Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sewin' Tote Bags--Fun Gifts

I'm makin' bags and totes for Christmas gifts. These are things I can ACTUALLY get done in short order and will be much appreciated. I love the little Stash n' Dash bags. Everyone needs these little totes to fit inside of our other bags. Everything falls to the bottom of the bag even when I have side pockets in my bags. These are great because I can pull out my cosmetics without having the feminine care products falling out of my purse ( I have them in a little zipped bag). I think this is the real world. So many of us are carrying tote bags with computers and all kinds of stuff. My more intimate things need to be in their own bags. PLUS...I have a puppy who likes to dig in my handbag when I leave it on the floor. She may like my lip gloss, but I don't want to share it with her.
Then my other favorite bag is the Frenchy bag. This is a class and quick one to make up. I love these bags out of the new Joel Dewberry decorator fabrics. Therese would love the yellow and gray for herself. I am sure she won't get around to these for herself soon. She would love to have one of these. She loves those fabrics together.

All these bags are from Amy Butler. I love them because they have classy details like pleats and piping. I am really liking how they are making up in the decorator fabrics that we are carrying in the store. The bags will keep their shape better than standard cottons. You gotta stop in the store and check these out. The fabrics are much like twill or denim. I also like to spray the bottoms of my handbags with fabric protector. I don't wash my handbags often but I do like to protect the bottoms from graying from surface dirt. The protector works great to repel water and grime.

Monica made the Sophia Carry-All for a good friend. She even crafted the inside of the bag to be just as classy as the outside. I am sure Ann will love this one. Monica used a fun zipper that we had in the sewing room. In my last post, you saw the building of this bag when Monica peeked out of the opening. I had to laugh when Monica and Therese were chatting about installing the zipper in the handbags. Their mama didn't force teach them how to insert zippers. Consequently, the girls have learned this by reading and by trial and error. I don't often step in on advising them unless they ask. All you mamas out there...did you hear that?! I don't advise my kids on sewing unless they ask. I think this is the biggest secret to why our kids love to sew. It is that I do LESS. I love everything they do. Which means I even loved the quilts that they made that had holes in them because they sewed with a 1/16th inch seam that opened up later on. I even loved the stuff that was finished "wrong". I loved the stuff that they learned about color by finishing it and deciding they didn't like it personally...not that they worried about what my opinion was of it. I'd love to tell you I came to this conclusion because I am wise, but that isn't true. I came to utilize these practices with our kids because I hate conflict. I also don't appreciate criticism of creativity.

When I was a kid, my dad was disabled for a long period of time. He was in a body cast for months in our home. During that time, Dad did paint-by-number oil painting. He made hundreds of beaded strings for our Christmas tree that we wound around pencils to "curl". He made hundreds of styrofoam Christmas bells by painstakingly picking up a pearl bead, a sequin and dipping the tip of the pin in craft glue and painting the bell with beads. There would be people who would think this was rote drill, but it was a creative expression for my dad that helped him cope with being hospitalized and incapacitated for months. As a young girl, I watched my dad make these things and enjoy watching us decorate our home with his "creativity."

Our creative expression is what brings us joy. The process of creating makes us who we are and affords us a chance to have a voice.

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