I imagine that when most people receive an invitation to a bridal shower the words that come to mind are something along the lines of “registry” or “mimosas” or “party games.” Sound about right, yes? Not me though.
When I got an invitation to my lovely friend Amanda’s bridal shower, the first word (ok, words) that popped into my mind were “fabric shopping!”
Hmmm, now that I type that out it sounds a little self-serving….oops. But I digress.
Amanda is a woman very dedicated to her career in social justice (really, I am humbled by her, as is everyone else I know) and she just accepted a new job that requires her to travel a fair amount. She’s also very dedicated to her workouts, so I sensed an opportunity there. What if I made her some travel bags to help keep her suitcase organized, or better yet, to hold her wet workout clothes on those days she hit the gym but also had to fly home? Because who wants to stuff stinky wet cotton and lycra into their suitcase? Ewwww.
Inspired by a wet bag that someone made me that I absolutely LOVE (In fact I love it so much I don’t dare put my bathing suit inside it – it’s embroidered Liberty for goodness sake! Instead I use it for toting my crochet projects around.), I decided to make one of the same for her, along with some shoe bags and a cosmetics pouch.
I was lucky because a year or so ago Amanda had commissioned me to make her a zippered bag to keep her purse organized, so I had a good idea of the colors and patterns that she liked. So with that in mind, I shopped for fabrics.
The lining of the wet bag is called PUL (polyurethane laminate) and it’s generally used for lining cloth diapers. It’s widely available online or at JoAnns, but it doesn’t come in a large range of colors, which is why I ended up using the exact same fabric that my bag is made from. But happily, the hot pink color worked fine with the outer fabric I chose.
I used the gold print fabric to make two shoe bags, which have a neat twist. I made the drawstring out of the same print as the wet bag, and the drawstring has a fabric slider on it to keep the bag securely closed. I loved that little extra touch because it allowed me to use three different fabrics on the bag, giving the set a more coordinated look without having to piece the main bag.
The final piece in the set is a quilted and monogrammed bag. I played and played and played around with the design on the front until it finally occurred to me to tilt the oval diagonally.
I love how the angle of the oval corresponds with the curly tail on the letter A (I’ll admit that took me a while to figure out – I couldn’t get the oval to look right and it didn’t immediately occur to me to slant it). I used the same waterproof pink lining in the bag as well.
All together I think they make a great gift, and I’m happy to say that Amanda loved it.
And even better, everything, including the card I made her, totally coordinated with her wedding theme – teal!
I call that a win on all accounts!
If you’re interested in making any of these bags yourself, here are the tutorials I used, all of which are beginner-friendly: