My niece and I made reversible tote bags for her bridesmaids' favors. We used raw silk and upholstery fabric in coordinating colors, and she had them professionally monogrammed.
I've got pictures, but I don't know how to attach them here. It may be because I'm using Netscape rather than IE.
They turned out really well, though there was a scary moment the week before the wedding when the monogrammer did a beautiful job--upside down. He thought they were chair covers (l guess he thought we had really little chairs!)
I really like using upholstery fabric for these bags.
When you first peel the fabric off the backing paper, after it's set for several minutes, you're supposed to hold it under cold running water. Then when it dries, it shouldn't run anymore. Stitch Witchery should work fine. Wonder Under did.
Since it was so expensive, I determined exactly where a picture would print on a sheet of paper first, and then used that as a guide to tape the photo-fabric pieces. We got 15 pictures on the quilt, plus we messed up 2-3.
If I were going to do a lot of this, I'd try some of the suggestions here for making my own.
I helped make a photo quilt last year and we used the silk photo-fabric that JoAnn's sells. I used my paper cutter to cut off smaller pieces, and taped them to a sheet of paper to run through the printer. I think the roll was about $25, but we had a coupon.
We fused the silk to muslin with Wonder Under before sewing it into the quilt squares, and we left one square blank for a family picture. Since we presented the quilt the next day, (it was a 60th wedding anniversary present) I did a t-shirt transfer for that square.
My printer is old and the pictures were slightly muted, but the whole thing turned out beautiful. As you get older, you can appreciate being slightly muted.
I've had one bad experience with an ebay sewing machine and one good. I ordered an old black Singer with a cabinet that looked great in the picture and was supposed to sew great. When it arrived, a piece of the cabinet was missing and a major part of the machine was gone, plus it was like somebody had dumped a lot of dirt in the box.. I took it to the sewing machine shop and they didn't even attempt to fix it.
I emailed the seller, who claimed it was all there when she shipped it, and we arranged for Fedex to pick it back up, but she wasn't able to get anything from them, so I agreed to split the difference with her. I didn't completely believe her about the condition, but I figured half was better than none.
I turned around and bought a portable black 1914 Singer that arrived in good condition and gave it to my niece for graduation from college. But, I won't buy another sewing machine on ebay. I'll go to a store like Sears or JoAnns.
Those 1914 Singers are hard to get on ebay. I lost out on about 10 of them before I was able to get one. Quilters seem to love them. I bought the one I use from an estate sale, and I love it.
Homemade Kahlua (From old Frugal Gourmet cookbook)
4 cups sugar 4 cups water 2-oz instant coffee 1 5th bourbon (Can use vodka, but bourbon is smoother) 1 whole vanilla bean
Bring water and sugar to a boil, remove from heat and add coffee. After it cools, pour coffee into a gallon jug and add liquor and vanilla bean. Seal it tightly and let it sit for at least 30 days. I put it in a paper sack in a dark closet and every week or so, I'll shake it up. When it's ready, decant into pretty bottles. Serve over ice cream or with cream or milk.
I save bottles all year, like salad dressing bottles, and then label them with stickers from places like Container Store or gourmet food shops.
You can get M&Ms printed with your names, and probably your colors.
If you decided to do syrups or hot sauce or jams, there are places that will take your picture and label them. But you could probably do the same with your printer for a lot less.
Depending on whether you're willing to give alcoholic beverages, you could give small bottles of homemade kahlua. I used to make up kahlua to give for Christmas presents at a college where I taught and that was always popular with the English department.
Hi, I'm new to posting here, so I hope my suggestion hasn't been posted before. My niece is getting married soon, and is on a limited budget. She needed a gift idea for her bridesmaids, so she bought raw silk in a color similar to their dresses and some upholstery fabric that coordinated. (I've taught her well--she always looks for the 40% coupons for our local fabric store, as well as the remnant table.)
We made tote bags that can be reversed. We made the silk part first, using a pattern that was a 16 x 14 rectangle, which she had monogrammed before we sewed the whole thing together, squaring off the bottom.
She plans to fill them with her jewelry gifts, chocolates, spa-type gifts, etc. for the bridesmaids' luncheon. They turned out nice, and now I want to make one for myself, using upholstery fabric with satin lining.
We used my old black Singer from 1957 to put them together. My "new" sewing machine, from 1977 does monogramming, but only smaller letters, so she had to have that done elsewhere.