A Christmas Gift for Gran

January 8, 2009

Yay! Another Christmas FO!

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with what to get some people for the holidays. And “those” people are people who are looking to reduce the amount of their “stuff” instead of adding to it. It’s not really an age thing either, because right now Bill and I are looking to lighten out load and we’re 50 years younger than Bill’s grandmother. Since I do know that Gran has spent the last two years (off and on) going through closets and getting rid of things, I classified her as one of “those” people. And I don’t mean for you to think that I’m being negative about “those” people because I’m all for simplying (see new year’s resolution #1).

On my last visit with Gran, we had been talking about cute yet moderately priced grocery tote bags. I had an idea to make one of out burlap but never got around to it. So for Christmas, I was inspired to put my idea into action for Gran’s Christmas gift. My mom recently told me how to do French seams, and I used the French seams on the grocery tote so that I wouldn’t have any raw edges, and I figured it would give the bag extra reinforcement. For the edging on the top, I made my own bias tape, and used that same bias tape for the handles which are one piece going around and under the bag, again for reinforcement. The bottom is where things got tricky. I couldn’t figure out how to do the french seams on the bottom, and I was really short on time so I didn’t have the luxury of being able to really play with it, leave it, mull it over, take out what I did before, etc. So for the bottom, I used some of my left over bias tape to cover those two raw seams. Even as I think about it now, I still can’t figure it out; definitely something that will require “play” time. My other design decision was to do short handles. My giant tote has long handles which I could use to put the bag over my shoulder, but I never really do that, and I haven’t really seen other shoppers do that. So I went with short handles.

The fabric, which you can’t tell unless you see a detailed view, is pink and red strawberries! I love it! Strawberries for a grocery tote; cute right? The bag itself is made out of burlap which I figured would be strong. The only downside about the burlap is that it sheds. I am wondering if it will stop shedding. It would be really nice if it did. Really nice.

If you’re curious about the dimensions, so am I. At one point I did write it down and have a sketch. No idea where that is. I was in a hurry to get the gift wrapped and while I stopped for pictures, I did not stop for final measurements. But it is a generous size, probably about 13 inches tall and 4 inches wide?

All in all I am about 90% pleased. As I told Gran, normally I would have made a prototype and kept that one and then would have made a second that would have been the gift and corrected all the mistakes of the prototype. But I was really really under a time crunch and so Gran got the prototype. I will also say that I am pleased with how it turned out even though I would change some things, and that if I had been even the tinest bit unhappy with it, she would have gotten an IOU.

Now to make one for myself.

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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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