So, having taken up sewing for a new hobby, this past Christmas was to be all about hand-made sewn gifts. I had happened upon this tutorial for a charming scavenger bag and just knew I wanted to give my niece one.
I got the fabric from an upholstery store, because I wanted it to be sturdy and because fabric is usually offered in complimenting contrasting themes and patterns. I settled on a pattern of vintage nursery toys – trains, planes, cars, balls, kites – and its complimenting stripes and polka-dot pattern.
Making the bag was pretty easy following the instructions. I did it in one long setting. I even made a matching pencil-case and pull-string pouch. The only problem I faced was in the last step: I had to top-stitch the finished bag around its top, having used a thicker upholstery fabric now the seam joints and areas where tabs and loops made out of folded fabric were attached were all too thick for my machine to handle. Modifying the setting for thread tension, feeder dog, presser foot did not help, I needed an industry grade machine.
So, the almost finished bag just missed its planned spot under the Christmas tree, it hung around my house languishing in its unfulfilled existence. Until it occurred to me to have one of those traditional bag-and-shoe-repair stores do the top-stitching for me: sure they must be equipped to handle thick fabrics, there is even one such shop just a street away from me.
And so it was, almost two months from its imperfect completion, the bag is finally finished. I had planned on filling it with trinkets and snacks before giving it to my niece, but yesterday she paid me a surprise visit and my eagerness to give her the gift got the better of me. I think she really liked it.