>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010
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.