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. : )
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).
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.
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.
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. : )
All 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!