Friday, January 9, 2015

Christmas Crafts

Hi friends,

Our family has a tradition where we have a post-Christmas celebration (this year it was January 3rd) where the ladies draw names and hand-craft an item for the recipient.

I decided to venture off my papercrafting hobby and ventured into fabric crafting.

I coaxed my dear husband to come to the fabric store with me and I found two lovely prints to use to make tote bags: one for me and one for Linden (my craft name.)

I took lots of pictures of the process.  First, I found two corresponding fabrics in canvas for the outer layer.  Then I found a corresponding fabric for the lining.  I added fusible interfacing to give the bag more structure.  I sewed the two canvas fabrics together and then cut out my 16 X 16 inch squares.

Next it was time to put Sarah's sewing machine to work.  I sewed up the edges of the canvas and lining and then added the pleats for the bottom and the handles.  Next step is to sew it all up and flip it around.  Last step sew the finishing edge and you are done.

I repeated the process for the blue floral fabric.  For this bag the contrasting solid was a blue denim.

I wanted the bags to have a firm structure for the bottom.  I hate tote bags with floppy bottoms! So I purchased some plastic cross-stitch material at Michaels and cut it out to go to the bottom of the bag. I then sewed the contrasting solid in a pouch to hold the firm plastic and then inserted these 'bottoms' into the bag.  No more floppy bottoms.  Bottoms that stand up as they should!

Voila - Two tote bags - complete!  It took me a few hours - mostly because I had never done it before, but I was quite proud of my accomplishment.  I use my turquoise bag back and forth to the gym.  I filled Linden's bag with a comfy, cozy robe and gave it to her at the belated Christmas Party.

Hopefully as a college student she'll find a use for it.  I know she'll use the cozy robe - winters are cold in upstate NY and a bright tote bag can be used for shopping, gym or books!

 I added a zigzag stitch to finish it.  I think the purple lining is super fun with this color combo.

I have not sewed anything (except on my cards) in sooo many years.  I was very intimidated by the thought of doing this all by myself, but thankfully there are you tube videos out now and Whitney does a great job explaining how to do it on her videos.  She's a darling girl with big bushy eye-brows! Check out her video here!  Whitney Sews.

Basic Lined Tote Bag by Whitney Sews

As for the gift I received, I got a great one.  My cousin Caroline is a fabulous knitter.  She not only knits but spins her own yarn.  This is a neck warmer/scarf and it's so nice.  The yarn on this is both soft and warm.  It's not at all heavy and is the perfect weight to offer warmth without bulk. I love it.  I wore it to work today and within moments of walking in the door (with my winter coat still on) received a compliment on it.  With the cold winters we have in Boston, this will get a lot of use, I know.

The colors are so beautiful.  It has an ombre effect since the color transitions from light to dark.  Just gorgeous.  I love it!

Thanks for visiting today.  Make it a great day.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Love your bags! I'm impressed with your foray into sewing and your innovative idea to make a firm bottom (wish my bottom would stand up as it should...)