Friday, April 26, 2013

A tote bag for a friend...

I do love some paper-piecing and lately that is pretty much all I'm doing, so when a birthday of a dear friend came up, I decided I wanted to make something for her that also involved paper-piecing. The decision fell onto a tote bag and on my hunt for pretty patterns I found the website of Claudia Hasenbach.

She's got amazing variety of paper-pieced patterns that she has created and I immediately fell in love with several of them. Especially as she's selling them at an extremely cheap prize. Each single pattern is only $2.00!

Since I had already decided on a tote bag and tote bag are usually 'green' since you're using them to not need any plastic bags, I picked the Dandelion pattern (if you scroll down her page you can find it) and then got to work.

I only just started paper-piecing at the beginning of this year, so a pattern with 12 parts was a first for me, but luckily all the piecing went fine, even if it took me hoursssssss to finish! :|
But then, just as I was done with it and ironed over it the final time, I noticed that something wasn't looking quite right.

Do you notice how the one leaf doesn't attach to the stem and how the stem looks weird? That's because I used a piece of blue fabric where there should've been green for the stem... grumble, mumble, swear!

After the intial 'I'm going to bang my head against a wall and bin this $*&!' thoughts, I sat down and tried to applique a piece of green fabric on top. An hour later I decided that made it look even worse. The only options left where unpicking most of the block...or fabric paint. I'm sure you know which option I picked and so I tried to mix a colour close to the fabric I used for the stem but couldn't get it to look quite as close, so painted not only the blue part but the whole stem in the end, then also added some white dandelion seeds and voila. If you don't know there was wrong fabric there to begin with, you probably won't even notice it...I hope.

After spending a whole day fiddling just with that block alone, I gave myself a break and then sewed the tote bag this afternoon, which makes this now my 3rd tote bag in under half a year.

For the outside fabric I used some low volume fabric with a small lady bug print, that was given to me by my friend Christine. I thought this fabric really complemented the whole eco them very well.
On the inside I used simple cream coloured fabric, that I once bought in bulk, because I do so much with it.
And I used one of the fancy stitches on my singer machine to make the handles look less boring. That leaf embroidery looks just too cute!

Then after taking pictures of this bag, I started to develop this CRAZY idea in my head. More on this in a separate post ;)

xx Lia


  1. That's a such a lovely pattern, I didn't even notice in the first place! Good save! I like to try and come up with solutions that don't involve unpicking as well.

  2. Lia - you are my kind of girl. They say that necessity is the mother of invention so your decision to paint the fabric to fix the stem/leaf problem is terrific. And it allowed you to add the dandelion fluffs which I think are absolutely charming! Your paper piecing is amazing!


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