Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quick and dirty sewing... long and rambly posting!

Sometimes I just need to get something done. It's a therapy thing - it's soothing to be productive, even at the expense of good technique, or the 'to-do list'. That was me last night. (Oh, Masterchef, how I miss thee!)

Sure, I could have cut out the pieces for my pippijoe overskirt, or blogged about either of my new jumper refashions, or done some more loom knitting, or finished the last of the Swineys, but actually I wanted to make something in bulk, something to help me de-stash, something useful - something quick and dirty.

Et voila. Badly-made bags! I intend to use these as gift-wrap bags, or small produce bags, or just 'whatever' bags, to replace plastic or paper bags.

These are made from pillowcases. I originally wanted to use up some pretty fat quarters in my stash, but was finding myself getting stuck on choosing, and questioning whether I really wanted to waste nice material on such a simple project (do you find yourself getting hung up on that one too?)

Using pillowcases made the whole thing even lazier, which was great. I took four pillowcases, halved and quartered them, then sewed up the sides/bottoms and 'hemmed' the tops (for those that didn't have the original pillowcase hem still there). I started off zig-zagging the seams for longevity, and folding the top hem twice before sewing - but then I just thought 'stuff it' and did the bare minimum. Ooooh, it felt so good.

[Off-track ramblings... It occurs to me that, if only I had an overlocker, something like this would take me half the time, would look neater, and would last longer because of the finished hems. Hmmm, this phrase is going around in my head more and more these days... if only I had an overlocker. Tell me, do YOU overlock?!]

Anyways... there have been a bunch of posts showcasing various reusable bags recently, go check 'em out:

the Yum Bags showcased by Rebecca,

and the market bag and produce bags at 3Birdies

All really simple, cute, sustainable ideas. I'm feeling the need to do a bit of 'churning out' of sewing projects, largely to reduce my stash.

Any more ideas for some quick and dirty sewing?

Edit: PS Do you have a cute little girl poppet in your life? Then get yourself over to little grubs for a first birthday giveaway, you could win this really sweet dress. Sadly I doubt my boys would appreciate being decked out in this, but it could be YOURS.


  1. Cool posting.
    I too love to make, just tor the fun of making. Cool post.

  2. I was saying that to myself an awful lot over the past six months- if only I had an overlocker...any way I had a birthday last week and bought myself a bernina overlocker (under the guise that it was from my kid and husband!) and it is going to be great. I was talking to a girlfriend about this yesterday and hilariously, she picked up an overlocker for $99 at Aldi and reckons it's great.

  3. When I saw your bags the first thing that popped into my head was grocery bags.

    And yes, an overlocker does change the way one sews. It makes sewing stretch fabric a dream and simplifies the process on woven fabrics too. I have one, it's officially 17 years old next month and if it died I would sell a child to replace it.

    And thanks for the giveaway tip! What a GORGEOUS dress.

  4. hiya Gina. I perhaps wouldn't sell a child, but I might think about it. Before you even mentioned overlocker I was thinking how that would have made nice, quick, well finished bags - even with your 'to hell with it' attitude. I have only learnt to use mine recently and even though I haven't put it to much use (it's a time thing),I LOVE it! Depending upon the type of things you sew, one can end up using it more than the sewing machine.

    How funny that you met a class mate. I will wait with much anticipation for the person in question to tell me they met you! I didn't make it to that stand - too much to see, too little time. The course is tricky with small kids - a real balancing act, but do-able if you're organised. Come to the open day and call the school to register your interest and they will keep you updated regarding information sessions. Catch ya XXOO

  5. I NEVER overlock. Zig-zagging the edging is as far as I go, but I find that it works just fine for me. Sometimes I dream about overlockers, but then I would need the space to put one, and I'm jammed enough in our house as it is! So I tell myself I don't need it ...

    I get fabric paralysis too, just like you do. I have all this beautiful material I can't bring myself to cut into, because what if I make a mistake, or what if I decide later that I should have used it for a different project and find I don't have enough left, or what if I end up hating the thing I've made?? Grrr, it's so frustrating! I have to adopt the "just do it" mindset more often. It's like keeping things for best, it just means you don't get to enjoy it as much. Sigh.

  6. Once you've used an overlocker you'll never go back. For years I didn't see the point, until I started going to patternmaking classes where dressmaking was taught at the same time. When I saw what a difference it made I went out and bought one. It takes a little while to learn what to overlock and when, as most patterns don't tell you, but once you do it's magic.

  7. Hey those bags look fantastic!! Super cute, I wonder if your kids will steal them as much as mine. Don't be surprised if you find cars in one and a dolls head in another!

  8. Those bags are perfect (and something I've been meaning to do forever).
    I bought myself a second hand overlocker on Ebay so I didn't have to fork out too much cash, and I love it.

  9. I love the bags and the approach you've taken with them. That's my kind of sewing.

    I never get fabric paralysis but perhaps it's because I'm not a fabric lover like many others out there. I'm happy to use my stash cause then I can buy more!

    I've yet to discover the joys of overlocking, even though I do own one.

  10. Thanks for the link!!! Love the destashing by the way - you've got the jump on me so I better give it some thought! xx

  11. I so know how you feel when you talk about the fabric paralysis. I used to have that all the time, up to the point where I didn't even start sewing anymore.
    But then it changed. I realized that some fabrics I was loving, loving, LOVING, a few years ago just somehow lost their glow a little bit, even though I thought that could never happen. And then I realized that that was a waste of that beautiful fabric. And that I better could use it when I was in the stage of LOVING it, so I could really enjoy it. (And find some new fabric to LOVE :-)) That works!

    Great bags by the way, Gina!


“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~Albert Einstein