I’m terrible about gifts. Well intentioned. But I’m eternally optimistic about how much time I have left until Hanukah/Christmas/birthday/etc. So it’s only natural that I ended up finishing my mom’s holiday gift this February.
I wanted to make her something because while I make plenty of stuff for people, she never seems to get any of it. Well, I guess I’ve made her several aprons, but otherwise, not much. I know she likes using reusable bags when grocery shopping and I love my New Leaf Totes that I made almost 6 years ago and they’ve held up great. Still looking as good as the day I made them (well, assuming they’ve been washed recently). This seemed like a great gift.
For the fabric I used a bundle of 1/2 hard cuts of Honeysweet by Fig Tree & Co. that I got about a year and a half ago from someone destashing on Instagram. There were 12 different prints in three colorways. The prints were the quaint but modern style that I knew she’d like (plus, if she didn’t like them, then I’d be happy to have them). I used Kona cotton in bone for the inside lining. Here are the color combos I went with:
The bags went together quite smoothly. The pattern is the New Leaf Folding Totes by Heather Bailey. It’s a great pattern. Well written with very clear instructions and good diagrams. Everything fits like it should. No fudging pieces together. I highly recommend using pinking shears to trim the curved part of the pocket before turning inside out. And overall really recommend the pattern.
One change I made was using 1.25” wide twill for the handles and just overlaying one of the handle pieces (with sides folded under) on it and top stitching. The resulting handle width is the same. I liked the slightly more rustic look the twill gave it to go with the fabrics. It was much faster (turning the handles inside out is one of the only parts I don’t like about this pattern because it takes forever and this also meant no interfacing on the long handles). And I think it may actually be a bit sturdier. I will definitely do this again for this bag pattern in the future.
I didn’t bother making the little tote sash because I was pretty sure my mom would never use it, assuming she even folded the totes back up.
She totally loved them and I’m just hoping she does actually use them because she said they’re almost too nice to use for grocery shopping. I tried to reassure her that if she ever messed them up (which would be hard because they’re pretty sturdy), I’d make her new ones. Not sure I convinced her . . . 😛