Monday, September 2, 2019

That Handmade Touch

It's been a crazy start for school this year thanks to a flock of unwelcome germs that descended on our house just days after we started classes. Bunny was the first to get sick, followed closely by Bear. I thought for sure that we were finished with it all after making it through last week with no new symptoms until Mouse came down with a fever last night...just in time for her birthday next weekend, of course. She's devastated at the thought of missing out on all the fun we've planned, and I'm trying to get her over this as quickly as possible.

The only thing that made her eyes light up was the sight of this bag that I made over the weekend. I've known my friend Svetlana for so many years now, all the way back to when I first started blogging and sewing. She has such a clear sense of her own style; I can look at a project in my Instagram feed and instantly know that it's hers even before I see the name. Her new book That Handmade Touch is so perfectly her from beginning to end, full of useful projects that are beautiful yet simple.

I chose to make the On-the-Go Project Bag, mostly because I can never have enough of this sort of bag in my life. It's a sturdy bag in a great size that will be perfect for carrying all sorts of things. The leather handles are a nice touch, and I love the drawstring opening. I used linen and canvas for both the exterior and lining, and to keep the bag soft yet structured, I used batting, which has become my favorite interfacing these days.

The only changes I made to the pattern were to box the lower corners instead of folding them up and to make the handles just a bit wider. I really like that it includes an inside slip pocket as well for corralling small things, always helpful for someone like me who is constantly digging in the bottom of her purse for that one thing I can't find.

I'll be perfectly honest with you, friends: this bag was going to be mine. I had every intention of using it for travelling sewing projects this year, and I was looking forward to all the adventures we were going to take together, this bag and I. And then I saw Mouse's eyes when she saw me carrying it into the family room. "Are those llamas?" she asked excitedly. And I knew I just couldn't keep this one to myself.

So I've decided that this will be the gift bag for Mouse's birthday present from all of us. My daughter is obsessed with three things these days: llamas, swimming, and Disney's Zorro television show from the 1950's. I used to watch reruns on the Disney channel when I was a kid (Zorro and Davy Crockett were my heroes back then), and I've loved sharing it with my girls. We've managed to watch a few episodes on YouTube and the old Sign of Zorro movie on Amazon, which is really just clips from the first season all put together. Happily, I was able to find a set of dvds from the first and second seasons on Ebay that wouldn't clean out our bank account, and I'll tuck those into this bag so that we can give it to her on Sunday.

I can't wait to see her face.


  1. Very sweet bag, and I love that your daughter obviously will enjoy using it. I've made two of this pattern and it's one of my faves!

  2. You are right that Svetlana has a definite form of style, and it is lovely. I have the book, and now I need to think about making one of those bags. Happy Birthday to Mouse! I hope she is feeling better soon. I made a llama mini quilt recently that she would love. Easy pattern too!

  3. What a lovely bag! I am a huge fan of SOTAK patterns, I've made the Denver Tote which is somewhat similar, and I think I need to get this book. I love that her patterns are to the point, described accurately, and super easy to follow. Could you please let me know what fabrics you used? I need those llamas!

    1. Yes, Svetlana is AMAZING! You can find that llama fabric right here at Sunny Day Supply: It's absolutely adorable, and they have plenty of other prints you'll love too!

  4. Happy birthday to Mouse! I have made items that were then claimed by children. It makes a momma's heart smile. And now you can make yourself another one!

  5. Very sweet handbag! Llama and merry green))) So pleasant!


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