Three More Bags

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Today's post title won't win any titles for originality, but it is accurate. I've been experimenting with bag-making this summer, and these are the results. The bag above has pleats and a rounded body. I used fabric from Moda's Hello Betty line for the outside and a red bella solid (not sure what it's called) for the handles. It's interfaced, so it's pretty strong. The bag started out much longer but I didn't like the shape, so I trimmed the bottom and resized it. I based the top pleats on the Buttercup bag and made the rest up as I went along.

I wasn't sure what to line the bag with, but then realized that this Michael Miller dot fabric that I got as a remnant from JCaroline Creative when she closed much of her shop worked perfectly -- and was the exact size I needed. I gave this bag to a friend of mine who just moved away to Boston, and I hope the bag will accompany her on her new adventures there.

I give a lot of baby gifts and wedding gifts. This spring I realized I need to be better about giving gifts to all of my friends, especially those without what my college alumni magazine calls MLEs, Major Life Events. Admittedly this decision came in conjunction with reflecting about my own upcoming 30th birthday (less than 2 weeks!) and thinking about what it means and how to celebrate a birthday when you're single and in the midst of crazy preparation for exams. While I haven't totally worked out the celebration part, I decided that I would make sure to send off more unexpected gifts to friends, especially those without obvious MLEs. There are a few friends with whom I always exchange birthday gifts -- they're awesome and I'm grateful for and to them. But it became time to expand the circle, and this linen tote made its way to a friend celebrating her 30th birthday in June.

I made this bag right after the Hello Betty bag above and opted for a few adjustments. Notably, this bag has sharp, triangular points at the bottom rather than a rounded bottom. I think the points work really nicely with linen. I didn't interface this bag, though in hindsight, I probably should have. The handles -- which I make by cutting a 5" strip, pressing it in half, pressing the open edges toward the middle, and sewing the edges of the now 1.25" strip -- are strong, and I think a slightly heavier bag would be best with them. It's lined with a Robert Kaufman print whose name I don't know. A lot of bag making patterns instruct one to leave a hole in the lining and then slip stitch it closed after the bag is finished. My slip-stitching is very poor and I lack the patience to work on it. I've found that leaving a gap at the top, between the handles, which I'm going to top-stitch anyways, works better for me.

Finally, here's my mom's belated Mother's Day present, which I gave her when I went home at the beginning of July. It's a tote made from denim, with the partial dresden plate to spice it up. Because the denim is heavier than quilting cotton, I didn't interface this bag though I usually interface tote bags. I had this in my mind and I'll confess that the finished version doesn't exactly match my mental version, but I like it nonetheless. I think I'd like to try it again with a wider bag. The dresden plate and lining are both from Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line.

My favorite part of this bag is actually the red contrast stitching on the handles and around the top of the bag (2 lines around the top). I love how the red stands out. My mom took this with her to a baseball game and said it was the perfect size for a sweater, book, and drink....or some combination of items that she told me but I can't recall exactly.


Angie July 14, 2010 at 3:39 PM  

I love all 3 bags! Each one is very unique! The white one reminded me of a real nice white dress. =) Lovely.....all 3.


Abby and Stephanie July 14, 2010 at 5:25 PM  

Pretty favorite being the dresden on denim. I've made some bags with dresdens on the front. Always a favorite! I hope you have some special plans for your upcoming birthday. Oh to be 30 again!

Anonymous July 14, 2010 at 7:31 PM  

Love your lining choices!!!

And go out to dinner for your birthday. Lots of restaurants on Main St. have birthday specials (free app or dessert, or even, sometimes, a free entree - worth taking a few minutes to explore for your favorite restaurants). You have to eat anyway, and even if eating out takes a little longer, at least it's a way to mark the day.

After your prelims are over, you can do something really special that combines birthday with finishing prelims - whatever is special to you, if it's finding a place to dive, or to run a race, or see if you can find a sponsor to go skydiving (because let's face it, that's expensive). Maybe head up to Traverse City or the western coast of Michigan for a beach visit. I never really did anything when I turned 30, and I regret that. It's a big milestone!


sews1128 July 26, 2010 at 3:38 PM  

I love my bag! It was a wonderful surprise. Denim goes with everything.
Happy 30th birthday tomorrow. I'm sorry I won't be there to help you celebrate like I was 30 years ago! I can't believe it has been that long.
Love, MOM

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