completed: double-sided PhD tote bag

the calm side
the panic side

My younger sister starts graduate school in the fall, so I've prepared an all-purpose zippered tote bag for her to use for school. (Don't tell anyone, but this gift was supposed to be a birthday present months ago. I think it's more fitting as a graduate school gift, though). 

This project was truly a labor of love, between the doing the two cross-stitches and then making the bag itself, but it turned out totally worth all the work.

I used a bunch of tutorials for different parts of the bag - New Green Mama for the main idea of the bag, Projects by Jane for the recessed zippered top, and Sew Mama Sew for the interior slip and zippered pockets. And then I added my own twist to the whole thing, of course.

Each cross-stitch is also a lined pocket and I used iron-on vinyl to cover the cross-stitches (so that they are impervious to weather and wear), rainbow webbing for the straps, and a big red sport zipper to secure the top of the bag. Everything is double-stitched for durability and security. The bag has boxed corners and interfacing so that it will stand up on its own, and it is lined with a fun dinosaur print, with a two slip pockets on one side and a zippered pocket on the other side.

fully lined with dinosaurs!

I also made a coordinating pencil pouch out of the leftover white canvas, dinosaur fabric and rainbow webbing. The pouch is made using my 3DS case tutorial, just with different measurements. I filled the pencil pouch with mechanical pencils that are designed to look like regular pencils, extra lead, colored pens, fun erasers and a highlighter. I also tucked a notebook and matching folder into the bag so that my sister will have everything she needs (weil, some of it, anyway) to start school!

surprises inside
Overall, I love this bag. I was tempted to keep it. But I can always make another one!

looks good on me, right?

the cross-stitches

the back of the cross-stitches

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