If you've not yet stumbled upon sisters Kim and Kris of the DIY Dish, I highly recommend checking out their crafty site. We were introduced to them through Patricia of Art Gallery fabrics, whose fabric was featured in their recent live tutorial for making a basic bag. While the bag only requires two yards of fabric, and the thoroughly straight forward video runs at just under 15 minutes, there is nothing basic at how this bag turns out. The (suprisingly simple) pleating detail, the tied handles, and contrasting fabrics really add nice touches to a quick and easy handbag. The girls made it look so easy, I just had to try it out myself!
The fabric featured in the tutorial is from the Dreaming in French collection, which lends a nice sophisticated look to the design. For more of an everyday bag in line with colors I find myself wearing often, I used Calla Lily from Art Gallery's Modern Affair line, paired with Moonbeam from their Nature Elements blender collection. Since I always sew better in the company of friends, and wine, I invited my friend Julie to whip one up with me. She similarly selected prints from the Modern Affair and Blender collections, but went with a warmer color palette.
To give the bag a little more substance, we chose a home decor weight fabric from Vicki Payne's For Your Home Collection. While we're both really pleased with the added body to the bag, the layers of pleating got quite a bit thicker than we had anticipated! I found myself mentally crossing my fingers as I inched along the pleats. But, all turned out well in the end and we each finished the visit with a completed bag without breaking the sewing needle.
If you are looking for a simple handmade gift that even the most novice of sewers can tackle, I highly reommend giving this bag a whirl. The ladies in your life will love it.
I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving with food, family and friends!