Yesterday while I was sitting in major traffic on my drive home from work, I was thinking about where I wished I was instead. Italy, Greece, the Caribbean. So it got me thinking about summer socializing: the beach, picnics, barbeques, etc. I suddenly got the idea for my next project, which I’ve named my Bianco/Rosso Bag (White/Red in Italian). I decided it would be great to make a bag that could hold 2 bottles of wine, one red and one white, to transport to spring and summer events. I made this bag up completely as I went along, although I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of a similar idea. But I’m actually really proud of it, it is the first sewn project I’ve made that came entirely from my own imagination. I was so excited when I finished it this morning that I woke my husband up out of a dead sleep so I could model my creation.

I picked one fabric to be my “red” and one to be my “white,” and then I used solid orange for the lining and the handles because it coordinated with the colors in my main fabrics. I’ve put the instructions for the actual project here, since they’re too lengthy for this post.

I learned a lot doing this project, and there are definitely things I would change in the construction process next time. I messed up more than once and had to start over, so I learned about cutting batting and lining fabric. I made this bag very wide, so I had to sew additional rows out from the center to make it snug for the bottles, that’s another thing. But actually, I like having the extra room in the middle. I can now say this project is at least partially quilted. And it keeps the bottles from clanking together. When I sling it over my shoulder they lay nicely at my side so it doesn’t feel bulky. It also gives it sort of an Indiana Jones utility satchel feel.

I thought of two more projects based on this one:

1) Before I sewed the front and back sections together, I realized the deep red, white, and orange fabrics and the shape would make extremely cool pillows.

2) If I ever make another one, I’d divide the bag into 3 smaller pockets instead of 2 big ones (maybe with a 3rd fabric for the outside) to hold olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a baguette in the middle. Then I can at least pretend I’m in Europe even if I’m just in NJ.

Don’t forget to check out the details for this project!