i’m totes excited about my post today – TOTES! and look, so is my little sister, Laura!
Laura has been wanting to learn how to sew, so i asked if she might want to tackle a project from Simple Sewing by Katie Lewis of The Red Kitchen with me for this book review. she was excited to! Laura chose the fabric and sewed this tote all by herself using the book, with my guidance (mostly tips on how to cut fabric, work my machine, etc.).
i think her bag turned out great and isn’t she the cutest?
the fabric is confetti sparkle in navy, courtesy of Dear Stella (available online here). i had some leftover from my Everyday Skirt and Laura gravitated to it.
she lined the tote with a navy twill, also from my stash, which gives the bag some nice structure. smart thinking, girl. i added medium-weight interfacing to the handles to give them a bit more substance, since i can’t stand it when handles get all bunched up over time.
here’s Laura sewing! yay!
we had a great time. Simple Sewing has the byline “30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners” which is totally accurate. it’s the perfect book for someone just learning to sew, where everything is brand new. the projects are fun and practical, the instructions are clear with step-by-step photos, and there is a low intimidation factor – nothing would be too difficult for a beginner to tackle. it’s a book full of confidence-builders!
Laura chose the basic tote bag as her project. some of my very first sewing projects (4 years ago) were tote bags that i learned out of a book, and it’s a great practical starter sew. i love that the tote bag in Simple Sewing is lined!
her fabric choice really shines, and a basic, functional object is now special because of the taste of the person sewing it.
i believe there’s a feeling of power and confidence that comes from being able to MAKE things, ya know? if you sew, embroider, knit, crochet, craft, build, cook, bake, decorate…it all leads to this sense of accomplishment and ability that’s pretty cool. for me, being able to help pass those the skills i’ve gained along to someone else (with the help of the right resource) makes me feel extra super good.
Laura was so happy with her basic tote experience, she actually wants us to have regular sewing time together. dream come true!
if you’re an experienced sewer, Simple Sewing would be a great gift for that person in your life that’s always saying “i wish i could sew!” – maybe include some fabric or a few sessions of personal sewing lessons to get them started? or if YOU are that person that reads sewing blogs and wish you could do this too – NOW IS YOUR TIME!
you can pick up a copy of Simple Sewing at the following retailers:
OR, you could enter to WIN one!
to win a copy of the book Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners by Katie Lewis, click through the link below to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway (open to US residents only, sorry!):
> > > CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY < < <
a big thanks to my sister Laura for joining me for an afternoon of sewing and for being such a fun model! also, you can check out Caila’s adorable bean bags and Taylor’s holiday placemats and enter to win the book over at their blogs, too!
*i was given a copy of the book to review at no charge. my opinions are my own. this post totes contains Amazon affiliate links.
16 thoughts on “sparkle tote bag: book review & giveaway”
Thanks, Kristin! I feel motivated to set up my sewing machine again and get started!
Yay Laura! What an accomplishment! Congrats! How neat to be able to lend your expertise, Kristin! An all-around, incredibly awesome sisterly effort. Let’s celebrate with a SNO!!!
YES! It was a great team effort. Also YES on the SNO – I have a powerful unsatisfied Green Machine craving that’s been brewing for a few months now…
This is such a sweet post. I wish I lived close to the women in my family so we could have regular sewing time.
your sister’s smile totally steals the show! great tote too, of course! perfect first sewing project 🙂
aw! great job, mini-Kristin!
wonderful – sisterhood is powerful, she’s adorable! love the bag, love working together and having fun!
love these pics of your sister! she looks soo happy and proud! well done, Laura!
seriously! I’m so jealous. I always wanted a sister, and now you’ve upped it to a ‘sewing’ sister. You guys are awesome and the tote is just beautiful! Now you can proceed to take over the world, muah ha ha
Me too! I’m with Anna. I always wanted a seester. :)You are so lucky to have a sewing sister! And she is lucky to have YOU as her teacher. Does she know how amazing it is that she has frikking Skirt As Top for a sister? 😉
I’ll be your sewing sister, Anna! I want one too! Yay for another convert, and such a pretty one at that! She’ll be modeling her own creations in no time 😉
First of all, your sister is adorable. I never knew it before, but I need her whole outfit, along with that tote. Love it! Tell her she did a fantastic job. I love that you worked on this together. So fun!
Little sis is too cute! it would be such a fun perspective if she were are recurring guest blogger for you. Good luck learning Laura!
You guys should totes do a sister blog together 😉 She is so pretty! And I love how that fabric makes a simple tote bag look special, good taste. Gotta love anything with metallic dots!
Beautiful tote! And do so wish I could have fun sewing times with my sister, though sadly we live in different countries!
your sister is totes adorbs!