Custom Bag: Large Utility Tote For a 15″ Laptop


I’ve been working on quite a few custom bags lately. I finished this one last week for Sarah in Beamsville, Ontario, Canada. She actually wanted a bag made for her late last year, but I was taking some time off to take care of our 2nd (and last) born, Nol. Sarah was incredibly patient and asked me to contact her when I’m back at work.

She wanted a large tote for her new job, in which she has to carry around her 15″ laptop, books and personal belongings. After some discussion, she wanted this Utility Tote, but in a large size.

This bag is 18″wide x 13″ high x 7″ deep. The largest bag I’ve made to date. It’s really roomy. I really like how much it can carry. One of these days, I may have time to make myself one…

I don’t carry the Utility Tote in the shop as a regular offering. There is quite a bit of extra material and labour involved, so it’s not easy for me to stock this. Right now, I am only making this bag by custom request. 


This tote is made out of lightly waxed canvas in charcoal grey with a dark brown bottom. It’s just the right amount of wax, in my opinion. It’s smooth to the touch and doesn’t rub off onto clothing. The family making this textile has been making it for generations since the 1830’s. This natural proprietary formula creates a water resistant layer that’s just great for bags. I love working with this fabric.


I can’t stand a bag that is just a big pit. I can never find any of my stuff in it. That is why I always make sure that my bags have interior pockets. With this one, there are 2 large pockets and 2 bottle pockets. The bottle pockets can fit water bottles, baby bottles, slim thermos and folded umbrellas. With larger bags, organization is the key.


I also use European bridle leather for the hand-held handles and the cross body strap. This leather starts off a little stiff, but with wear it softens and ages beautifully. Solid brass hardware is added throughout the bag to make it even more durable. This strap is adjustable. I made it so that you can carry it on your shoulder or across the body.


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