One of my colleagues, Tessa, is leaving our team at work, and I wanted to make her a leaving gift - so I decided to make her a "Jean's Tote Bag" using a pair of jeans that no longer fitted and were in my rag bag (and were freshly laundered!!) and a half metre of batik in these gorgeous autumnal tones which is just perfect for this time of the year!! As you can see in the picture below showing the lining, the straps have small leather tabs that are stitched to the inside of the bag at the same time...
...here are a couple of close-up pictures to show the leather handles - these are sewn onto the bag by hand after it is completed, and I've used a dark brown embroidery thread - and I used all six strands in one go, so it's really sturdy and can be used lots and lots. The binding at the top of the bag covers all the raw edges, and after machining into place, is folded over to the inside of the bag and slip-stitched into place by hand. Oh and yes, I added one of my labels to the side seam of the tote bag...
...and this shows the back of the bag - I quilted the back piece with a cross-hatch design, using a Top stitch needle size 70 and a King Tut quilting thread shade 936 that matches the colours of the batik lining perfectly...
...and finally - a picture of the front of the bag! You can see how I've cut the jeans to make full use of the pockets so they can be used too - the handles were a bit tricky to sew into place due to the thickness of the denim and the wadding (I used a double layer of Quilter's Dream cotton wadding select weight that I had leftover from other projects for this bag) and I needed plenty of huffing and puffing to get the needle through all the layers - thank goodness there were already tiny holes pre-punched in the handles and thank goodness for my thimble!! I gave this to Tessa last night at her "leaving do" (we all went for a fabulous meal at the White Hart at Otley) and she was really pleased with her gift!
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