Both my mother and grandmother could bake and sew successful creations without a recipe or a pattern to follow. When I first started both, I had to follow someone else’s instructions or the bread would be inedible and the sewn item not usable.
Now, I often bake breads with no recipe and sew with no pattern. Experience provides an understanding of how something works which makes it possible to make something without specific guidelines.
I have been sewing for many, many years. I started with patterns and instructions, then moved on to designing my own to follow, and now I often just “wing it” like Mom and Grandma. They set a good example for me to put experience to good use by being courageous, trusting in themselves, and creating with a idea or plan but not a rigid set of instructions.
For this tote bag, I let what I wanted to make and what materials I had come together to be this lovely bag. The tote bag needed to be about the size of a small one I made before, but the piece of lining fabric dictated the actual dimensions. It had to have purple as the main color, but needed some patterned fabric that was cheerful to go with it. And to finish the bag, black twill tape was used to suggest a black belt worn in martial arts. So the overall effect is feminine, yet strong, with a reference to martial arts. I am sure this gift will be well received.