Friday, May 28, 2010

Personalized Totes

A. was invited to her first birthday party for friends where she went without her older sister... "just me?" she asked incredulously. She was so excited! The girls hosting the party are twins, so we wanted a gift that was similar, but not identical.

These bags have become my go-to gift for birthdays I guess. I try to keep a number of the plain, inexpensive canvas totes in my stash and then embellish with whatever fabric scraps I have on hand. They are cute and personal and double as wrapping... just fill with fun little goodies. This time I included a flower hair clip and clipped it on the outside of the bag... where I thought it looked kinda cute as well.

For the applique, I cut the letter from my fabric square (already backed with Heat N Bond) using a template I printed out from my computer. Then I iron it onto the bag. If I have time, I like to hand embroider around the letter edges with a blanket stitch. Recently, however, I have been using a bead of Liquid Glass from Close to my Heart scrapbooking to finish the edges. (Confession: I don't scrapbook, but I love this stuff.) This works really well – looks nice and dries really fast too. Then I sew a coordinating ribbon or ruffle around the top of the bag, but beneath the top hem where the handles attach... that part of the bag is too thick to sew through (learned that the hard way).