Now that my mom has gotten her gift in the mail, I can post what I gave her:
For Mother's Day, I thought I would make my mom a tote and fill it with magazines and other "necessities" for a trip she will be taking in June to visit her best friend in Maryland. I have been thinking about making a tote for a while, but wasn't sure how I would construct it.
I decided upon using a pre-quilted fabric because it would eliminate the need to line the inside (plus, it looks Vera Bradley-ish). This pattern is fool-proof.
I purchased 1/2 yard of quilted fabric that has different but coordinating patterns on either side. Then, I cut a 32"x15" rectangle, and folded it in half, and pinned the sides. The great part about this pattern is that there is very little cutting (I loathe cutting).
On the folded edge, I tucked in the fabric about an inch or so, and pinned. This gives the bag some dimension, rather than being flat.
Next, I simply sewed up the sides.
Since I have unfinished inside edges, I sewed the sides again with a different stitch in an attempt to prevent fraying. I am not a professional seamstress, so I have no idea what this stitch is called or if it is the correct way to finish an edge, but it seemed to do the trick.
Then, at the top of the bag, I cut a notch out of the corner, close to the first stitch. This made it easier to fold down the hem (it was too bulky before I cut it out).
Sew, sew, sew.
Now, onto the straps. With my remaining fabric, I cut two 25"x2" strips. Since the fabric is double sided, I chose to make the straps the opposite side of the outside of the bag.
Then, I folded it in half, and pressed. I was getting tired at this point. Even the smallest amount of ironing does that to me. It is so much more fun to be at the machine, yet it seems that 75% of sewing is actually cutting and ironing!
The straps were easy; I just sewed them shut.
After determining how long I wanted each strap to be (I preferred for mine to be easy to wear on my shoulder), I folded the unfinished edge under and pinned in place. Then, sewed it down, going back and forth a few times to make sure that it would be strong.
My final touch was to add a giant decorative button, but lots of other things would have been cute. I toyed with the idea of adding ric-rac, but decided against it because of how busy the fabric already is.
Hopefully this will make a nice tote bag to bring on board to make the flight go by a little faster.