Last week I received a note from June asking me to send her the last page of the Professional Tote pattern as she had lost hers. I sent it to her and she thanked me and said “When I have completed the bag, I will send you a picture and the story behind how my sister and I came to make your tote.”
That sparked my interest as I always love to hear sewing stories, but what a story it is. I am so proud of June for finishing this tote as I’m sure it was a bitter sweet journey. Here is June’s story:
“I finished. Yeah!!! I will try to keep my story short.
I was separated from my siblings at a young age. After 45 years, in 1995, I found my twin sisters and brother. Our times together have all been wonderful even though we live in different parts of the country. Two years ago, I was visiting my sisters in Albuquerque and my sister Marcia and I were at a fabric shop and picked out your tote pattern and at once challenged each other to see who would finish first. Each time we talked, we laughed so much over how long it was taking us and asking ourselves why we didn’t pick something easy. Well, my sister finished first, a year after our purchase. Sadly, my sister Marcia passed away suddenly in September of 2012. Since that time I was intent on completing the project and will be mailing my bag to my sister Brenda, who is Marcia’s twin. We will share fond memories over our pretty totes. I have attached pictures. My sister made the pretty black and white one with butterflies. She even cut individual butterflies and added them here and there. Real sweet.
Thank you, again for helping me.”
Thank you to June for allowing me to share her wonderful story.
Hello, A few years ago I made your professional tote for my daughter who is an elementary school teacher. She had asked me to make her a new school bag and your pattern fit all of her needs for sections and pockets…she just loves it and uses it every day…so much so that the handles have frayed through to the batting… The rest of the bag is in very good shape, and she wants me to “fix” the handles…Short of taking the entire bag apart, would you have any suggestions as to how to repair/reinforce the handles? Many thanks, Marianne
As a matter of fact, I do have a solution to your worn handles. You will need four 1″ D rings or Rectangle rings and new handle material. Cut off the old handles about 2 to 3 inches above the front and back pockets. Discard the cut off worn handles and either make new fabric handles or match the webbing that you originally used and cut them about 2 or 3″ longer than the discarded handles. Fold over the cut end of one of the shortened handles that is still attached to the tote around a 1″ D or rectangle “ring” and sew the raw edges with a satin zigzag stitch. This will encase the ring onto the shortened handle. Repeat that for the remaining 3 handles.
Take one of the new handles and fold an end around one of the rings and stitch in place the same way you sewed the shortened handles. Sew the other end of that handle to the ring next to the first one. Repeat with the 2nd handle on the other side of the tote. It will look like the handles on my new pattern, the Mini Professional Tote.
Many thanks, I will try that…