Leggi questo post in: Italiano
The day that some people absolutely love and others absolutely despise is coming up.
Yep. I’m talking about Valentine’s Day!
I’ve always fallen into the second category because I am ideologically against the consumerism of this day and I don’t like the idea of being told when I need to celebrate my love for the people in my life. As far as I’m concerned, we should recognize how important our loved ones are to us each and every day!
However, as I get older, some of my ideological beliefs soften and I start to appreciate the simple pleasures in life, such as giving someone a little something to remind him how much we care. It doesn’t have to be much, as long as it comes from the heart.
And that’s why I’ve decided, for the first time in years, to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I explained to my children how the kids in the United States give out valentines to other kids (this doesn’t happen in Italy), and decided to make some homemade valentines and a little pouch to carry them in.
And thus was born my reversible heart-shaped Valentine’s Day bag! Reversible because, well, how much more fun is it when you can flip a bag inside-out to get a whole “new” bag?!
This little pouch is perfect for little girls to hold their valentines in, but can also be used for candies, small toys or any other treasure! And it only takes about 30 minutes to sew up! Yah!
Do you know someone who loves hearts and pink and all things lovey? Well then, let’s get going with my Valentine’s Day bag tutorial and FREE pattern!
Preparing the pieces
1. Download the Valentine Bag pattern from my Free Downloads page. Print it out without scaling and assemble the two pages so that it looks like what you see above. (If you need help with printing and assembling PDF patterns, read this post.)
2. Cut out the pattern pieces and tape the two Strap pieces together as shown above.
3. Cut the strap piece out once per fabric (side 1 and side 2) with one short end ON THE FOLD. This way the strap comes out twice as long.
4. Cut the heart piece out from each type of fabric (side 1 and side 2) with two layers right sides facing. Stick pins or make a marking on the sides of the hearts where the black dot is on the pattern, as seen above.
Sewing the bag and strap
5. Pin the two strap pieces together, right sides facing, and sew down each long side with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance.
6. Sew around the bottom part of the heart between the two pins marking the dot on the pattern (as seen in the heart above on the left). Clip the corner at the bottom of the heart and cut notches along the curves (as seen in the heart above on the right). Read here for more information on clipping and notching, if necessary.
7. Trim the seam allowances on the strap and turn it right side out with a safety pin. Iron it and sew two lines of topstitching down each long side.
Put the strap aside for a moment.
8. Turn one heart right side out and slip it inside the other heart so that they’re right sides facing. Line up all the curved edges and pin them together. Place a set of double pins (or make a pen marking) 3-4 cm (1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″) on the top bump of one side of the heart, then again on the opposite bump on the other side of the heart, as indicated by the arrows in the picture above. These will the be the openings for the bag strap.
Be very careful to match up the side seams. I didn’t do it because I was lazy, but it would be much better to iron open the top of the side seams to match them up more easily.
9. Sew around the top of the heart with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance, EXCEPT for the two spaces between the sets of double pins. Cut notches all around the curves, or use pinking shears if you’re lazy like me!
When cutting the notches, it’s very VERY important to clip inside the central point (between the two top heart bump) and where the side seams meet. Cut where the arrows above show as close as possible to the stitching.
10. Turn the hearts right side out through one of the openings and arrange them so that one is inside the other. Poke the tip and sides out with a chopstick through one of the openings. Press the hearts flat, turning the edges of the openings inwards.
11. Insert the ends of the strap into the two openings and pin in place. Make sure that the strap lies flat and isn’t twisted. You might want to shorten the strap slightly for a young child. The strap length was fine as it was for my 10-year-old.
12. Topstitch around the top of the bag.
13. Hand stitch a hook and loop closure on the top edge of the bag in the inwards point. This way the closure can be used when the bag is flipped either way.
Ta da! All done! Now all you need to do is find a little girl to wear the bag! (That probably won’t be difficult!)
Filling the bag with homemade valentines
When I was little, all the kids brought store-bought valentines to school to give out to their classmates and inevitably you ended up with quite a few doubles. It’s only been more recently that I’ve heard of kids giving out homemade valentines, and I think it’s a fantastic idea!
This post on All Free Kids Crafts has 27 great DIY valentines ideas to get you going. Or, if you’re rushing around at the last minute, there are some really adorable downloadable valentine sheets that you can print out at home! (Just make sure that your printer isn’t running out of toner, like mine was…)
I printed out the Superhero, Sweet Shoppe, Smitten with You, and Stuck on You valentines. I also love these Hooked on You valentines that you attach to a little package of Goldfish crackers, but I didn’t print those because they don’t exist here in Italy, unfortunately!
Once you’re prepared your homemade valentines, your child can write names on them and stick them in the Valentine’s Day Bag, ready to be delivered!
And if your little gal wants a little change, all she needs to do is flip the bag with the other side out, and she’s got a totally different look! I just love reversible things!
So, what are you waiting for? Go download the free pattern and get sewing, and you’ll make a little girl very happy!
Did you love this Valentine’s Day bag tutorial and free pattern? Then go check out another FREE pattern of mine, the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag, made from a very surprising upcycled material!