One of the first things I bought myself after I got married was a sewing machine. Since I was 13, when I used an old manual Singer machine that belonged to my mother's aunt, I've just had to have a sewing machine. I never used to do any hand stitching (apart from hems on clothes). In those far off days I just made clothes. Gradually my interests changed and I started making soft furnishings and more recently useful items like these pictured below.
I've lost count of the number of tote bags I've made, lots of them I've given away as gifts. This is my favourite style of tote. The handles go all the way underneath the bag so make it strong.