One of my favorite things to make is the bookish tote bag. It's so simple but it can do so much. Not only is it the perfect library bag, and holds books like a champ, it is perfect for everyday life.
Think how useful it would be to have a cute, personalized bag to take to the library, the grocery store, piano lessons, dance class, soccer practice, school, Starbucks, sitting in the car waiting on someone. That's what makes it so good!
Having 2 teenagers, I'm always in the car. I keep my bag filled with books, sketchbook, planner, sometimes my computer and all of the other essentials in case I have time on my hands. And it gives me something productive to choose instead of picking up my phone for the 50th time that day.
We can overlook our accessories and their importance. Our bags are work horses; they are practical, useful, reflect our personalities and complement our style. It is another way to express ourselves, just as the right shoes, earrings or a scarf would do.
When my kids were little I made us each tote bags for our weekly trips to the library. They lasted us for years. This bag's design was inspired by a bag that belonged to my grandmother. She had a simple tote that she used to take when she had recorder practice at her church (she was about 70 yrs old at the time-a lifelong learner), I love that memory of her :).
I love the simple design of these bags; clean lines, plenty of room, not too big, not too small and no pockets. I decided that while pockets are great for dresses and skirts, in bags they tend to collect too many random objects and they can get in the way of sliding in books. For smaller objects I recommend adding a small zipper pouch or mini drawstring bag.
I choose fabrics that are natural fibers, like cotton and linen. Patterns and colors are fresh, timeless, feminine, and vintage-inspired. And a lightweight interfacing is added for extra durability. These bags last a long time and can be machine washed and tumble dried to keep clean.
Don't forget to add your monogram!! Personalize your bag with your own 1-3 letter monogram, your name, nickname or even a descriptive word or short phrase. I hand embroider each one using my own handwriting as a guide. It's a subtle but sweet addition to making this your own unique tote.
These make great gifts! Girls love to have personalized, unique accessories, and they are always on the go: school, library, church, sports practices, dance, music lessons, babysitting jobs, art class, sleepovers, trips in the car, visits to grandma's house. Make sure they have what they need to take with them in a cute tote bag, that reflects their personality and style. (You could even get matching ones!)
The only thing better than owning one of these bookish totes is owning a complete set by adding complimentary zipper pouches and drawstring bags. You can mix or match and personalize each one.
I can't wait to make one for you! What would your bag say?