Monday, August 19, 2013

A spot of sewing: a box-bottom tote bag

A special birthday is coming up.  The special someone (who may or may not view this blog so will remain nameless) is difficult to buy for (logistically, at least), making this a prime occasion for a homemade gift.

I had the idea to sew a simple tote bag with the girls' drawings on it.  In my original idea, the girls would draw directly onto the fabric with fabric crayons or markers.  That did not happen (they balked).  I think the pressure of creating a drawing for a specific outcome was just too much, and they felt nervous.  Instead, I selected work they had already made and felt quite proud of to scan and print onto fabric.*  I doubt this will stand up to serious washing, but the result is quite beautiful, if I do say so myself, and makes a very special, personal gift.

The photos are two sides of one bag, one side by our Stephanie and the other by our Ellie.  I sewed in a cream-coloured lining and an interior pocket.  I love carrying a good tote bag around town, and I hope this will see some good use.

As far as adding in the printed fabric, I decided to wing this project, but I found excellent instructions for sewing a simple box-bottom tote here on The Purl Bee.  The math required by piecing in the drawings about did my head in, but such is the lot of a self-taught sewist.  It was worth it.  I am so happy with the result, and I can only hope our special someone will love it too.

* I had purchased special inkjet-ready fabric sheets ages ago, but I have since read online that you can secure freezer paper to your fabric and print directly onto fabric you already have.  This makes sense (that's how the special fabric-paper felt to the touch), but I haven't tried it myself.

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