Saturday, June 09, 2012

Week 23 or Book Bags

This is a set of two bags inspired by two blogs.

One is Make It Do, which is built around the premise of "use it up, wear it out, or make it do." She has posts about making things, be they food or fiber, and doing things with her family and friends, be it enjoying the outdoors or reading a great book. Recently she made book bags for her kids' teachers as end of the year presents. She had her daughters embroider their teacher's name on a strip of fabric and then she worked it into a book bag. Her son must not be into embroidery because his teacher got stars on her bag. They are very practical, appropriate and hopefully unlikely to end up in the trash next year when someone gives them another. My father was a teacher for 30 years. I have witnessed the rotation of the #1 Teacher mugs. It's not a pretty sight.

The other blog is The Purl Bee. It's not on my daily rotation yet, but maybe it will be. I referenced her tutorial last week, having found it just after posting a bag that could have been made using it. Someone at Craft Gossip must follow her, because her last two posts were both on there. She gives instructions on how to make a lined bag.

Everyone on Facebook is posting about the end of the school year, either that it has already passed or the anticipation. Last year we waited for ever to get out of school. We had about 52 snow days to make up and the school department was negotiating with teachers as to whether they'd rather give up April vacation or summer vacation. We ended up in class until June 30th. This year it's only the 20th. As a stay at home mom, summer vacation is a mixed blessing. It's nice not to have the daily hassle of getting the kids up and out the door and all the other school related minutiae, but now I have 10 weeks of "I'm bored" to look forward to. OK, 8 weeks because they'll be in camp for 2, but still. I'm not rushing the end of school.

So it's early June and while I've been very good about helping out on field trips and PTC stuff and district turnaround issues, I haven't really made anything for the teachers themselves this year. And there's this blog monster to feed, too. Each classroom at the girls' school has a bag. I have no idea what's in it, but they're all the same and the classes are rarely without them. Sometimes the teachers carry them and sometimes it's the students.

I made new ones with the teacher's name embroidered on them. Not heart-melting embroidery done by the hand of a thankful child, but rainbow machine embroidery, just because I can. I put on short handles as well as a long strap. I had thought it would be a shoulder strap, but I pulled an Alexa and just used what was on hand without measuring. So they're really long and can be used across the body like a messenger bag. Except that they've got a portrait orientation instead of landscape. Oh well. Those teachers are smart and can figure it out. Plus I'll be around if they want alterations.

Each bag is lined. One with the embroidery of the teacher's name that didn't turn out well and was oriented in the wrong direction anyway. The other with some lovely butterfly material. The long straps are anchored with more of the same, and I even managed to get the stripes to match up, which pleased me immensely. That little thing sticking out is my label. Even after 22 bags, I still forget to put the labels in the optimal position.

On top of being sturdy and a practical size, they're machine washable and can be used about town if the teachers decide not to replace their standard bags.

Have a great summer vacation, whenever it comes. I'll still be here behind the sewing machine and computer, when I'm not at the playground, beach, museum or library with the kids.


Susanna Baird said...

The bags are awesome and I am hoping for weekly pops.

Alexa said...

I'll definitely keep you updated on the Parnassa Pops hours. This week, the only days I'm "free", and I use that term loosely, after school are Monday and Tuesday. Which also happen to be predicted to be the warmest days of the week.

Pam said...

WOW!!! A bag a week for a year... you are almost half way. These two bags are great! Love the way you've put a short handle as well as the long strap. Feel free to link up any of your bags at our ongoing linky that's just for Bags and Totes...