Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It seems like grocery totes are the easiest thing to make. You can go simple, as I did, or complex, which I can't really see a point in doing! I wanted to make it simple, so I thought about making a pattern myself. I have a Trader Joe's tote I bought there, and I thought I would just copy it. I drew a pattern, more or less the size of the side, and then did two sizes - one of the totes is larger than the others. I used a fabric shower curtain I found at the nice resale shop here in town, and cut out three totes. Of course you need two sides and then four strap pieces for each tote. I chose to make my straps the other way on my totes, which allows more ease of carrying I think. You could put them where ever you please. You sew the straps together, and then turn to the right side. I thought using double fabric for the strap would add some strength as well. I finished all the straps first, and then attached them to the bag after I turned down the top of the bag twice to make a nice little finished edge. I sewed double seams on all the sides and the bottom and I reinforced the straps and the bottom, making faux flat felled seams. This adds a bit of strength. On the first grocery run, I found that the store baggers were familiar with people coming in with their own bags, but the cashier was amazed that I made three of mine! She seemed to think the idea was right up there with the light bulb! I didn't really think so myself, but I let her admire my skills. HA! I might make a few more, as I have enough for a couple more out of that one piece of fabric. It has sort of a plasticized backing. Not too thick, but enough to give the fabric a bit of body. They are working fine for our routine weekly grocery trips. Easier to carry than plastic bags, and more ecological. Try making your own bags, you'll like it! Your main problem with these bags will be remembering to take them with you when you leave the house.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Now it's the next day! Here is a morning shot with the light from the windows. And another as well! I share my space with books in bookcases, various oddments I have accumulated over the years, lots of pictures, filing cabinet, large desk, computer and peripherals, shoes, sweaters, and a lot of knickknacks I didn't mean to collect. I guess I like chickens...But I also like sewing machines, so for the first time ever, I have double furniture. Yes, two rows on two walls in here. Sigh. I cut out my patterns on the dining room table, and this is what we call the den. Mainly my den of course. My desk, my sewing, my books, mixed in with family magazine, books and file cabinet. Also the lifetime collection of family photos except for the ones I have all over the house as well. And stored. It is amazing how many pictures you just have to have around to give your den that homey feeling! I find drawers and organization help immensely with sewing in this room. I don't tend to have a stash, so one set of drawers is mainly fabric, and some fabric is on a chair as well. I like to sew it down to a minimal level, but lately I haven't sewed as fast as bought it would appear.Perhaps someday there will be an empty room in which I can just have a sewing room, but in a way this room is where I can hear the house and the family, and still be cooped up in my den, a retreat from the maelstrom of family life, yet close enough to get into the maelstrom should that be my wish.