I didn't initially plan on making so many Christmas presents but once I got started I really got into them and wanted to make more. After talking to a friend recently I realised that making bags was one of the things my mum did when we were small, and in fact before we were born, I think it's one of the things she made and sold after art school. Her early ones were beautiful patchwork leather and suede. I'll need to dig some out to share with you all. Later she made ones from fabric she dyed or tie-dyed herself. The apple never falls far from the tree as the old saying goes.
I started off with the Kids Wash bag tutorial from Handmade Jane - I've made this a few times already but don't even know if I kept photos of the earlier ones before I sent them off. In fact I forgot to take a photo of one of the Christmas ones before I sent it off. It was a lovely owl fabric remnant I bought in a fabric shop in Abergavenny years ago with the mother of the recipient in mind as she loves owls. So I made the owl bag and this cute mushroom one from fabric I've had for years (I think a remnant from Ray Stitch).
The mushroom one was to hold a book for a 7 month old and I was about to make a similar drawstring bag for his big sister (aged 4) when I remembered how much Harris loves having bags he can carry around, put cars and people in, take them out, organise them etc. So I thought she might prefer one with handles too. I still had some of the elephant fabric I used to make her baby blanket 4 years ago so I decided to use this, and while I was at it why not throw in some new quilting experience too! I followed the Reverse Sawtooth Star tutorial from Suzy Quilts (I'm not in any way affiliated by the way, I just love her patterns and tutorials!) and then just improvised a bag from there. These bags are made in the same way as the drawstring bags, with lining and french seams. The orange fabric on the straps is the same fabric I used to line it.
On the reverse side I decided to really go for it and just be a bit more free with the design. I loved it, I'm usually quite rigid about sticking to patterns, following recipes etc and I think I need to do more improvised and free work as it is so much fun! I think I like this side even more than the first.
The cat fabric is by Cotton and Steel and it had such a nice selvedge I decided to leave it in as part of the design. I felt the straps on my last bag were too thin and didn't like how you could see the reverse of the fabric so this time I cut 4 straps and sewed them together reverse sides, leaving a small gap to poke it through, then hand-stitched up the gap. I reinforced the straps where I attached them to the bag in both bags. Finished bag photos below, with the beautiful book it was to hold.
And last but by no means least is the bag I made for my nephew! I really could have kept this one for myself too as I loved it so much! The fabric is from the Small World range by Rae Hoekstra and all her fabric designs are just so gorgeous. This was just a simple tote bag made with french seams and lining. I think I used a yellow for the lining but I can't remember for sure. I thought this fabric was so amazing it didn't need anything else, just a simple design. And that's a wrap (crying-worthy pun sorry!)