Friday, January 11, 2013

Sewing: Small Totes for Small Ladies

I'm so behind on blogging that I'm still recapping the holidays. But I wanted to share this anyway.

So last month I sewed up these tote bags from another Lotta Jansdotter pattern for a couple of little girls among our family friends here. It's a quick beginner's pattern that would be easy to embellish and adapt, and it went even faster for me since I didn't make the handles from fabric but instead used cotton webbing that I already had on hand from another project. It's not a perfect combo especially from an aesthetic perspective, but at least I know the handles are sturdy enough for preschoolers. The bag itself is pretty sturdy at the bottom since the contrast fabric is folded over the bottom of the bag, thereby creating a lining there. The totes can be stuffed with books and other fairly heavy things, and they should hold up well.

My only complaint about the pattern is that I wish it had included a note about using directional prints. Since both pieces of fabric are folded in half to create a seamless bottom, using a one-directional print (as I did for the larger fabric of both of these totes) means that one side will be upside down. I wasn't able to figure it out from reading the instructions or looking at the illustrations. If I'd known that ahead of time for the pink cat bag, I would have cut the fabric in half then sewn together the resulting two pieces so that both sides of the bag would have the print right side up. I guess I could have redone the bag (using my trusty seam ripper) but it didn't look too bad and I was on a deadline. I made the adjustment for the kitty-people tote, however.

Speaking of which, I really love this kitty-people print. I'd used it before on an apron I made for a friend's birthday last October, and this little tote was a good use of some of the remaining yardage that I had. The recipient told me she liked it a lot, and I saw it packed absolutely full with clothes and a huge stuffed bear. It ended up being the perfect size for a four-year-old. Success!

xo, Gladys


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