I participated in a swap not too long ago that required me to make a tote bag for an exchange, along with some goodies for inside said tote, this is what I made. I think it turned out pretty well considering it was my first real sewing project since junior high when we were supposed to make boxer shorts and my project went enough off course that the teacher came back with a pattern of a silhouette of a cat for me to make instead. Yeah, I'm not kidding here. My Mom gave up on me taking Home EC classes after that and gave the go ahead on my taking World Lit and History classes instead.
As it turns out, I did ok in the cooking department and I can bake just about anything so my mother isn't completely humiliated (although that says more about Food TV than Home EC). The sewing is going to continue to require some practice because I am hooked on these cute little skirts that I'm fairly certain are only going to be accomplished if done by hand and I definitely need to post pics of the bag I received in return, it was awesome with gorgeous shades of pinks with these terrific fabric pins. Obviously, the boxers would not have been a problem for Mary!