It's Valentine's Day today - hurrah if you are into it, but personally I always remember my awkward teenage self who never received anything for V Day while girls around me at school were showered with flowers and cards. It can be a wonderful day, but man - it can be a terribly lonely one too! (Note to self: do something sweet for my girls on future Valentine's Days when they are teens.)
A few weeks back I signed up for the Secret Valentine's Exchange hosted by Sanae and Ute. I got my details and discovered I would be making something for Stephanie from Sew A Crooked Line.
As I always do when sewing for others, particularly for people I don't know, I went through a crisis of confidence, then took weeks to settle upon a project to make for Stephanie. If you are regular reader of my blog, you'll know my love for zipper pouches knows no bounds, but this time I wanted to make something I hadn't made before.
Stephanie said in her info that she liked the colours pink and mint. Pink I can do, but mint was a bit tricker, so with that colour palette in mind I made the patchwork panels for the bag with lots of pinks and a variety of greens moving into aquas. I also used any fabric I had that had a love theme.
For this side of the tote I decided to make this elephant print the feature - so glad I did as it turns out Stephanie is a huge fan of elephants and sponsors three of them.
I really love those TVs.
The pattern for this bag is the awesome Big Tote Bag designed by Abby from Things for Boys. We are friends in real life so I thought, perfect, I can give her a buzz if I need help. Didn't need to - this bag is so simple. Cut 2 exterior pieces, cut two lining pieces, follow some simple construction steps, wham bam DONE. Obviously the quilting made my construction process a bit different - I made two patchwork panels, basted and free motion quilted them, then cut them out. From there the bag construction was the same as the pattern. I used some simple hot pink cotton drill for the lining.
Then once I had finished the bag, I stressed out again. This bag is kinda LOUD. Bold prints, bright colours. What if Stephanie has a more understated style? But then I thought, it's not an everyday bag. It's large, so it's more of a beach bag or library bag. Maybe a gym bag. Or even a bag to keep her latest unfinished sewing project in, so all the pieces are together.
The size of this bag is really great so in my head I am already planning another one, this time for me to take to work so I can fit my lunch, drink bottle, book and handbag. Better add it to the ever growing to-do list...
Sending you all lots of love on this Valentine's Day!