocket bottoms have to be finished together with some bias tape, but where all the seams (flat felled seam + french seam + 2 regular seams of the lining) meet up, there is SO MUCH BULK! I’m lucky that I have a strong machine, but I doubt that my previous machine would have managed to sew on the bias tape on without breaking a needle…

I don’t think I’ll make this bag again. For a beginner, maybe this is a nice way to learn some new seams, but I like bag patterns to be a bit more elaborate that are more challenging to sew. Also, I have enough bags and it is too big for me to use in daily life.


PatternBreaking the Pattern – Nummi Bag
FabricGifted to me by my friend Maider
Lining a remnant from my store
NotionsHandle tape
Zipper from my stash
Rivets from my stash

I previously made the Daily Tote by Studio Costura. You can find the details for this project here.

Thanks for reading!!! Leave a comment, I love ’em!

2 Thoughts

  1. ¡Te ha quedado estupendo, Wendy! Sinceramente, cuando lo vi en Instagram no me di cuenta de que era tan grande. ¡Si hasta cabe tu máquina de coser! A mí me pasaría lo que a ti, que no sería bolso de diario por ser tan gigante. Me ha encantado los cambios que has hecho, sobre todo al bolsillo exterior. ¿Le pusiste al final la cremallera para cerrar el bolso? Yo soy incapaz de salir a la calle con bolso sin cremallera. Deseando ver los otros proyectos del libro. Lo mismo me metes el libro por los ojos, jijiji. Un besote.


    1. Muchas gracias, Dácil! Al final no le he puesto cremallera, porque no lo voy a usar mucho para trotear, así que no tiene sentido. Si luego decido usarlo más, creo que voy a poner unos automáticos para cerrarlo…


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