I've been working on a secret project for the last seven or eight weeks. Before we get to that, I have to fill in with a little backstory. In January, I was called to work with the Young Women at church. I decided that I wanted to make a Personal Progress tote for each of them for their birthdays using Deena Rutter's Good Life fabric, which is based on the Young Women program. I also knew that I was going to need a bigger bag to tote back and forth to church and while I was making one, I could make a few more for the women who work with me as leaders over the girls. I've been working on these pretty much every day since I finished my last quilt, but I had to keep it quiet. We're all friends on The Facebook and my blog posts also show up on my timeline there. Naturally, I didn't want to ruin the surprise. But they've all been delivered now and I can finally show them off.
I used Geta Grama's Amelie Purse pattern. The pattern, with the accent fabric in the front pockets, was perfect for the Good Life fabric. The purse is nice and roomy, but I added 2" to the height of the bag, so they'd be tall enough to fit a standard size binder in them.
I think the funnest part of the assembly was installing the magnetic snap closures, which I ordered from Etsy for a really terrific price.The bag has tons of pockets; besides the two really deep pockets on the front, there are two pockets inside, one each on the lining front and back.
I think the back zipper pocket is my favorite because it has polka-dots inside. If you've been hanging around for any amount of time, you know how much I love polka-dots. I really love the zippers, which I also got on Etsy.
On the practical side, I sprayed them all with Scotch Guard, inside and out. Although I debated about spraying them before I put the pieces together, I decided to wait until after they were all finished, in case the heat from the iron did something funny to the Scotch Guard.
This is the only sewing I've done lately and this is the first project I've worked on from start to finish without getting detoured in a long time. Sometimes I wondered if I was ever going to get them done. It was tempting to work on something else. And having my nose up close to them and seeing all the not-so-perfect top-stitching made me wonder if they were going to turn out good enough to give away. But the reaction I got from the women when I took the bags to them really made it all worth while. One of them said, "this means so much," as she ran her finger over her embroidered name. That meant a lot to me and I'm so glad they are finished and delivered. I can't wait to use mine!
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