Happy Birthday, Irene!  Here is your new HUGE zippered tote bag! 

My friend Irene's birthday is today and here is the birthday craft that I made for her, like a little tote elf.  Thank you Amy Butler for making your gorgeous "August Fields" prints.  I HEART this print.  It's difficult to tell in the photo, but the fabric is beautiful, and has a pretty little sheen to it and it is home decor weight canvas.

Those fabric lined straps??  Hells yes they are.  WHOA NELLY were they annoying and painstaking.  There was a lot of ripping out and starting over, but I was able to pull through by basting the edges of the cotton webbing together, and then making a 1 inch bias tape from the fabric, and then sewing that onto the webbing.  It was a lot of work, but I love the results.  I have to admit, each time I make a bag, it's that much better.  This time I learned lots of new things.  Number one, how to make an internal zipper pouch:

Secret pouch!Internal zipper pouch

Basically, I followed the link, but I think there is a better way to do it, somehow incorporating the zipper between the liner and the pocket itself but this worked for now.  I like how the pattern of the pouch is hidden on the inside.  What a nice surprise when you unzip!

Lots of pockets, which I lined with the outside fabric, and also positioned it so that the top of the pockets would have a sneak peak, almost like piping.  The pockets were stitched with RAINBOW thread.  It was really fun to use.  Because, duh, rainbows are fun:

And I like how I was able to match the top so that the pattern of the fabric is continuous with the zipper.  I didn't start to do this on purpose when I cut the fabric, but when I realized I could orient them that way, I was pretty excited.  Look at that INTENSE zipper!  Bad ass durability.

Why are all these pictures date stamped?  Because I used my mom's camera because mine was out of battery power.  Also, I am WAY too lazy to get rid of them.  Let's focus on the crafts, and not the quality of the pictures, people.

I also tried my hand at making a lined box bag.  It was a little bit of a debacle because I ended up sewing the bag SHUT without anyway of turning it inside out, but then I figured it out, ripped a hole, flipped the entire thing inside out and blind-stitched the bottom.  It came out okay!  I kind of wish I made the bag fatter because I think it would be cuter like that, but this works:

Lined box bagLined!Off center tab

I added a little hem-tape tab to the back so that there's something to hold onto when you zip it closed.  There's also a small handle on the other side.

All in all, a really good learning experience and great practice sewing.

I'm off to my first ever DUCKPIN BOWLING.

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