Current Sewing Projects

I’ve been on a roll with my sewing “projects” this week.  It’s been a lot of fun, and I think I’m hooked!

I started off the week making a grocery bag – you know, those kinds of reusable canvassy-type bags you bring with you when you go shopping?  We have a bunch of them around the house, but never enough, and the kinds we have can’t be washed.  Oh sure, I tried to wash them (even though the tag says not to) and they came through ok, but all stiff and wrinkled and they’re not looking so hot.  So I decided I should make my own, so that I could wash it when it was needed.

Voila!  This was my half-assed shopping bag try, and it came out wonderfully.  It’s only a plain cotton fabric, so not as tough as canvas, but I’m pretty sure it’ll hold up just fine.  I didn’t even really measure the fabric (I did buy a full yard though, not knowing I wouldn’t need that much); I just cut out a piece that I thought would make a good sized bag.  Instead of doing anything fancy, I folded what I decided would be the top edges of the bag over 1/4″ toward the “wrong” side and pressed.  Folded the pressed part another 1/4″ and pressed again, then pinned it and topstitched 1/8″ from the edge of the fold.

After my edges were done I merely folded the fabric in half (nothing fancy, I used the bottom fold as the bottom of the bag) with the edges together (nice side INWARDS) and pinned along the side edges.  I then stitched a 1/2″ seam along the edges.When that was done I pressed the seams open, but didn’t bother hiding them.  It’s not a fancy bag and it won’t get caught on anything, so I didn’t bother.

Then it was time to make the straps.  I took cut 2 pieces of 4×20 fabric (the very same fabric, though any matching fabric would do) and folded them lengthwise in half with the two “wrong” sides on the outside. I pressed.  Then I opened it up again, and pressed on raw edge toward the crease I had just created, and pressed.  I did the same with the other edge.  Then I pressed in 1/2″ the short edges of the strap, then folded along the original crease again, and pinned and top stitched around the edges of the strap.

I sewed the straps to the bag and it was done!

I was so excited over my first creation that I decided to make a lunch bag to work.  Again, I use a canvas bag right now, but it’s a lot bigger than what I really need, so I decided to make something a little smaller and with shorter straps so it would be held in my hands (not over my shoulder). Here’s the finished product:

I love this one.  I even added double-bias tape along the edges of the top (instead of folding over the top edges) to match the straps. I’m doubly excited because the straps are made of plain broadcloth but exactly match the double-bias tape (They are not made from the same thing!).  It’s the perfect size for my lunch, and again, when it gets dirty, I will be able to throw it in the washer and dryer and easily iron if needed.  I made this one the same way (just a smaller sized bag and straps) with the exception of the bias tape which was hard to pin on, but I got it in the end.  What do you think?

So there’s my projects for this week. I’m not sure what to make next!  Any suggestions? I think I’m getting good at my sewing machine!


4 Responses

  1. You are rocking it Chelle!

    I love making bags and you gave me a great idea for my Women’s Group. I want to teach them about environmentally friendly things and make a bag like those for the craft. Yeah!

  2. Great job, Chelle! I’ve never really taken the time to learn to sew, but I’ve been wanting to learn lately. My mom and MIL are both really good at it so there’s no shortage of teachers.

    I love the fabric you used for the shopping bag!

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