In my family, everyone’s a critic. Yes, everyone, including my mother. For someone like me, who dislikes being criticized, well, let’s just say my relatives make life interesting. A couple of years ago, I made an open patchwork tote bag for my mom out of three different fat quarter prints in bright pink, white and green. She uses it quite a bit, so she asked for a zipper.
While I knew I’d have a zipper I could use somewhere in my stash, the fat quarters were long gone. Still, that’s the beauty of patchwork. Just find a coordinating fabric, and you’re golden. No one will know the difference. The worst part was taking the seam ripper to those first stitches. So frustrating, having to rip up your work!
To begin, I had to construct an insert for the bag, so I could attach the zipper. Using a bold pink from my stash, I cut 4 strips of fabric 3″ wide.
Then, I decided to add a pocket for Mom’s cell phone as well. I measured Kevin’s phone, and then cut a strip of pink fabric twice as long. Basically, I just made an apron pocket, only a little smaller. While the bag was still torn apart, I stitched the contrasting pocket to the lining.
Finally, after sewing in the zipper, I attached the insert to the bias tape binding, and voila! The bag is cuter and more functional than ever. The zipper and cell phone pocket keep Mom’s belongings secure. After all, when you make someone a gift, you should be sure it’s exactly what she wants.