Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another tangent

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Today the poor five year old was sick and recuperating on the couch all day while watching Fireman Sam cartoons. Obviously he had a good thing going since the three year old kept saying, "he feeling better, now me sick." This lull threw a little bit of free time my way in the morning which was perfect for uninterrupted sewing time.

A while back I'd seen this tutorial for a reusable fabric bag constructed just like a plastic grocery bag. When I first read the instructions I just couldn't wrap my head around the straps and bookmarked it for another day.

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While grocery shopping this weekend I was very tempted to buy an inexpensive set of reusable bags at BJs but when I saw that they were made of non-woven interfacing-looking fabric I wasn't thrilled, and when I read they had to be washed on gentle and not machine dried, that was a no go. With my free time today I reread the instructions for the grocery bag copy and then found this variation for constructing the straps which didn't make sense until I actually sewed the bag. Uh, huh - there goes prethinking getting in the way of again.

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I hadn't prewashed any of the nice fabrics I've accumulated these last couple of months but I did have a set of fat quarters I'd bought ages ago for a gift that didn't materialize. Since these were fat quarters I had to use a different fabric for each panel of the bag but I kind of like the look. For the next version I think about 3/4 of a yard each of the lining and outer fabric should suffice.

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The bag itself is very sturdy since it's fully lined and the french seam at the bottom means there are no unfinished edges inside the bag as well as reenforcing the bottom. Giddy at sewing up my first reusable bag I finally tested it out first with a large skein of yarn.

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Then I loaded it up with two 64oz bottles of apple juice to see how the handles would feel with a large amount of weight. They felt very comfortable, no digging into my hands whatsoever. I definitely see many more of these in my future. However, I'll make the next ones larger, since my gripe about grocery store bags is that they are too small to hold much. I think I'll add a good 3-4" of height and then about 2-3 inches of girth as well as lengthening the handles by an inch or two. The handles are perfect for my hands but Mr. Maricucu's hands are bigger than mine and while they fit fine, why not better?

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There is an option for a pocket to fold the bag onto itself but will likely do this next time. Even without the pocket the bag folds into a very thin packet that fits discreetly into my purse.

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3 comments:

Marin!! said...

I LOVE the batik fabric. Your bag is gorgeous! Can I commission one?

Stacy said...

Ooh - I like that! Time to scout around for scraps. :)

Marielle said...

Marin thanks and you don't even have to twist my arm ;-).

Stacy, can't wait to see and glad to share the tutorial.