How We Refreshed and Enhanced the Popular Cici Tote Bag Pattern

Lisa Stewart add-ons adjustable strap Cici Tote Bag confident beginner crossbody option faux leather pockets shoulder bag slip pockets snug lining stability strong structured tote bag

Since November 2019 when we released our first pattern, we have been tweaking the pattern format. Bagmaker feedback tells us we have it down pat, and we're reformatting the older patterns in between designing new patterns. 

Our second pattern, The Cici Tote Bag, has to be one of the most sewn patterns of all the KPD patterns. Many bagmakers make multiples not only for themselves, but as a customer favorite. Many makers have done seasonal bags so there is something new each month!

Last summer we wrote an Add-on document with features for making The Cici Tote Bag into a beach bag, diaper bag, or just as a more versatile tote in general. That document is still available as a free download. 

Patricia has taken the original Cici Tote Bag pattern and added extra features, some of which are in the Add-on document, and one totally new feature. There's also been a few design changes - some pocket measurements, and the location of the side strap connectors. It's still the favored Cici Tote Bag - just better!

Let's take a look at what the reformatted and enhanced Cici Tote Bag Digital Pattern has to offer:

Starting with the exterior, you now have the option of adding one or two exterior slip pockets between the straps. Great for sliding in your phone, tickets, shopping list, slim wallet or anything you need close at hand. This can also be a design focal point by using a contrast or the accent fabric, or fussy cutting your exterior fabric. In the picture below, this busy pattern design blends the pocket right in. It's there, but virtually hidden - no fussy cutting required. 

This pocket could of course be highlighted with trim or piping or even use it for embroidery or a panel. 


Another change to the exterior is the placement of the side connector straps. While working on this bag, Patricia decided she didn't like struggling with the side strap connectors where they were. The connectors have been moved up into the top seam and the width of the connectors is slightly smaller. The adjustable crossbody strap width has been reduced as well. 


Moving to the interior, Patricia has added a handy key holder. Or for the elusive pacifier, or your work ID, hand sanitizer, all those loyalty cards, or anything you can clip onto the swivel hook. 



Some creative bagmakers have modified their Cici Tote to use as a laptop bag. While that is actually another pattern in the works at KPD, we did think a tablet pocket adds an additional function to the bag. And if not used for a tablet, it will certainly hold a notebook, a book, a folder, some diapers, etc.



The pattern originally has a divided slip pocket on one side of the lining, with a zipper pocket on the other side. You can still do that, but if you choose to add the tablet pocket, you can make a combo slip pocket/zipper pocket for the other side of the bag.


A design feature that hasn't changed is the optional addition of purse feet. I am noticing more frequently that public restrooms don't have purse hooks any more, and setting your bag on the floor at a restaurant is just icky. And combined with the topstitching to hold the Peltex in place, it certainly is a nice finish to your bag. 




We've enhanced a great tote bag into a super versatile tote bag. We're sure that not only bag makers are going to appreciate the upgrades, but it will certainly be a selling point for your customers, too. Classic styling with great functionality makes an awesome tote!

In celebration of The Cici Tote Bag's second anniversary, check out the Combo with The Cici Too Cosmetic Bag. Special pricing through February 22, 2022 gets you the cosmetic bag for free!


Need some inspiration for your Cici Tote Bag? Check out these blog posts:

New Year, New Pattern - The Cici Tote Bag Digital Pattern is Here!

Look At All The Cici Tote Creations!

A Great Pattern Duo For Beginning Bagmakers

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Want more information on techniques used in our patterns? Check out our Learning Library of articles and a complete listing of videos for all of our patterns. 

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced bag maker, we'd love to have you join our Facebook Pattern Group. Ask questions, give guidance and encouragement, and be sure to share your makes.

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  • Estee Johnson on

    I love the new and enhanced features. I’ve received my email. Thank you!

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