Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birthday Craft Fair Project: Pretty Purses

We surprised Mary Ashley with a sewing machine for her 9th birthday, so I was eager to plan a sewing project as the culmination of our recent Birthday Craft Fair. These pretty, petite purses could not be cuter!


I am a big fan of Tanya Whelan's romantic line of fabrics, and her Barefoot Roses Legacy Collection was perfect for our tiny totes. (Visit Tanya's blog here.) I purchased a fat quarter collection of six coordinating fabrics here. This gave us enough fabric for 12 custom bags -- a steal at a little more than $1 each in supplies. My mother-in-law came over before the party to cut and bundle the fabrics to make ready-to-sew kits.


I used the Small Treats Tote pattern from All People Quilt for our project. Find the pattern here. The picture above shows the first tote I assembled. In my first attempt, I didn't realize I needed to square off the corners before turning the bag right-side-out, so it is a flat bag. Alleviating that step makes the project go a little quicker and might be simpler for beginning sewers.


This adorable pattern makes a lined, reversible bag. I designed the pink, personalized sewing machine tag to coordinate with other party printables.

I added Mary Ashley's name to the sewing machine -- a sweet detail to keep in her scrapbook to commemorate the year she got her sewing machine.


With two other craft projects, plus a picnic lunch, birthday cake, present opening and time for free play, we ran out of time during the party to construct the bags. But I promised Mary Ashley a sewing day on our first free day, and thankfully the Monday after our party was a school holiday. We sat down together at her new sewing machine and made the pretty bag pictured above. We finished the corners on her bag, so it has a flat bottom.


Perfect for a pocket full of posies, the finished bags are 4" x 4" x 2". Above, you see the difference finishing the corners makes in the finished tote.


We plan to invite the girls back, two at a time, to sew their totes. With the fabrics already cut and a few bags already constructed, this will provide a quick project and fun afternoon play date.


Delightfully sweet and perfectly petite, these lovely floral bags are sure to become treasured totes. And they will be sew much fun to make! 

"A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring." ~ The Collected Later Poems of William Carlos Williams

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