I took part in Rachel's International Craft Swap - which for 2013 had a Nautical theme.
My swap buddy was Marriah who blogs over at Hot Toddies of Washington and look at the lovely apron she made me :) I feel like a re-life Minnie Mouse in it (sorry about the head-chopped of pics - it was a bad hair + face day LOL!)
And below are some photos from the stripey bag I sent to Marriah. I made the bag following a combination of these 2 tutorials: www.mommyiscoocoo.com/2012/11/how-to-make-toiletry-bag.html + blog.spoonflower.com/2012/07/washbag-tutorial.html.
I also sent over some Magnetic bookmarks as the £3 (or equivalent) gift to accompany the me-made travel/cosmetic bag... however as I was 2 weeks late in sending across my hand-crafted item (and thus feeling über guilty) I also threw in some "extras": pens, thread-snips, vintage chalk 'Dritz Tailor Tacker' (for marking fabric).
Below is a slide show with some pics showing some of the construction steps:
I made the bag using some striped cotton fabric which I stiffened-up with the addition of some iron-on medium weight fusible interfacing (non-woven). The bag is lined with some medium weight calico too. I pre-washed all the fabrics, and in hindsight I think that the bag could do with more body.structure to it... as it falls flat if there's nothing inside of it. An oil-cloth or PVC coated fabric would have been more suitable in terms of weight and easier to wipe clean from any spills too!
I added a zipped inner-pocket to the lining, and there are two open-pockets on the outside too + a handy handle/carry-strap too. At one end of the outer zip I added a little-tab which makes it easy to grab and zip the opening shut.
It was pretty easy to stitch-up, and I can definitely see myself making more of these in the future for gifts for friends (& for myself too!).