secret tote swap round 4: sent



My partner has received her tote and extra goodies, so I can blog about it now!

I started off buying some purple and blue fabrics for the outside of the bag. I had a different lining cut, but laid the fabrics down on top of a box full of fabric near the machine while working and realized the fabrics I’d bought matched a vintage piece from the Gerchow stash.



Quilted squares look so nice and orderly.


This lined tote tutorial from The Inspired Wren popped into my Pinterest feed and was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to make.

I used denim on the bottom and the quilted pieces for the sides. I eliminated the outer pocket, and changed around a lot of the proportions to make it work. I got a little thrown off when I was putting on the bottom (it gets sewn on top of the side panel, not at the bottom of the piece) but it all came together.


my partner requested a darker fabric for the bottom of the bag. check!


I added some pockets to the inside, but forgot to add a closure. Sorry partner!


I also made a quick key fob (thanks again Pinterest!) based on inspiration and the supplier link found here. The place on Etsy she recommended for hardware (bag lady of SC) was great and super fast! I see many more of these in my future.


And after reading about this sunglasses pattern on Pillows-a-la-Mode I had to make a couple of those too, one for the swap and another for a friend.


Skipped the word on the front, added a piece of ribbon to the zipper. And lined in satin for a bit of luxury…and a bit of a challenge in sewing.


I still wasn’t ready to wrap up the package and since my partner had mentioned having a Kindle I wanted to throw in a case for it. I’d made one out of a sweater for myself awhile back and couldn’t find the other sleeve so I decided to try something scrappy.


I’m pretty proud of how this case turned out. I didn’t QAYG because I didn’t completely understand the concept when I started, so I just quilted it afterwards and went in different directions on different pieces of fabrics. As a matchy-matchy person I had a hard time liking all the different fabrics together in one project, but after it was sewn up I came around.


yay leftover daschunds!


vintage sheets and some thrifted shirt pieces making an appearance on the other side

I was glad I stepped out of my usual comfort zone for the case and enjoyed the result. I’d like to work on more projects like this.


all together

In conclusion, I had a lot of fun working on this group of projects for my swap partner, and I hope she’s enjoying everything!


secret tote swap round 4: received

I know I need to get on with sewing my end of the Secret Tote Bag Swap because I received mine a week and a half ago. Since the tote for my partner isn’t done, let me share the one I got. I should have a post on the one I’m sewing in the next week or two. 🙂

I got this lovely package in the mail and since my partner was so quick, I wasn’t expecting it at all! (Apologies to my swap partner for being less than speedy.)



I’m a sucker for a nicely wrapped package. Inside was this bright tote!


I recognized the Noodlehead pattern immediately. Love the fabric on the pockets.

Inside was equally as colorful.


Note the cat checking out the tote at the bottom of the photo.

But the little guy who stole my heart was this fantastic Mr. Fox. (Natalie, a fox?! can you believe it?? It’s like she knew about my love of foxes :))


This guy is now my sewing room mascot and he’s hanging out on my scissors/rotary cutting/ruler rack.

I also got these other fun goodies. I’m a big fan of the colors in the text fabric.


Now I just need to work on the tote for my partner. It is started and I’ve already got some other goodies sewn up for her.

belated birthday gifts for Natalie

I had the first part of Natalie’s birthday gift made at the beginning of May, but it took about a month to make it to the post office.


I used the dumpling pouch tutorial in the large size and some seagull yard sale fabric. I had to do some manipulating so the seagulls would be right side up on both sides of the pouch.


I love the way the seagulls are accented with white and black lines. This was my first time using this fabric. Natalie loves the beach so I figured she’d like it!

Other stash fabric/bias tape finished out the inside of the pouch. I used batting to line the whole thing for a bit of stability. I did have to buy a zipper because none of the 30+ zippers in my stash was the right color or long enough.

The other part of the gift used some stash fabric I’d received from a friend. The colors in the three pieces coordinated so I wanted to use them all together.

reversible gray toteA

The two pieces with the solid gray background were used for the body of the reversible bag. I made used the third fabric for handles and a top border for easy reversible sewing. (The handle fabric has appeared before, my friend just happened to gift me more of the same fabric!)


No flipping or turning or sewing up a hole, I just put the folded piece on top of after putting one bag body inside the other and sewed did two rows of edgestitching. It made the handles different on each side, but overall I like how it turned out.

I thought Natalie would be a fan of the colors on this summery bag. I finally got her gift in the mail this week and she got it yesterday.

And this photo showed up on my Facebook wall today 🙂 Thankfully she said it was worth the wait!


Yay for the return of summer totes! I already have three more I’m working on… and even plan to keep one for myself!