Saturday, July 19, 2008

Reusable Grocery Bag Swap

I never did post a picture of the grocery bag I made for the swap last week. The lady I was swapping with had in her profile that she is collecting coasters for stocking stuffers. I pulled out two different fabrics and decided to give reversible coaster making a try. Now tell me why I couldn't find a tutorial in time to make these?

The back coaster was my first attempt and the front my second. My first attempt was horrible!!!! Besides the fact I used burgundy thread which matches the other side I didn't fold it right. I cut out eight 5" squares with the intent of making 4" coasters. My mistake happened when I cut eight 4.5" of fusible fleece. I meant to cut the interfacing at 4" so it would give me a line to fold the fabric in and wouldn't cause bulk. It was tedious folding the sides under 1/4" (yes it took a while to notice my mistake). I sewed 1/8" all around the sides then sewed 1/4" spiral all the way to the center. I was very disappointed in the outcome. Here I had three more to go and didn't like the first one. I didn't want to scrap the whole idea, but wasn't sure what to do. It was when I started turning under and pinning #2 that I realized my mistake. I ripped off all the fleece, cut 1/2" off making it 4" and ironed it back on. Instead of folding the sides under I turned the right sides together and sewed around the edges of the fleece while leaving an opening to flip it. The results were so much better. For starters I had the 4" coaster I wanted instead of the crude 4.5" I got with #1. Another change I made was using burgundy bobbin and sky blue thread on top. I've never mixed my thread on a visible portion of a project, but it actually worked out great. I sewed 1/8" around my 4" coaster closing my opening as I went around. I then finished it like I did my first by sewing a spiral pattern 1/4" all the way to the center. I successfully made four coaster and sent them all off with the reusable grocery bag to their new home.

I'm now working on a handmade purse swap with extras.

  • So far I have a mini make-up bag which Moki refers to as a pencil bag. If you notice in the pictures the two she shows are different sizes. The instructions make the smaller bag. You would need to make the 10x7 inch strip several inches longer if you want to put pencils in it. It does make a cute little bag. I think it will be a good size to put a compact, lipstick and/or other small items into. I hate digging for those things and even more hate reaching into my bag only to come out with lipstick on my hand because the top came off.
  • I've also made a tampon bag for the swap. Heaven help me I can't sew in a circle. All I wanted was a barrel shaped bag with a zipper. Again I couldn't find a tutorial. I even searched for anything dealing with pencils (hence the make-up pouch). I cut out a 6x6.5 inch piece of fabric and attached a 7" zipper to the longer side. I really thought sewing a zipper into such a small barrel would be the hardest part. Boy was I wrong. I had to guess on how big of circles to cut for the end. I knew it would be a bit to much fabric, but I went ahead and cut out 3" circles knowing I would have to cut some off after sewing it on. Pinning it on was a nightmare and sewing it on was worse. I finally got it on, but in the end it wasn't round like I had hoped. Hehehe... I decided I really didn't care because it did the job.
  • I still have a tissue cover by Craftapalooza and mini notepad cover by Knitting After Hours to make.

Of course I don't have to make any of it, but thought I would. There actually wasn't a limit to how much you add to the purse. The only rule is 50% of what's inside must be handmade. By the way the purse I'm sending is the black and white one two posts below.

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