Friday, July 4, 2014

A Polka-Dot Lunchbag

Sooooo...I had two friends with birthdays in January. At the time, I was so swamped and felt so yucky from morning sickness that sewing sounded like the last thing on the planet that I wanted to attempt. I knew both friends would both be super understanding, so I didn't finish their gifts on time, fully expecting to get them done in February or something almost reasonable like that.

Except some time last month, I realized I had completely forgotten about their belated birthday gifts and had moved from being a little late to hitting their half birthdays. Yikes! I decided to get on it, and quick.

The first gift was a super awesome Keropi pillowcase that I forgot to snap a photo of before dropping in the mail. (I finished it in the morning, went to Target to get packing envelopes, and then went straight from Target to the post office.) But for the second gift, I made a lunch bag using this tutorial from Pink Penguin.

I think it turned out pretty well!

I made a few slight modifications to the pattern. I used interfacing on both my outer and inner basket portions. I only had mid-weight interfacing, and the tutorial recommended a heavy, so I hope that two layers of mid will keep it sturdy through its lunch time travels. I didn't have cord, so I used pink ribbon from my ridiculous collection of ribbon. And I top-stitched along the top of my rim and instead of just one line of topstitching, I did two around the upper part of the outer and inner baskets. What can I say? I'm a girl who likes a good round of topstitching. (Now, if only I could remember to use the same stitch lengths when topstitching, life would truly be magical.)

I liked the super scrappy nature of Ayumi's bag, but I thought my friend might appreciate something a little less scrappy. I found this polka dot something-or-other fabric in the apparel section at Joann's--it's heavier than a quilting cotton, but not quite a duck or home decor weight--and I paired it with an orange solid quilting cotton.

Overall, the bag came together without much problem. I did encounter some issues when sewing the cover to the bag. Agatha is tough, but I had to hand crank through the seams, which were extra thick from my double layer of interfacing. At one point, my needle snapped, which made me a bit grumpy since I had just put in a new one. But the worst part of this bag was fusing the interfacing. I don't know what was going on, but my interfacing did not want to fuse. Like, at all. I had to fuse everything three times before it finally stuck. At first, I thought it was just the something-or-other fabric, but nope. The quilting cotton too! (My sewing area was very hot and steamy.) And of course, the ceiling fan in the room died about that time on one of the first truly hot and sticky days of the summer. I know it's not the adorable bag's fault, but yeah. I was perturbed and considered calling it quits.

Then the guilt of the extreme belatedness of my gift kicked in, and I hunkered down and got 'er done. And I'm really really glad I did. I was able to hand deliver it to my friend's work today, and now I have all of my January birthday gifts finished!

Now, to start on February's....

I'm linking up today with TGIFF, hosted by Laura at Quokka Quilts. Go say hi! (My oldest son particularly appreciated all the cute dog photos in this week's edition.) 


  1. Thank you for sharing your belated gifting habits. It makes me feel way less guilty about my tendency to do the same (I'm currently working on what was originally a Christmas 2013 gift!). BTW: When I have problems going through thick fabric, I use my walking foot. If you haven't tried that, give it a shot -- it might make things easier for you and Agatha!

    1. I'm finding that most people are so appreciative of a handmade quilty gift, they really don't mind if it's late. At least, that's been my experience.

      This is going to sound crazy, but I actually don't have a walking foot! I just found out that there is a relatively inexpensive one that will work with my machine, so I've put it on my to-buy list. Maybe one day I'll see what this miracle thing is! :)

  2. That spot fabric is cute!

    Bags like this scare me with their 3Dness! One thing that puts me off is figuring out interfacing stuff as we don't have the same brands so I have no idea which would be the equivalent and I don't want to get it wrong because then I know I'll get super mad and yell at it.

    Half birthdays should be celebrated more!

  3. Yay for gifting, whenever it occurs. I think there is something about giving / getting a gift at a non-expected time that makes it more exciting and special. And congrats for getting some projects done, too!

  4. Hahaha, I'm about 15 years behind in gifts. I like the look of this lunch bag, and think I could achieve this one. I haven't made many bags, all the layers and interfacing terminology put me off. Oh, and turning through handles. I've had disasters doing that before! Like just wouldn't go through. Love the spot fabric.


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