Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In the bag

I have been busy making bags, because (unless they're the plastic grocery kind) you can never have too many, and it is always possible to make one suited to your exact purpose that is also pretty.

These were a snap to make using Betz White's tutorial.

For example, these shoe bags from vintage bedsheets (and yes, I have a pair of pajama pants in each of those patterns) replaced the plastic bags my dear friend was using to pack shoes in when she traveled.

This bag was a bit challenging with its pleats and lining, but look how cute it is!
I had fun making the "Mama's Bag" from Amanda Soule's Handmade Home -- the body is a thrifted brocade curtain, the lining is cotton poplin, the straps linen and the tie grosgrain ribbon, and the bright aqua and yellow helped to cheer me up through a dark, snowy winter.  I've been keeping my red cashmere/merino chemo-cap-in-progress in it and it makes me feel quite sophisticated.

What a fabulous way to repurpose a pillowcase!
I have been looking for a good pattern for a market tote bag for some time now -- one Christmas I made a bunch of Morsbags as gifts and kept a few for myself, but found they didn't hold up well against the volume of groceries I needed to bring home.  And forget those ugly cheapie "canvas" bags they sell in the supermarkets.  I rip right through them.  But the other day I found this tutorial on Creative Kismet, and I was overjoyed!  A good, sturdy and adorable market bag made with materials I own to the point of ridiculousness.  What could be better?

I'm going to make a dress for K with the other pillowcase from this pair!
Ah, but now I'm on the hunt for a good produce-bag pattern.  Because yesterday while I was thrifting I found a gorgeous Laura Ashley rose-print sheer that will make up into as many produce-bags as I could need, and possibly more.  Once I find it -- Look out, Wegman's!


  1. You're so creative and clever with these! They're lovely.

  2. I am totally in love with your "mama's bag"! That curtain was a find, and I hope you use it to cover some seat cushions or something else as well. It's fabulous!

    My problem with those cheapie recycled "canvas" bags they sell for a dollar at the grocery store is the handles. They're an awkward length. We have several proper canvas ones from various contributions to NPR stations over the years, and those are perfect for us. For produce, I ordered a dozen lingere bags from a laundry supply place, and they're pretty good, though next time I'll get the larger size. Bonus - they also work to spin your salad in the summer time! I tried sewing some, but I'm not as talented as you are, and the material was awkward to work with without a serger.

    I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  3. Thank you both!

    Sarah, I love that curtain fabric too and had made two Morsbags and a "Turnabout Bag" (pattern from Handmade Home) with it, but I had to wash one of the Morsbags and the Turnabout Bag and they disintegrated in the machine! I could have cried! I still have one Morsbag and the Mama's Bag and they will be treated with great care.

    You'll notice that my grocery totes have looong handles -- I am totally on board with you on that one. I used them for the first time yesterday and they held plenty of groceries and were a cinch to carry out to the parking lot over my shoulder and arm. I think I'll be making more in the very near future!