Friday, 16 December 2011

Tote Bags As Gifts

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!)

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Hope to see you again soon.


Anonymous said...

I'm certain she will cherish this gift. I too love to use fabrics with meaning when it comes to personal gifts. I leave a little note describing such memories and hope they carry the story with them each time they look at or use the item give. Beautiful bag. Hugs. Tammy

SewSurprising said...

What a lucky lady to be getting that gem of a bag, something special about making a gift personal.