As you know, I love making home-sewn or baked gifts for Christmas. This year I'm in tote bag mode: almost anyone can find a use for one more! I toyed with the idea of plain canvas shopping totes, but settled instead on a book bag sized tote that could double as a purse in a pinch. I found a simple pattern that would be easy to cut and sew "assembly line" style.
|Esther's Tote from Ooh! Pretty Colors|
I started with a trial tote. I "needed" a fall tote/purse, and hadn't found what I was looking for at the right price. This pattern is great technically, but is pretty boxy & plain to carry as a purse. It was designed more to show off designer fabric than accessorize an outfit. Nine pleats, two ribbon roses, and a couple of vintage buttons later, I came up with this:
|Of course, I've already re-arranged the roses. Twice. And this isn't shiny leather, it's a pebbled suede.|
|I almost always line home-sewn bags with a saffron colored fabric so it's easy to find things quickly.|
I'll pretty much copy this bag for your aunties and grammy, using decorator fabrics that fit their tastes. I cannot picture any of them carrying a bag with ribbon roses, so I'll have to either make the flowers easily removable or go to plan B for bling.
For my nieces, I'll stick to the basic, unpleated bag, downsize it, and probably add ruffles or jumbo rick rack depending on the gal. I'll have a lot of fun picking fabric for each of their personalities, too!
Your grandpa and uncles always appreciate home-baked goodies, although I may branch out into beef jerky or a nut mix this year.
Our extended family keeps Christmas simple and small. I'm glad that our focus is on the birth of the Savior and precious time with family! I really enjoy thinking about and praying for the person who will receive the gift as I prepare it. I hope we still get Christmases together when you're reading this letter. Who knows? Maybe you'll get that groovy bag with the 2011 Pantone palette colors as a "vintage find".
Love ya bunches, Little One,