First I took a shirt referencing the movie The Labyrinth with David Bowie. I thought that with slight modification, the quote would be applicable to her journey through school. So I took some embroidery floss and edited the quote to match, attempting to mimic the font of the quote. Considering I did it free-hand, I think I did a pretty good job:
Then I went online and found a free college font and downloaded it. I added it to my font library and then typed out UCSD 2011 and printed it out. I cut out the letters and used them as stencils to cut out the letters in yellow fabric, which I sewed onto blue fabric (UCSD's colors):
I then cut out purse-shaped pieces from the shirt and blue fabric and with the right sides together sewed around the edges so that when I turned it right-side out the seam was inside. I took some extra blue fabric and cut it into pocket-sized scraps and sewed them onto pieces of the yellow fabric. I then sewed the yellow pieces together around the edges to create the lining.
I folded over the edges of the purse and ironed them flat, then attached the lining to the purse using a stitch I usually use on hems. I tried out the pockets with some nick knacks to make sure they worked.
I cut out some strips of the extra black, yellow, and blue fabric and braided them together to make a handle. I sewed it onto the bag using a simple straight machine stitch:
And voila: I had a keepsake for my sister. I tried out a lot of new things with this project, and I learned a lot. I guess that's appropriate for a bag to commemorate a graduation!