Great pattern for non-bag makers

A review of Merchant & Mills Factotum Bag

Reviewed by Kaysews on 23rd February, 2022

I hadn’t made a bag before using this pattern but good design and clear instructions ensured great  results. The Factotum is generously sized with two external pockets, a zip closure and shoulder strap, which can be in webbing or leather. It’s fully lined.
The pattern uses less than half a metre of fabric each for the main bag and lining. That means it’s ideal for using up project leftovers or for buying a small amount of more expensive fabric. Mid to heavy weight woven fabric is ideal, such as cotton canvas, denim, or oilskin – the instructions include advice on handling oilskin. Furnishing fabric would also be good.
This is more of an intermediate make, in so far as it’s necessary to sew accurately to get a sharp finish on all the square corners. The instructions take you clearly through the steps.
I’ve made three Factotums so far and will make more  for gifts. I thought leather might be tricky to use with rivets for the shoulder straps but that was not so, and it gives a professional finish.
I added an inside zip pocket in the lining before sewing the lining in place. I also added stiff interfacing to the main fabric sides  (after making the external pockets) and to the base. The instructions don’t suggest using interfacing but I found it gave extra structure when using cotton drill for the main fabric.