Believe it or not, there *are* children in this town that still do not have a birthday bag and pencil roll from me. And two of them had birthdays this weekend.
It took me the first 10 or 15 sets to really work out a cutting system for these (slow learner, obviously). But now that I've got it down, they go together pretty fast.
Would you like me to share the cutting system?
Here it is:
From the bag fabric:
- Fold fabric in half, selvage to selvage and then in half again.
- Cut a 4 inch strip from one end. Cut this very long strip in half and these will be your two straps. (Either sew and turn them or press under seam allowance and fold in half and top-stitch.)
- Cut a 15 inch strip the entire width of the fabric.
- Unfold fabric and cut a 14x14 square off one end. The square will be the backing for the pencil roll. The rest will be the outer bag fabric.
From the lining fabric:
- Repeat the 15 inch strip cutting and the 14x14 inch square. This will be the pencil roll lining and the bag lining.
Additionally, you will need a pocket for the interior of the bag (completely optional - and if you need help, look to Autum's slip pocket tutorial) and a 8x14 rectangle which you fold in half to make a 4x14 rectangle out of either the outer bag fabric or some third coordinating fabric.
I like to have at least 3 stripes of fabric on the front of the bag, so I usually cut a narrow strip of the lining fabric and some 3rd fabric which I sew to the 15x30 rectangle, then trim the main bag fabric back to 15x30. It doesn't need to be real precise. Just so long as your lining and outer fabrics end up the same size.
For the pencil roll sewing, I basically follow Cindy's crayon roll tutorial, except I make my pockets smaller. The first one is about an inch and the rest are 3/4. I always use Crayola Erasable colored pencils. They come in boxes of 12 and those measurements allow for 12 colored pencils, 1 drawing pencil and a small pocket at the end for an eraser and pencil sharpener. I put the tie or elastic loop at that end.
Follow Angela's tote bag tutorial, only I don't box out the bottom. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
The only thing that makes my tote bags different from anyone else is the embroidery. They always get a name. Sometimes much more.
So the first birthday party was at 4:45 on Friday, immediately following our Brownie meeting. Zianna said her favorite color was pink. Okay. Pink I can do.
Dhruv said his favorite color was red. Lookie there. I have the very same stash fabric in red. And I made a bag a few years ago for Dhruv's sister, Riddhi, in the yellow colorway. Woo hoo! Dhruv just turned 4, is of Indian descent and has a family that I love. (Hi, Lakshmi!) He also reminds me of a little bull elephant, thus the embroidery. I googled a coloring page and went from there.
Now who else needs a bag, because I'm on a little roll?