Do you know what I love about being able to sew: it's being able to personalise gifts. I've made this bag for my sister in law who, like my brother and me, lived in Africa for a long time. The actual bag is a very simple design but the choice of fabric makes it personal to my sister in law.
I was lucky enough to have some of this rather gorgeous fabric from Zimbabwe so I cut two panels out on point. The sides of the panels were around 10" and I cut four black 9" squares for each panel and folded them in half along the diagonal. With a bit of fiddling I pinned the folded diagonal of the black squares to the edges of the right side of the blue panel so that there was a 3/4" overlap. Then I sewed it all in place using a 1/2" seam. By rolling the black overlap down with my thumb I could hand sew the overlap down to make a curved edge to the panel - a bit like a cathedral windows seam. By doing this I felt that I was rounding the edges so that it didn't look too geometric.
For the lining and the straps I used a cloud fabric that made me think of Africa even though it didn't particularly match the fabric panels. That's what I mean about being able to personalise things that you make!
I sewed 2.1/2" strips of black and cloud fabric together with right sides together and then turned the tube right side.
After pinning the straps in place I could add the lining, sew round the top and give my sister in law a great present that she'll know was made specifically for her. (And I enjoyed making it!)
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