Gift bags

This year I tried to make as many gifts as possible. The first two were tote bags using my usual pattern, previously seen here and here. The best part about making these is choosing the patterns and trying to come up with something that suits the recipient. With so many beautiful fabrics available, it can be a daunting task.

For my mom’s tote bag, I chose a bright blue fabric with line drawings of birds on pale yellow branches with red leaves. For the inside, I chose a red and white floral print that reminded me of origami paper; since my mom likes origami, I thought this would be ideal. I loved the result–I really like color and contrast, and this is one of my favorite color combinations–but I was a little afraid that the result would be too garish for my mom, who prefers more muted colors. She seemed pleased, though.

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My original pattern for this bag has only a single, interior pocket, and that’s the way I made them for quite a while. With Erin’s bag, however, I tried an exterior pocket and I really liked it. We can all use more pockets, right? Here, I tried to line up the pattern but wasn’t totally successful.

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My sister-in-law likes purple (it was one of her wedding colors), so I chose a pretty deep purple fabric (it is not as dark as it appears in these photos). The store did not have enough of the heavy webbing that I usually use for straps, so I went with a lighter twill webbing, which made the bag really nice and lightweight.

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It was very difficult to find a lining fabric to match the exterior. Finally I found a purple, gold, grey, and white leaf print. I love this fabric and the color combination. As a finishing touch, I added some very narrow cream colored ribbon to the edge of both pockets.

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Next up–my sister’s gift and a failure.

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