So, I got inspired today to do some serious Christmas preparations and start making the not-more-cookies gift we give to family and friends around the holidays. This year, we're giving bottles of wine in handmade wine totes, which is what I began making today.
The pattern was inspired by a free craft idea from Jo-Ann Fabrics, and I altered it to fit the season by choosing gray felt with red embroidery. The construction is pretty simple; cut two 13.5"x9" rectangles, two 4.5" circles, and one 4" cardboard circle. Sew one of the rectangle pieces on the 9" side, then sew one of the felt circles to the bottom. The second rectangle pieces is lining. So, you sew that up the 9" side and place it inside the constructed piece. Finally, glue the last felt circle to the cardboard circle, stick it in the bottom and voila! You're done sewing.
Next step is to embroider, which I don't have much experience. You Tube is a great source for "how too's," and that's where I learned how to do the blanket stitch used on the handles and around the top. The handles are two 12"x1" pieces of felt stacked and blanket stitched all around. You can either glue or sew the handles to the tote.
The embroidery is going to take a while, but while I'm doing that I can brainstorm what to embellish the sides of the tote with. Martha Stewart's has templates free to download. Maybe I'll find some Christmas-y template and cut out something in felt? I don't know. Post a comment if you have an idea, please.
In total, I sewed 8 totes today, a day well spent. Since I'm so ahead of plan, maybe I'll make wine-glass charms to go with them!? That will have to come after the coat I'm knitting for Livvy, the two handbags I'm making for gifts, not to mention the long list of other craft ideas I have for presents...
I'll post more pics as I put the finishing touches on the wine totes. What are you making for your not-more-cookies gift this year? Post a comment. I'd love to know!