My gift exchange gift

This month I took part in the handmade gift exchange over at craftaholics anonymous.
I love taking part in her gift exchanges, it is so fun to meet you gifting partner and think up what you want to make for them!

This time I was partnered up with Katherine from Ireland. I sent her an email about myself and think I like and got one back too. Reading through her email nothing jumped to mind to make so it took me awhile to get started but in the end this is what I made her.

I have to admit I took the basic peacock design from a postcard I have and made it all bright colours instead of the postcards teal and purple, and I also changed the tear drop shapes to circles because I wanted buttons, and round buttons looked stupid on tear drop shaped felt pieces, but if I wasn’t adding buttons I think I would have stuck with tear drops.

The tote is made of a sandy velvety feeling fabric, and the peacock is made from felt circles with buttons sewn on. I used a light blue cotton for the lining. It is a pretty big bag so you can keep lots in it, and my partner also likes to knit so I thought if she doesn’t use it as a handbag, she could use it to keep wool and stuff in!

To make it, I first cut out my tote pieces. I cut two pieces 35cm by 50cm and two the same size from the lining and interfacing, and then 2 pieces 10cm by 50cm for the handles. Then I cut out all the different sizes of felt circles, I did it freehand (because I was too lazy to draw around things). I then sketched on a piece of paper the design and used that to mark points on the bag to sew the lines. Once I did all the lines I sewed on the peacocks body, and the circles above her head. Then I machine sewed on each of the other circles, using my sketch as a guide on where I needed them to go. Once they were on  I sewed on each button.
Because my fabric was medium weight I added a layer of interfacing, but if you are smarter than me you do this before you sew on all the buttons, it is not easy to iron on top of buttons!!
Once that was done I constructed the bag like a general tote, adding 8cm box corners to it. If you have never made a tote before here are some great tutorials for it.

I also included some small extra gifts in with my package, some buttons, little felt purse and some Christmas decorations.

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