Friday, May 29, 2015

Teacher Gifts - Tote Bags

With the end of the year quickly approaching, I wanted to find something I could give to my childrens' teachers to say "Thank you." Our teachers do so much for our children and I want them to know how much they are appreciated. I really wanted to give them something handmade, but also something they would use and love. I came across this lovely tutorial for tote bags from the Purl Bee - tutorial here. It's called the Forty-Minute Tote and that sounded good to me, since, of course, I waited until the last minute to decide to make these.  She has several awesome-looking tote bag tutorials on her site, but I liked the look of this one because it looked pretty easy and simple, but still had some nice details, like the boxed bottom, lining and inner pocket.

I had a lot of scraps of home decor fabric laying around and I never know what to do with these fabrics. I don't sew that much home decor and, anyway, half a yard of home dec fabric can only do so much. So this was a perfect project for those fabrics.

Well, I have done a lot of sewing, but I have never made a bag before, so this simple project was a great start for me. I love the way they turned out. I made three bags, one for each of the girl's two preschool teachers, and one for my son's teacher.

I made very few changes to the pattern from the tutorial. I did finish all my seams with the serger, even though they are inside the lining. Also, I added a box stitch for extra strength where the webbing straps attach to the lining. Also, by the time I made the third one, I decided to lengthen the straps by two inches. But I think that's just a personal preference. 

 And here is what the inside looks like:

 They were pretty true to there name. They probably took me just over forty minutes each. Considering I had never made a bag before, that's not bad at all.

I hope the teachers love them. I thought they were something I would love to have so I think it makes a lovely gift.

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