Muerqo Tote Bag – Country Cow Designs

I’ve done the Trekoda backpack by Country Cow designs quite a few times now so fancied a new bag challenge. Conveniently Jo from Country Cow spammed instagram with her new pattern for a tote bag just as I was mulling over my step sister’s birthday present so I decided she needed a new bag. This bag uses rivets which I’ve never done, so there was equal fear and excitement about trying them out.

Fabrics and hardware

My step sister isn’t the bright rainbow lover that I am and I had some good quality black moleskin left over from a jacket I made years ago. That was my starting point. Bags are really good for using up those random left over bits of fabric from various dressmaking projects.

Then for the lining I just couldn’t bring myself to do a muted colour, so I used some hot pink cotton I had in my stash. I love a contrast. I’d been looking for an excuse to use an ombre thread and this was my moment. The Muerqo is really good if you love a little bit of quilting. I think it would look great with patchwork too.

I’d had my eye on some of the new zip pulls available at Country Cow Designs whilst I was looking for all the notions I needed. So I went for black filigree hearts on hot pink tape. (The filigree hearts are no longer available but the other ones are to die for, I’ll just have to find some more excuses to make bags). I was excited about the bold lines this was going to create. I selected black hardware because I love different textures in the same colour, I wanted it to tie in with the zip teeth/pulls and I think it’s super stylish. Also I wanted the focus to be on the contrast top stitching and the slash of colour from the bold zip tape.

All in all, I was very excited about it all arriving and getting cracking.


Lets just have a paragraph to admire how pretty this thread looks on dense black moleskin.

Are you still admiring…….?? Sorry I’ll move on. I just wanted to stroke it and look at it for ages. Yep I’m that sad and proud of it!

To get the really fine lines, I marked my line with my Prym chalk cartridge pencil. Its absolutely amazing at chalking a really fine line. So I didn’t need to worry about scrubbing chalk off afterwards. I love my pencil so much, you can buy them by clicking this link.

Making the rest of the bag

Making the rest of the bag is relatively straight forward. It’s a little fiddly sewing around the O rings but perfectly doable. And the drop in lining makes it really simple to complete the bag rather than the alternative birthing the bag method. However, the decovil LOVES to peel off whilst you’re sewing other bits. It’s quite forgiving in that once the bag is complete it doesn’t move around AND you can get the entire iron inside the bag to stick it back down.

The Rivets

I enjoyed the rivets in the end. I just bought a cheap kit off Amazon which had the pieces as I’m not investing in the press (I don’t have the space or need it that often to warrant another toy, not to mention I’m not made of money!)

I used a cutting mat underneath but didn’t use the metal plate behind, just the top die. Then I just gave it a load of welly. I think I was a bit genteel to start with as they popped off but once I properly smacked them in they were there to stay. The rivets really do elevate the bag into something far more professional looking. After buying the kit I just want to find uses for more. Maybe I’ll have to make some jeans!

And what did the birthday girl make of it?

Well she loved it. I made a matching Idexa pouch which I covered in a post a few weeks ago. It made such a lovely set. I was so proud of it, I just wanted to stroke it and keep opening and closing it. Even Leon said it was a pretty bag. NOW that is high praise!

Hope you enjoyed reading.

Rosie xx

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