Quick and Simple Gift Idea: Decorated Shopping Tote

The kids decorated this bag together the other day for a friend’s birthday. It’s a shopping tote that zips into pouch-shape so you can store it in your purse and have it handy. Here in Germany pretty much everybody has re-useable totes because you have to pay extra for grocery bags.

The bag comes from dharma trading, which has a ton of other bag options for very reasonable prices. I think you can get some blank totes at Michael’s, too, but maybe not the lightweight zipper kind like this. The kids used Sharpies because we couldn’t find our Tee Juice markers, but I would recommend the fabric markers because the colors will wear better.

Here’s the back:

I thought it turned out really well.

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Jordy Diaper Bag and Pad

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Here’s an item I made recently, starting out with McCall’s pattern 5339 but ending up with something quite different. It’s a diaper pad with what was supposed to be a detachable zippered pack for wipes and diapers. The pattern and instructions were just awful to follow. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the zippered part, so after I made the diaper pad (out of this luscious Malden Mills fleece, backed with the bag fabric), I made up a Jordy bag with pockets. I’m pretty happy with the results, but I’m steering clear of McCall’s in the future.

After running my vintage sewing machine into the ground, I finally got a new one (thanks mom and dad!) that runs much more smoothly. It’s an Italian machine, a Necchi, and I love it. It’s simple, built like a tank, nice and heavy like a sewing machine should be. I also love that I can run over to Himebaugh’s (where I bought it) anytime I need some instruction on how to use it. The people there are great.