Blue bags and the doomed fate of the birthday shirt

Remember this shirt? It’s a striped shirt that I made for my husband’s birthday a few months ago. Look at how comfortable and casual it looked. Well, the shirt has changed, in fact, it has transformed into this hideous thing!

Please excuse my husband’s pose, but it was his own brilliant idea in order to present a clearer view of the deformed shape. Somehow the body of the shirt has shortened while the width is still the same. Then the armholes have shrunken so it looks like he’s wearing puffed sleeves T.T

Maybe I chose the wrong fabric. But it’s organic cotton knit! Or maybe it should be washed by hand only. I don’t know. I was pretty disappointed, especially because the shirt was his birthday present. But my husband said he loves it anyway and will keep wearing it. Aww ♥♥♥. Of course I won’t allow him wearing the shirt outside the house.

Anyway, Sidra caught a pretty bad cold and couldn’t go to school for a whole week. And when he was beginning to recover, the virus was transferred to the caretaker aka me, so then it was my turn to wake up coughing at night.

But today I finally felt better,  and managed to finish this set of bags for my sister. She wanted a shopping bag and lunch bag that she can carry easily.  I also made a tote bag, she’s a teacher so she can use it for her books. The bags are made from a single piece of cotton tablecloth that I found in a nearby thrift shop. I love finding new uses of thrifted stuff!

The shopping bag has a pair of straps and a big pocket, the bottom is tucked before the sides are sewed. The lunch bag has tucked bottom too, a pair of straps, and drawstrings to keep the lunch safe. The tote bag is just a simple rectangle bag with only one straps. I filled all the straps loosely with rolls of dacron batting to give them a soft and fluffy appearance. Then I put an iron-on little fish on each bag because my sister likes fish image. I don’t know why.

I’m kinda satisfied with these bags but also a bit worried whether she’ll like them or not. Well, they will be sent tomorrow, and I hope she’ll be happy when she opens the package ^.^

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  • i love your style Novita, i love the blue dress you wore with tight legging ~ hugs

  • nofa

    I had the same problem with a shirt I made for myself. If you want to know how I made it..75% better..just let me know and I will give you instructions.

    • verypurpleperson

      Err.. thanks but no thanks.

  • nofa

    I loved the shirt “before” version alot. I sew alot and even went to tailorng school for a short while. One thing I learned that has been a God send to me is this. Always wash your fabric (velvet, wool, cotton, silk, etc..) the way you will be washing it after it is made. Cotton for example should be washed in warm water (or hot) and if you will be putting it in the dryer after it is made, then do so. I sometimes wash it twice (this of course takes the newest out of it but you will be happy you did this later when it doesn’t shrink several sizes smaller..) Did you prewash the material for the shirt you made your husband? You need to ask the fabric store when buying fabric for care instructions..they are required to give you this information..if not shop elesewhere it is not worth the good money and time you spend on any project to have it ruined when it comes “wash” time.

    The bags you made were very imaginative, innovative and practical. Anyone would love to receive such a lovely and thoughtful gift. Next time you make these bags I would suggest (just a suggestion) to experiment with the handles. If you want them a little puffy that is nice but you need to make them so they don’t twist and turn. Use some iron on batting that is cut the width of your handles and if you want it to really stand out then top stitch a few rows lenghtwise to give it texture/contrast (use longest stitch on your sewing machine with either matching or a contrast color of thread this will make the handle stand out and make it unique). Sometime for fun I take several strands of embroidery floss and with a crewel needle take big stitches lenghtwise as if I was tacking down a quilt and it always gets compliments. And eveyone know automatically that it was handmade with Love..

    • verypurpleperson

      Oh wow thank you for all the suggestions!
      Anyway, the handles of the bags are supposed to be twisted and turned. I think that’s fun.

  • janey


    I just found your blog and loved your post about your wedding and the pics that go with it!! Then I continued reading back and I love these bags and I’m sure your sister will adore them they look so fresh and attractive. I particularly like your lunch bag idea, I’m always needin something to take my lunch in so I may try and fashion something similar.

    I think you are a very talented lady and I shall keep reading your blog!

    Love xx

  • Probably the fabric is strictly to be handwash only. And the bags set are nice, is just that from the picture, the handles look bulky…hmm…(>.<)

  • Marliesbs

    I too had to laugh about the shirt and the pose. I am not sure why that happens, but I am glad it doesn’t just happen to me. Love love the bags. I think that your sister will too. You have a nice family. Hope you feel better soon.

    • verypurpleperson

      He makes me laugh everyday ♥
      Oh I guess all of us have more failed projects than we hope. Sometimes it can be fixed, sometimes it is just doomed, doomed like this shirt.

  • it really sucks when a cold goes around between the family members. takes a long time for everyone to recover! glad you guys are feeling better 🙂
    thoose bags are cute! love the fish 🙂 I am certain she’ll love them 🙂 🙂 🙂
    .-= lunatepetal´s last blog ..kittens, inspired by kittens =-.

  • What a sweet husband to still wear the shirt anyway. I’m so sorry it got all messed up.

    And so sorry to hear you all have been sick. We just got over a nasty stomach virus; so I can relate.

    Very cute bags.
    .-= Trudy Callan´s last blog ..What I’m Wearing =-.

  • These are great! I love the drawstring on the lunch bag. Lucky sister!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Dear Left Hand, =-.

  • ooohh, pretty bags, novita! i like your dress, too. it’s so strange about your husband’s shirt.

    • verypurpleperson

      Oh I made the denim dress sometime ago, glad that you like it ^.^

  • i’m sure she will love those! they are amazing.
    You should defenetly make more for your shop. Its probably cheap to make since its thrifted fabric!
    they are super cute.

    • verypurpleperson

      Thank you Paule!
      I hope she’ll love them too ^.^
      By the way you have the most amazing illustrations! Loove them all!

  • I’m sorry, I had a good laugh at your husband’s shirt! It’s so sweet of him to keep wearing it even though it’s shrunken in such strange ways. 🙂

    • verypurpleperson

      Glad that he can make you laugh! (^.^)b