Thursday, April 24, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week and an Altered Quiltsmart Bitty Bag

Quiltsmart Bitty Bag with Straps

Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up quick, (May 5th- May 9th), and that is swiftly followed by Mother's Day(Sunday, May 11th)!  It can be tempting to grab your usual quick gift like a coffee gift card, or flowers.  But, this year, we're going to try to think the Quiltsmart way :)

Teachers deal with a lot!  They are a shoulder to cry on when mom and dad aren't there, disciplinarians, and germ catchers.  It's important that we show them just how appreciated they are.  Although, I would argue, we should do this year 'round, it's especially important to make their Teacher Appreciation Week special.  I truly believe, the most special gift one could receive is a handmade gift.  It doesn't get much more personal, or thoughtful than that.
Quiltsmart Bitty Bag
The Quiltsmart Bitty Bag was perfect for this inspiration because the fun pack comes with enough interfacing for 2 Bitty Bags, and they sew up very quickly.  I made a few alterations that I will illustrate below.  Feel free to use these ideas, or stick with the instructions that are included in the Bitty Bag fun pack.  Either way, you can easily gift them as is, or fill them with some great, useful items the teacher will enjoy.

The first thing you will probably notice on the Bitty Bag is the straps.  I added these to make it basically a smaller version of the Quiltsmart Midi Bag.  I wanted it to have the functionality of a purse or gift bag, while still requiring a small amount of fabric, and sewing up very quickly.

To make the straps, I cut fabric from the lining to 14"x4" and pressed in half once hot dog style, then pressed in half once more.  This resulted in (2) 14"x 1" straps.

I cut an additional piece of lining fabric, approx. 7"x7" for a pocket.  The top of this piece got folded down 1" and pressed, then folded down 1" again, pressed, and top stitched.  The other 3 sides were folded down 1" and pressed.  I then pinned them to the lining and stitched around the 3 sides.

I followed those steps with putting the lining and the bag together as per the instructions included in the fun pack, the only difference was the straps.  Those just fold down, out of the way.

 Because this bag is smaller, I did find it needed some kind of closure, so I added a quick strip of fabric with a button accent.  This closes easily with Velcro.  For the closure piece, I simply sewed together 2 of my leftover 2.5"x2.5" squares with a 1/4" seam allowance, then folded that piece in half right sides together, sewn with 1/4" seam allowance all the way around, leaving a small opening for turning.  I then turned this right side out, pressed and top stitched all the way around...  This was then attached to the back of the Bitty Bag with a zig zag stitch, and velcro was applied to the bottom of the front side.  I also attached velcro to the front of the Bitty Bag where this would meet.

Quiltsmart Bitty Bag Closure Tab
button closure on a Quiltsmart Bitty BagMattie had previously given me this really cool button for the Quiltsmart Tablet Tote Bag.  It feels like a polished stone or ivory.  I used that to cover the stitching marks from where I sewed on the Velcro.

The Quiltsmart Bitty Bag is now ready to gift as-is, or fill with great stuff your kid's or grandkid's teacher will love!

If you make one of your own, we want to see!  Contact us and send us your photos with a quick description of what you did and the fabric you used.

Happy Sewing! 

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