Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Child's Tote Bag

 M was invited to a birthday party of a classmate.  When it comes to gifts, I am fairly low-key.  Though I'd love to give handmade gifts all the time, you never know how someone will respond.

We love books, and we love to give books.  However, I only had one book that was appropriate in our gift stash.  I thought I might make something.  (The only other birthday party we've been to I made name pillows.  I knew I did not have time for that!)

Since M loves little bags and purses, I decided to make one for her friend personalized with her initial.  It's big enough for a couple of books.  Looking on-line, I didn't find any tutorials that were of a simple tote bag.  (I didn't want to fuss with a lining.)  I created my own little bag.  I won't pretend this is a real tutorial...because it isn't.  However, I will share how I made it.
 I cut the tote bag's fabric about 22x9 inches.  I used pinking shears for the sides so it wouldn't fray after it was sewn.  It will be folded to 11x9 to make the bag.

The handles are about 2 1/2x 12.  I would recommend going 3x12 if you are not used to making little handles.

For the initial, I used coordinating fabric  and cut a rectangle.  Then I followed the directions for Wonder Under which is great for appliqué.   After the Wonder Under was attached to the fabric, I cut the C freehand.  At this point, I also ironed the C to the tote bag using the directions for the Wonder Under.

I kept it as simple as possible.  Since there was no lining, I folded the top of the bag more than an inch to keep it looking good (plus another 1/4 inch tucked under).  This is pictured to the right.  Then I sewed along the bottom inch as well as a top stitch at the top of the bag to make it appear more finished.

Though I used the Wonder Under, I also sewed near the edge of the C to make sure it would hold up to washing the tote bag.

I turned the bag inside out and sewed the sides.  The bag is basically done now!

To make the handles, first I ironed a crease down the center of each.  Then I turned under the edges just enough to leave room for sewing.  Ironing these are so important!  Then I sewed along the edges.  Attaching the handles was rather easy.  I used the seams that were already visible from where I had folded down the top part of the bag to know where to attach the handles.

To complete the gift, we added a book, and M made her friend a bookmark.  Appropriate, we thought!

M absolutely loved this bag and was proud to tell her friend I made it.  She requested her own for her birthday.  It's not made yet, but when I cut out the fabric for the friend, I cut for M, too...including her own "M."  I just need some time to sew it.  Somehow, it's not a priority.

I have some sewing to do for M before her birthday in October...and the baby's arrival (and E's birthday).  I have a pattern and fabric to make a dress, and I may make a Statue of Liberty costume for M for Halloween.  (Though I like her using her dress up dresses to be a princess, I planted the idea of the SoL a long time ago on purpose.)


Debbie said...

Very Cute. I am sure M's friend loved the bag. You did a great job.

Shonda said...


Ticia said...

I wonder if little bags is a girl thing. Princess loves them too.

Dorie said...

Great gift idea, and the chosen fabrics are adorable and very girly. Her friend will love using it!

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