February 26, 2015

Patches Tote Bag

When I was in elementary school, I loved Girl Scout badges and patches. Full disclosure: an obsession over badges is probably more accurate. I loved them as an indicator of my achievements, and the value of a full Girl Scout vest was sublime. I even had a brief and sporadic business sewing Girl Scout badges on peer's vests and actually enjoyed it. Before I even knew how to use my sewing machine, I purchased special clear thread and extra sturdy needles to be able to sew patches (once I learned how...)

My Girl Scout vest eventually filled up by the time I got over that obsession.
Since then, I've grown out of my patches obsession. Well, sort of. Since fifth grade, I've begun a collection of patches of places that my various travels have taken me. Over time, I've accrued enough to sew them all onto a canvas tote bag. Call me old-fashioned, but this bag has become a labor of love.

The first side was completed during my ninth grade year. There are patches from my brief time taking ice skating lessons, my eighth grade trip to Washington, DC; family trips to Canada, national parks, and southern California.

Over winter break this year, I finally got around to sewing the second side. Here there are patches from my trips to Italy, France, Spain, and the Netherlands; a road trip through Northern California, and trips to the East Coast to tour colleges and hang out in New York City, various national parks and monuments, and more. 

The bag now weighs significantly more than it used to without all fifty-one patches. I'm valuing this bag at about $275 in material worth, but virtually priceless in the memories and dork-factor the bag deserves. I still have about a dozen patches that didn't fit, so now I have to come up with another idea to display them. Any suggestions?

Happy Crafting!!

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