Thursday, April 28, 2011

Too Grown Up for Easter Baskets

Easter is my favorite holiday of the year.  I love all of Easter but mostly because it is incredibly simple.  When our kids were younger, I would usually start making Easter dresses on Good Friday.   Now, I know that doesn't sound simple, but doing this at the last minute oft forced me to do things simply and efficiently.   Unless you are a sewer, you might not understand this.  But, for me sewing is a way of collecting my thoughts and sharing my love.  So, pulling together outfits in a matter of a few days is a very loving act for me.  Imagine how much energy some people put into preparing a meal for a family get-together, that is akin to what I do as a sewer.  While I always had good intentions of finishing up sewing well before, it never seemed to happen as smoothly as pulling together dresses for the girls and matching ties for the boys.   The boys will likely never forgive me for some of the things they wore but usually by the time they were ready "to go", they'd had an Easter egg fight and had eaten an ample helping of jelly beans and chocolate and were in different clothes for family visits. 

Last year, I made Easter packages and shipped them off to the kids.  I had a great time thinking about them opening the pastel wrapped packages.  As I was pondering my "shopping",  I was inspired to make something (at least for the girls).  Easter baskets for grown up girls were a great time to build.
Using the Crossover Carry-all, a favorite of mine from Indygo Junction,  I adapted some great details such as piping and some additional pockets inside for the girls.    I also added a key holder inside the bags for their snap key rings.  I chose my favorite decorator-weight fabrics from Pine Needles.  Actually one bag, I chose the fabric because I had an old package of gray piping that I wanted to use up and the yellow and gray has really caught my eye for some time.  It was REALLY time to use up that old piping.  There are so few things that will work with gray and this bag was perfect.
I also experimented with different stabilizer techniques in the body of the bags.  While many patterns recommend a batting in the bag, I prefer to NOT use batting.  Batting is designed to soften as it is laundered.  When I am making a bag, I want the bag to look crisp, not broken down.  Using a decorator weight fabric in the Crossover Carry-all was a huge advantage because stabilizing was not necessary throughout the bag.  In fact on one bag, I stabilized the body of the bag and not the handles.  On the other I stabilized the handles and not the bag.  Both came out looking very classy and crisp.  Further, using a decorator weight fabric will give them a sharp look for great usage.  Besides, knowing my daughters, these bags will stuffed to overflowing and they need to be strong and stable.  Then stuffed with Easter treats, the girls got their own Easter "baskets".   I think this is a new tradition and likely one that I can actually get done in a timely manner.
Now I am on a roll of making bags and having a great time of it.   At our recent VIP, Therese shared my bag creating as well as a sewing adventure I dragged her onto making Flip-Flap bags.  What a great time that was.  Making handbags yields such great results and quickly. 

All the Best to You, jill