Make2/Give2 for National Sewing Month

From Lazy Girl Designs

Lazies, September is National Sewing Month and I want to celebrate. I hope you’ll join me and Make2/Give2 and show our non-sewing friends one of the reasons why we love sewing: making and giving gifts. It’s not that simple – I’ve added a Lazy twist.

Pretty Gifties

Giving a gift made especially for a friend is one of my favorite parts of sewing. Make2/Give2 is designed to give a friend that sewy-good feeling – and she won’t have to sew a single stitch. You are going to do all the work for her so she can jump immediately to that good feeling.

The Challenge: Make2/Give2
– Make two ‘With Love Totes’ (free pattern from Lazy Girl Designs), wrap them like the gifts that they are, and give them to one non-sewing (or new-sewing) friend.
– One tote is for your friend to keep, one is for your friend to give to a friend. By doing so, your friend will experience for themselves the sewy-good feeling of this kind act and perhaps give sewing a try.

Maybe your friend will join you for a sewing adventure by planning a project, shopping, or helping you cut and sew. Make a date of it.

Two ‘With Love Totes’. I used two one yard cuts
of red/white batiks from Blank Quilting. Yum!

Prepare Gifts
– Make two With Love Totes. Click here for pattern. I’ve updated the pattern with the option to box the bottom corners. I’ll post a picture tutorial of how to box the corners next week.
– Fold each tote to a neat little bundle. See step by step pictures below.
– Fold a pattern and tuck inside each bundle, so your friend can make more. It’s a great starter pattern and it’s free.
– Wrap with a ribbon and attach gift tag or card – it is a gift you know! A simple message of ‘this gift was made just for you’ will work for both gifts.
– Consider including a list of uses for the bag, a gift card for a quilt shop, a notion, pattern, or more fabric.

Folding Instructions
Click images to enlarge.

Lay bag flat
Lay bag flat.

Fold sides to match handles.
Fold sides toward the middle.

Fold bottom and handles toward middle.
Fold bottom and handles toward middle.

Fold one more time for a neat little package.
Fold one more time for a neat little package.

Yahoo Group Goal
I’ve set a goal of 500 bags made and gifted by my Yahoo group as a whole. You can start anytime, just finish up by the end of September for our official tally. Yahoo Lazies can report what they did and how it went, or at least send in their numbers.

Lazies Everywhere
You are invited to dive in on the fun and gift a few during the month of September. I hope you’ll join me and Make2/Give2. Then drop me a note from our Contact page or here at the blog and tell me how it went.


Leave a Lazy Comment

53 Responses to “Make2/Give2 for National Sewing Month”

  1. Andrea Rice — August 18, 2008 @ 6:44 am

    What a fun sewing Challenge. Can’t wait to see the updated version of this bag.

  2. Kathy Shea — August 18, 2008 @ 6:52 am

    Would these make good market bags?? If they do, then we will be doing 2 good things in one shot- eliminating more plastic bags and encourgaging others to sew.
    I am not sure what the finished size would be or if they would be strong enough.

  3. Joan Hawley — August 18, 2008 @ 6:55 am

    Hi Kathy,

    These make fabulous market or grocery totes. They fold flat and tuck in your purse. Or keep a few in your trunk so they are always handy.


  4. Gwyneth — August 18, 2008 @ 7:40 am

    What a great idea …am going to make one this afternoon !! cant wait to see the finished result
    Gwyneth ……..from the sometimes sunny Sussex coast in the UK

  5. Shirley — August 18, 2008 @ 8:15 am

    This is such a wonderful idea. I am a teacher starting back to school this week, but somehow I am going to find the time to Make2/Give 2. I really appreciate your creativity and for sharing it with others! May God Richly Bless You, the Lazies, and all of the people who will be gifted with these “With Love Totes”!

  6. Judi Richman — August 18, 2008 @ 8:29 am

    Joan–love the idea! I’m already started picking out material from my stash and have 6 friends in mind. Maybe soon to have 6 new friends Judi

  7. Penny — August 18, 2008 @ 8:49 am

    Oh what a wonderful idea to give to someone else. I have several people in mind that would love these for grocery bags and little extra bags to throw in the suit case! Giving to others is always a grand way to share our love of sewing!

    Penny D in Chesapeake

  8. Cindy — August 18, 2008 @ 10:17 am

    This is a great idea! I plan on celebrating with you by making some of these to give to others. Thanks for the challenge.

  9. Sue — August 18, 2008 @ 10:19 am

    What a great idea. My Sewing Guild friends will like this to and can share it with their sewing/non sewing friends. I love the idea.

  10. Glenda in Florida — August 18, 2008 @ 10:39 am

    Joan–thanks so much for figuring out the boxy bottoms for me. I had been mullng over an idea on how to accomplish it, but of course your solution is better, and lazier. Thanks! I shared the pattern with someone just last week, and loaned them my only sample. I did tell her that I would box the bottoms next time I made them:-)

  11. Joan Hawley — August 18, 2008 @ 11:01 am

    Donna from my Yahoo group sent in this question:

    My only comment is that 99.9% percent of my friends sew! I’m really going to have to think about who to make a With Love Tote for. I made one for a friend this summer that doesn’t sew – wish that one counted. It was really cute kitty fabric ‘cuz she loves kitties!

    Donna in SW Idaho

    Hi Donna,

    I have the same problem.

    How about someone who needs a reminder to get back into their sewing space and create? Do you have anyone who has put down their needle so to speak? Maybe a new sewist who could use a little enthusiasm from you?

    Maybe one of your non-Lazy sewing buddies could use a change of pace and this might be a refreshing break from their usual projects.


  12. Amy — August 18, 2008 @ 11:21 am

    This doesn’t really meet this challenge, but I thought it was such a good idea I had to share it.

    A friend saw the bag I made from this pattern and suggested that I contact my local child protective services. So often these kids are pulled out of their homes in a hurry and their things are thrown put into plastic bags for them to take with. These would make great bags for the children to have something specially for them and their things, and to try and make a hard situation a little easier.

  13. Lydia — August 18, 2008 @ 11:39 am

    What timing! I’m leaving in 3 days to meet up with my girl friends in Denver for shopping. I was trying to figure out what little gifty I could make for them. Perfect!


  14. Kim's Mercantile — August 18, 2008 @ 12:05 pm

    Joan! You have rescued me AGAIN! I am needing some thank you’s for a big event our volunteers are helping us with this coming weekend at the truck stop Chapel! I’m getting busy to get these done!

    You are AWESOME Joan!

  15. Libby — August 18, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

    I just want you to know that this tote has been a wonderful bag. We have even added a pocket to the inside so that it could be used as a teacher’s book bag. Thanks for these wonderful ideas.

  16. Sharlene McGlynn — August 18, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

    Kits using the “With Love Tote” pattern are available at

    First 100 kits include Lazy Girl label and pin.

    We are using these in the shop for eco friendly reuseable shopping bags.

  17. Rhonda — August 18, 2008 @ 3:44 pm

    This is so awesome, what a agreat idea! I am teaching my 10 year old grand daughter how to sew. She will love making this tote for her friends and her mom. She wants to go get some fabric today and have two made for her mom’s birthday this Thursday. Thanks for the free pattern.


  18. Alene Moulton — August 18, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

    This looks very simple and easy. I’ll join in the challenge.

  19. Sharon Shute — August 18, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

    Hi Joan,
    Wow! I better get going on this! I can already think of 5 people. It is such a great way to get new sewers on board! Not to mention, my other friends that are afraid of the sewing machine, mainly my sister, lol I think she still has nightmare on her first and last lesson with my mom. They will all love the idea of using them instead of plastic and paper. I might even embroider, GO GREEN! on them!

  20. Mary Boling — August 19, 2008 @ 4:01 am

    Thank you for the pattern. I am always looking for new patterns for tote bags..
    I make bags for people who use walkers in nursing home and bags for friends who
    need to carry their knitting, sewing, etc. Thank you for the idea of making 2, just in time for Christmas. I will join you challenge. Mary

  21. Mary — August 19, 2008 @ 7:59 am

    These bags are wonderful to give as gifts especially to homeless shelters. With the boxed bottom they will continue to be a BIG HIT. I make many each year to donate to a shelter that one of my quilt groups help out several times a year. Thanks for a wonderful pattern that is easy and fast to sew….. Mary

  22. Karen H. Bolinger — August 19, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

    These are wonderful totes to make and give. I’ve made several and will make several more. I, too, will join you with this challenge.
    Thanks, Joan, for all the wonderful patterns!
    A new Lazy, Karen

  23. Carol Hallman — August 19, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

    The Lazies are the greatest! Always have a good idea ready to share! I can’t wait to give a few friends these great little totes. Daughter-in Law, Grand-daughter, Cousins , Sisters-in Law on and on the list will grow….They’re all going to love these!! Thank you…Carol

  24. Claudia — August 21, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

    Hi Joan – I’m making 2 of these tonight for a friend. I’m looking at the directions and I don’t see a seam allowance specified. ?? I think I’ll use 1/2″ but I’m wondering what you recommend? claudia

  25. darla — August 22, 2008 @ 8:04 am

    Joan, I would love to see this be a bag that could somehow fold into a pocket…that’s probably not feasible…I know I can’t visualize how it would happen but that’s why I use your patterns….sew easy…rather than trying to come up with my own.

  26. Sheila Perl — August 23, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

    Joan, I just love this challenge, what a wonderful idea! I love encouraging people to sew and making such a useful product. Thank you for the pattern and the challenge!

  27. Paula — August 24, 2008 @ 8:57 am

    This is so fun! We meet friends every Labor Day and they don’t sew. I always take “something” I have made. Yesterday I made 12 of these (yes, they are that quick and easy). Since I live in Las Vegas – one is with Las Vegas fabric and the other is something fun. I love this idea and appreciate being rescued for an idea for 2008!!

    Lazy indeed!

  28. Jeannie Smith — August 25, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

    I cut my pieces 23″ high by 21″ wide. I use stash home dec fabric, surge all seams, and don’t need to line them. I use a 3″square cut for my flat bottom, and 22″ handle strips. My daughter(non-sewer) got $150 worth groceries in three of them. She has an autistic son, so I made one out of Autism puzzle fabric!! Then her daughter wanted one…and her other daughter…well, you get the picture! THE most perfect shopping bag ever! Just make sure you tell them not to bag the milk and ten pound bag of potatoes!!
    PS, I made myself a smaller size and delegate it just for eggs and bread!

  29. Kathy A — August 25, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

    Love it! Love it! I have a few things to finish up and then I plan on making 2. Thank you so much for the pattern.

  30. Susan — August 25, 2008 @ 7:22 pm

    Love the pattern for the love tote. I have made several, mostly for gifts.

  31. Jud Mazzari — August 25, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

    Thanks for the great pattern. Now to get busy sewing!!!

  32. Wendi — August 26, 2008 @ 12:23 pm

    I am new to your site and have explored it this morning. I am always looking for new ideas for tote bags. I love this one, it will be great to give out to my kids teachers and all of my son’s therapists. I also volunteer my sewing skills for The Keaton Rapheal Memorial making blankets for children with cancer. I will make these to place in the gift bags for the parents that travel back and forth to the hospital. Thank you for making this a free pattern.

  33. JMarie — August 26, 2008 @ 4:49 pm

    Thank you for talking about squaring the bottom of these tote bags. I’d had a problem recently but you’ve made it easy. Thank you!

  34. Beverly — August 29, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

    I have made 3 so far. One for myself and 2 for friends. It was great and loved the pattern. We are all horse riding buddies and the material has different horse scenes on them. I loved doing it. I did a decorative stitch around the edges of the handles that gave it a little flare!! Turned out wonderful. Look forward to your next pattern. Thanks

  35. corina — September 1, 2008 @ 8:22 am

    What a lovely idea, thank you, I already made a love tote today!

  36. Lori — September 1, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

    I have made 4 bags (2 sets). I gave two to my niece. She looked really confused when she got two bags. I told her she could give one away. She loved the idea. Before she gave it away she made a pillow to put in the bag for her friend. It motivated her to start sewing again. Great idea!

  37. Beth — September 4, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

    I made this bag and it is so simple! I made the first one and couldn’t wait to give it to my best friend. It brought huge smiles to both of our faces when she opened it! I have the fabric to make 5 more totes and another friend has the fabric picked out for me to add pockets to make it into a diaper bag. She also has a heavy interfacing to make an insert for the bottom of the bag to keep it flat. I was also thinking that with two coordinating half yards you could seam the two pieces and have the lining a different fabric without too much trouble.
    Thanks for the pattern!

  38. Joanne — September 5, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

    I’m going on a retreat next week with 18 ladies and 1 husband. I wanted something that we could all do together. How perfect this bag is for that occasion.

  39. pauline — September 7, 2008 @ 3:38 am

    I think this is such a great project on so many levels. It uses my stash up, it helps to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags & hopefully it may get a non- sewer to have a go.
    I’m doing them for everyone at work- so far I have 14 done ready to go to work- tomorrow, but they’ll be giving their second bag to a work collegue-I just can’s see me making 50 of them!LOL

  40. Sharon — September 9, 2008 @ 1:44 am

    Love your bags! Such a a great idea. Cant wait to share the bags

  41. Peggy — September 10, 2008 @ 9:41 am

    I just did up a pattern review on these LGD With Love Totes at Pattern Review at
    And entered same in PR’s September 2008 Totes contest, too. Used the same photo, showing 5 of them that Joan is featuring the week of September 8, 2008 on her web site home/landing page.
    I think that this pattern and all of Joan’s patterns are great. The other ones of Joan’s that I’ve used are very simple to do up. Even the Couch Caddy one that will make a great holiday presents later on this year.

  42. Maggi — September 22, 2008 @ 12:20 pm

    I have made three and given away and they were so well accepted. I put insul-brite in one for shopping and putting the cold items into. It is fun to search for fabrics that “make” the bag individual.

  43. Dana Carlton — June 14, 2009 @ 11:57 am

    Hi, The link for this bag is broken. I was just wondering if this pattern was still available?
    I just purchased the claire pattern and can’t wait to make it!!
    Thank You.

    – – – – –
    Hi Dana,
    The pattern is located here:


  1. Pingback: Lazy Girl Designs - September Challenge | Super Easy Quilt Patterns

  2. Pingback: Scarf One: Finished — Sweet Peas and Purls

  3. Pingback: Needle and ThREAD: Stitching for Literacy » Blog Archive » Did Someone Say "Challenge"?

  4. Pingback: Getting Crafty » Blog Archive » National Sewing Month Make 2 Give 2 Challenge

  5. Pingback: Bags, bags « PatchScrap

  6. Pingback: Easy bag « Basin Piecemakers

  7. Pingback: Sewing and Sunday School…not together… « Cappuccino Morning