Tote bag and napkins for my BFF

Totebag and napkins - finished

I recently did a little non-garment sewing… and for a very good reason: my best friend’s birthday.  : )  I wanted to make her something and I was pretty sure she likes purple (thankfully I was right!), so I whipped up a tote bag and a set of 10 napkins in a variety of purple cotton fabrics.  The photo above was taken by my friend after opening the package of goodies – what a beautiful shot!  I’m pretty pleased with how everything came out, and most importantly, I was so glad to hear that she liked them.  : )

Totebag

I made the tote bag using a super simple pattern that I got when I took a basic sewing class at Gather Here last year.  The bag measures about 16 inches by 12 inches and is a great size for toting around during a shopping trip, carrying lunch to work, or even using as a purse (which I do with my bags all the time).

Totebag with lining

The bag is fully lined with a complementary fabric, and it’s surprisingly sturdy for a simple fabric bag with no interfacing or anything.  Even the straps are just tubes of cotton fabric, and they hold up pretty well for moderate-sized loads of goodies.  I can pack a big/heavy lunch in these things with no problem whatsoever.

Napkins

For the napkins, I made 2 each of 5 different fabrics.  The pattern is from the first issue of By Hand Magazine and was actually developed by Virginia, the lovely proprietress of Gather Here (and all-around awesome lady).  They’re pretty simple to make as well: just miter the corners and topstitch all the way around the edge.  I actually think there’s more ironing than sewing involved in these things!  My Rowenta and I got a lot of quality time together.

Napkins close up

I really like this combination of purple fabrics – some floral, some geometric, etc.  I hope my friend has something purple in her kitchen or dining room to match!  Then again, I’ve been using my very eclectic set of napkins for a while now, and they don’t match anything in my apartment, so who cares.  : )

Totebag and napkins togetherAll in all, I think this set came out pretty nicely.  My friend says that she’s already broken in the tote bag – awesome news!  I’m so glad she likes them, and hopefully this was a nice addition to her birthday celebration.  Yay for handmade gifts!

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