Another friend, another birthday gift, another blog post! I know, this is starting to get a little predictable. But I can’t help it – my friends are awesome and they all deserve handmade goods.
The other day, I was working on a project that wasn’t going well, so I gave myself a pep talk — “Lindsay, if this doesn’t work out, it’s okay. You can just buy a gift instead.” But my own brain immediately argued with itself. “No you can’t! ALL THE GIFTS MUST BE HANDMADE! ALL OF THEM!” Thats when I realized I had a problem. A gift-making problem.
But hey… there are worse problems to be had. And my friends sure aren’t complaining. 😉
Now on to the birthday gift post — today, we’re celebrating Morgan!
I met Morgan through friends I’ve previously mentioned — Joe and Chris. I’d met Morgan on a few short occasions just before we spent a week together on a trip to Disneyland. Nothing bonds a group like a trip to Disneyland… and especially a ride on the Mickey’s Fun Wheel swinging cars. EEK.
If there’s one thing I know about Morgan, it’s that she loves shopping! The very first time I met her, it was Thanksgiving Day. She came through the door carrying a stack of newspaper ads a mile high and proceeded to map out the entire Black Friday itinerary for the group based on the next morning’s sales. So when Morgan recently celebrated a milestone birthday, I knew my gift would be “right on the money” (ha… my lame attempt at a shopping pun) if I ran with the shopping theme.
And in a shocking twist of events (just kidding – I’m so predictable!), I turned to my favorite book, One Yard Wonders. And that is when I discovered the collapsible shopping tote.
The bag is cute and sturdy, but the best part is that it rolls up in a small, compact bundle that you can easily keep in your car or purse.
When you need a bag, just untie and ta-da! A bag! This is what the collapsible shopping tote looks like. The pattern calls for just one yard of fabric (hence the title, One Yard Wonders) – but I only had a small amount of the ladybug fabric on hand, which I definitely wanted to use since I know Morgan likes ladybugs. So I found a workaround to incorporate two different fabrics into the bag.
To roll it up, just fold the bag in half lengthwise so the handles are together, and then fold handles toward the bottom of the bag. Fold each side of the bag in towards the middle, then sort of roll it up and use the ties to hold it closed.
I made my own bias tape for this project! Homemade bias tape is so much cuter than store-bought. I love, love, love the way the bias tape looks on this bag. I think it’s my favorite part!
One pretty cool thing about this bag is that it has french seams, so even though the bag isn’t lined, there aren’t any ugly “raw” seams inside. It’s a pretty neat technique that I had read about, but never actually incorporated into a project. Even though it’s an extra step, I think I’m addicted! So fancy.
Morgan put the bag to use right away at her birthday party, using it to carry a pile of birthday presents and other goodies when we were leaving the restaurant. Seeing the overflowing bag made me pretty nervous – how terrible would it be if the seams just burst open right there on Disney’s Boardwalk, sending all of Morgan’s presents to the ground, just seconds after everyone had been “oooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” over my handiwork? But then I remembered the french seams and knew the bag was equipped to hold lots of stuff! Thank you, french seams, for saving Morgan’s presents and my sanity!
I really love this bag – and I have a feeling that it will be making some more appearances around Christmastime. 😉