I've done something very girl-scouty - it involved square pieces of fabric, knots, and reusing materials I had on hand. I picked up the new Blueprint magazine, which is from Martha Stewart's company but aimed at a just-starting-out crowd. The magazine ("design your life!") was a fun read - lots of nice pictures, good recipes, some good ideas, although I'm bemused at the breeziness of its internal contradictions. For every cheery, inexpensive idea or project there's a $400 dress or $1000 rug; let's just say that I (or any other of my just-starting-out friends) won't be needing the bonus sofa buying guide anytime soon. Part of me likes the magazine a lot for the simple, easy-to-use ideas - the other part thinks it's really inculcating aspirational consumerism under the guise of personal style and design.
But, anyway. I used one of their ideas to make these:
This was the first one - the blue fabric is the sheet I liberated from the dumpster behind the campus theater a few summers ago, and I found the handkerchief in a thrift store here for a time. Rip, tie, and wham! A super easy bag. I applied the handkerchief after tying the handles in to make sure it was in an attractive place.
This is the second one I made. My friend Grace and I made cookies Sunday night together, and broke out my fabric boxes and started "improving" the idea. This one uses bangle bracelets for handles, and I lined the vintage garage-sale coneflower fabric with the same blue fabric I used for the other bag. This one's cute and little - good for my wallet and phone and grocery list. Grace made a larger one in purple and white.
I was thinking about my time as an undergrad on Mother's Day, too, especially when Grace and I were doing the minimal sewing that these bags required. You wrote about the trips back and forth - I was thinking about the semester that I wasn't doing well. I was unhappy, and you knew it, and you and Dad were worried about me. You sent me back from a break with this:
Your sewing machine. I'm tearing up now thinking about all the love that this sewing machine represents.
I love you,