For the last few years I have sewn gifts for teachers ...... purely for selfish reasons - on a balance I would prefer to spend my time deciding between fabrics rather than deciding between chocolates or mugs!!
When I need sewing patterns for gifts, one of my favourite sites is sew4home.com. The picture for the Airstream Travel Bag turned up in an e-mail from them very recently and it seemed like the perfect teacher gift. It's particularly suitable for my son's teacher who has told the class about some of her trips to Dubai & America.
My fabric and ribbon choices are very different to the original, and I made some alterations to the pattern.
Firstly I added a flower brooch to the outside. This brooch is a pattern I have been testing and proof-reading for an English translation 'Sew Snappy' of a Dutch sewing pattern book 'Zo Geknipt' which will be launched in Oct 2016.
I omitted the piping from the pattern, which if you have time, is a good addition as it helps provide structure to the bag. Instead, I topstitched the inside binding to the outer curves, with stitching on the outside and this worked perfectly.
The third main change was to fully line the inside. The pattern indicates that the base and zipper portion should only be lined, but it is very straightforward to cut extra front and back pieces and then bind them inside.
My daughter had 3 teachers this year and I wanted a pattern for their gifts that would be faster to sew. Her year had two teachers who were job-sharing and then another who just did maths with her class. Interestingly this worked very well, better than what could be imagined. The pattern I chose is also from sew4home.com.
Most of the fabric, binding and ribbons are from my stash. The outer corduroy is from a European fabric company Stenzo. The bindings are Japanese from superbuzzy.com (a shop with all things Japanese that I wish I had shares in!) and the 'chocolate and turquoise' spotted ribbon is from Jane Means.
I can't describe fully how easy this gift is, to sew. The most time-consuming part is sewing the lines for the pockets.
Another version of the same pattern, this time with a flower brooch ( I enthusiastically sewed a few of these brooches, in my testing of the Sew Snappy pattern!)
The inside fabrics are an oilcloth bought locally and the quilting cotton pocket fabric is Heather Bailey.
I would sew these for all the teachers every year if it was possible, but the children sometimes have teachers for more than one year. Maybe if I passed them off or label them as pen holders or pencil holders or cutlery holders instead of Make-up Brush holders, it might work!!!
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