Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Selfish Tote

Earlier this month, I was chatting with my friend, Kim...who works at our local quilt shop...and is also a "Bag Lady" (i.e. a lady who makes bags).  We were discussing the curious fact that neither one of us carries our own creations...a consequence, I suppose, of being so focused on sewing for "business" that we've forgotten how to sew for pleasure.  We both agreed that this situation should be remedied immediately...and since I've dubbed this "The Year of Sewing Selfishly,"  I decided that my first project would be a KatyDidStitches Tote Bag just for ME...and this is it! 

I began with this beautiful print by Jennifer Paganelli for Sis BoomI was thrilled to find it on clearance at one of my favorite fabric shops last year.  It has ALL my favorite colors...jadeite green, orchid, cornflower blue, pale lemon yellow...and I knew it would make a fabulous Tote.  Although I loved the design, I wanted to change it up a bit...

...and so I decided to do what I like to call "mosaic patchwork."  

Now, I'm sure this has been done many times before...by many other sewists more talented that I...so I certainly don't want to take credit for the idea.  It involves cutting up a large motif into fairly small squares (in this case 3"x3")...and piecing them back together in a random fashion.  I like the texture that the piecing and diagonal machine-quilted stitches create...and it's a great way to utilize fabric that may be the wrong size for a whole-cloth project.

I added a cute fabric daisy...my own design that I've used for several years.  When I make these to sell, I attach them to a pin-back so that they are removable...because not everyone appreciates a daisy on their Tote!  Personally, I LOVE this look...and so MY daisy is constructed as a dimensional applique.  The button center is from a HUGE jar of buttons that I bought at an auction a couple of years ago.  (As an "auction virgin," I was terrified...and made my friend bid for me!)

I also included an inside zippered pocket!  Since I suffer from "zipper phobia," this is a major TA-DA for me. 

There are also three slip-in pockets...a small one for a pen...another that's wide enough for a checkbook...and a third accommodates a cell phone...which I don't have...so I use it for sunglasses.

I must say, this Tote was an absolute JOY to make.  I worked on it all last week...sewing when I felt inspired to do so...and setting it aside when my interest waned or the garden or The Mailman needed my attention.  This was a welcomed break from the intense concentration and "time is money" speed that sewing for my business necessitates.  I like it...and I intend to do more!  


Jen Coplen said...

LOVE this bag...I can already imagine my next school bag! I will definitely have to come out and see you this summer while I am home!!! Awesome work!


Post a Comment