Thursday, May 6, 2010

Easy anything bag

Did I mention the projects are flying from my sewing machine unattended?
I am trying to whittle away at my heap of fabric and shoulda-dones before the baby arrives. Meanwhile the weather outside has cooperated with my efforts by alternating sunshine and hailstorms in breathtakingly fast succession. Too stormy to plant anything? Grow your own laptop/diaper/bookbag:

The last time I blogged about a tote bag I was thinking of Earth Day, going green, and getting the stack of feedsacks stored in my barn down to a husband-acceptable level. That little bag is pretty cute, still, and led to my farmgirl self producing dozens of grocery-style bags made from feedsacks.
Those're pretty popular in our granola neck of the country. Some cottage industries sell them at our outdoor markets -- people will pay for the empty feedsacks they use as materials -- and they sell for $12 apiece. Yikes. I didn't know that when I started stitching them up. But I even made some for a former neighbor because he stopped at my house and asked for them so many times and then at one point stated that I had promised them to him.
I didn't remember promising anything but I made the bags for him so he'd stop stopping.
This new bag is not so indestructable as one made from feedsack material. And it's strictly for myself. It's big enough and padded enough for my laptop computer and has shoulder straps in my favorite paisley. It's washable. Not that that's important to a mom of five.
For the body of the bag I used a big rectangle of fabric sandwich, quilted on one side. For handles I used a long tube of fabric arranged on the outside of the quilted side, pinned in place before sewing:

I'm not usually that big on pinning, but straps and handles have to be in the right place or they feel weird on your shoulder.
I also sewed in some inside pockets, measured to fit my phone, my notepad and pens:

(I should mention that the first thing I did was reinforce the very middle of the big rectangle, or the bottom of the bag, with extra layers and triple stitching about an inch wider than my laptop computer is deep. There are products for this that are stiff, enough to make a bag stand up, but I don't find them to be very washing-machine friendly. And, um, I would have had to go to the fabric store for some. 'Nuf said.)

Finally I placed a little rectangular side gusset (is that the right word?) on each side so the bag opens wide enough for whatever:
As an afterthought I also added some little ties to close it at the top.

I took it to the doctor's office yesterday, loaded with crayons and coloring books and the big girls' novels, and got compliments on it in the waiting room.
I love the fabrics in this so much I may make a few receiving blankets to coordinate.
But if my ex-neighbor comes asking, I don't manufacture these and y'all need to be my witness: I promised NOTHING. I have enough projects of my own lined up.
That being said. In the next few days you should bug me if I don't post my other recently finished project -- a shoe organizer made for Madeleine from more feedsacks.


Carolyn said...

I barely remember sewing. Your bag looks fabulous.

Katie said...

OIY! The utter cuteness! THe super craftiness. O' the cleverness of you!