I just love weekends that start like this - with a stack of fabric and an eager child...
and end like this - with a beautiful girl and her equally beautiful bag she's just sewn up with mama.
Charlie was off for an overnight boys adventure with our son Aidan, so I had Annie to myself for an entire day. Wanting to make our alone time equally memorable, she declared it "girls day" and wanted to fill every moment with doing something special. Naturally, she promptly requested a sewing project. Like any six year old, Annie likes to tote around her stuffed animals, arts and crafts projects, interesting leaves, pretty stones, and any other treasures she finds in her travels. So, we decided she needed a tote bag big enough to carry around her loot, and pretty enough to hint at those riches within.
Annie likes things to feel "cozy" so she selected a Velveteen and Flannel from Anna Maria Horner. She also decided that two fabrics are fancier than one, and I had to agree. Not being able to decide which fabric she liked better, we made the bag reversible so as to keep her options open. We didn't use a pattern, and simply cut out our rectangles for the outside of the bag, the lining, the two straps, and the pockets. To give the bag a bit more body we also gave it some boxed corners. Head over to Sew 4 Home for clear step by step instructions if you've not tried this before!
After sewing our lined pockets onto the outer linings of our bag, and then making the inner and outer tubes of the bag, we simply slid our straps in between those linings.
If you've never sewn a reversible bag with boxed corners here's a tutorial from Dana Made It that achieves a very similar look. You could easily modify the design to include pockets and opt out of the contrasting bottom if you wish.
And here's the finished bag! We only had to use our seam ripper a few times. You know how it goes, "a time to tear, a time to sew."
In fact, that Turn, Turn, Turn song came on the radio as we were sewing together. I have to say I got a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat as I thought about time itself, and how we never seem to have enough of it.
So I think I'll take a nod from the song and from my daughter - time passes on but I'll certainly try to relish the moments that we do have together as a mother and daughter.
These are the moments I'll take with me from the day - seeing Annie wear her pride proudly, along with her pretty new bag. Hopefully she will remember that as well.
If not, then perhaps she'll remember the trip to town afterwards to get her nails done, pay a visit to the bookstore, have a bite to eat, and to enjoy some ice cream for dessert.
Of course, it's also possible she'll simply remebmer that she got to have ice cream and her brother didn't!
Here's to stitching together some memories I'll never forget, and for taking the time to smell the flowers on a very special girls day!