Monday, July 15, 2013

My New Book Bag!

As I was sorting through my rather large collection of purses and bags the other week, I suddenly realized that I had no special book bag! Oh, I have totes and even a really big one from the Library of Congress, but it's too large to be carrying with me all the time. It's nice for big hauls to and from the library, but for everyday use? No thanks; I don't want to be hauling it with me all the time. Besides, anyone can buy it from the Library of Congress; I wanted a one-of-a-kind, specially crafted book bag designed by me

So I sat down and began to think: what did I want in my book bag? Well, it had to be able to hold at least two regular-sized books, a notebook, and pencil. It had to be easy to tote around, with a sturdy strap and a cover flap so the books couldn't get wet.. Most important, the material I used had to be bookish. At first I was going to locate some bookprint material and just do one panel. But then I thought: why not do a patchwork bag? I love fabric, and I can never choose just one print. And there are so many awesome book-related prints out there! Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter, newspapers, steampunk gears, owls, letters. And then there's things I like - cherries, teapots, masks (thought they have all appeared in books at one point, too, I'm sure). So the patchwork idea stuck.

I set out to buy my materials, and after a few days of frenzied sewing, I finished my beautiful bag. I will be the first to admit that I am rather surprised with the results. I'm a craft-orientated person and I can make a lot of awesome things when I put my mind to it. But sewing has always been one of the more challenging artistic pursuits for me. The sewing machine hates me, and while my handstitching is actually quite accomplished, there was no way I was going to handstitch this entire bag. Below is the finished product! What do you guys think? Was it a success?

Front of book bag. Yes, I embroidered the Sherlock Holmes silhouette myself.
The buttons, if you can't see clearly, are the Tudor Rose.
Some of my favorite books!

Back of the book bag. I couldn't believe I found Very Hungry Caterpillar material!
And Beatrix Potter!

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