Sunday, February 3, 2008

A new bag...keeping my resolution for January

Well, one month into the year, and I've managed to keep most of my the grace and mercy of God.

One of them was to make one small sewing project each month, or make progress on one larger project each month. And for the month of January, I combined that resolution with my plan to make a birthday gift for one of my dear friends from northern Minnesota...Since she doesn't have email access, I can post this photo and write about her gift even though she won't be receiving it until next weekend.

I made her a bag using a free online pattern that I found on a website I frequently visit for inspiration when it comes to sewing and crafts, called Artsy Crafty Babe. The blogger is an amazing woman who combines a full-time job outside the home with a full-time job at home caring for a husband and children, and she somehow also manages to make really creative things with fabric, especially cute totes and purses.

This is the fourth bag I've made from this pattern. The first two bags were done exactly as the pattern specified, and the last two have been a slight variation using two different fabric prints and creating contrasted pleated panels, as you see in my photo above. The two prints, though you can't tell from this photo, both have a little teddy bear near a window. Since my friend who will receive this bag adores teddy bears (she even had a teddy bear on a banner for wedding reception), I know that she'll like these two prints.

The lining of the bag has the lighter colored print, and the two straps each have one print or the other, for additional contrast. Oh, and I also added a second pocket to the interior of the bag since I made my first one, based on a suggestion from a friend who received my second of these bags for a gift this Christmas. She had pointed out that having a pocket on each side of the interior would give it more balance, and it did. But even more importantly, I think, it added more pockets for small things...I never seem to have a purse with enough pockets.

The size of this bag is also a nice feature. It's not so huge that it can't be a purse, but it is large enough to carry my smaller knitting projects, which I bring to the office to work on over the lunch hour most days.

Finally, I love the width of the straps of this bag. They stay on my shoulders better than most of my purse straps do. I'll probably try other bag patterns someday, but now I'm really sold on this one.

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