Skip to main content


I'm not going to pursue the gift card bag idea.  Again, I'm really grateful for your feedback.  You had lots of good ideas about how to improve them, but for the following reasons, I'm not going ahead:

1.  The question of what to make the bags out of is a big one.  The white felt I used didn't look that great.  I think it looks better in person than in the pictures, but not different enough to go ahead.  If I had some quality wool felt, that would be a major improvement.  It would have a nicer texture and appearance and it also wouldn't be such a stark white.  The appeal of using felt is that the edges don't need to be finished.  No seam finishing, lining, etc, and it is substantial enough to support embellishment.

2.  My thought was to make them and give them to the school to sell.  They are not a big ticket item and I can't reasonably make piles of them, so they wouldn't really bring in that much money.  Not enough to make it worth my time.  There would be more time and money spent on improving them and then all the time in production.  I'd rather just donate some of the other money I've made from sewing and be on my merry sewing way.

3.  The question of what one would do with it after receiving it is significant.  It could be re-gifted or used as an ornament or as a gift bag for some other small item, but none of those things are really necessary and I really think we need fewer unneccesary things, not more.  Christmas involves enough waste as it is, I don't need to increase that.  Interestingly, the felt that I did use was made from recycled plastic bottles.  I thought that was cool.  Too bad it doesn't look nicer.

I'll likely use the three bags I made without shame, but won't be making more.  I like sewing better than crafting.  These were definitely crafting.

But, sometimes it is fun to make something other than clothes.  Like this little ball that I made yesterday with my son:

The free pattern is available here (lower right sidebar).  He picked out the colors and helped me with the pins (taking them off and putting them on the magnetic holder) but enjoyed the stuffing part the most.  That was fascinating for him.  It's good to have a small, soft ball that can be tossed around inside the house.

Next up:  More work on the jeans.


  1. I like your idea of less, not more waste at Christmas! That's how I'm feeling about it, too. And, it's WAY cool that that felt was made from recycled bottles--will you tell where to buy it? As I've said before, I use some white felt for various paddings and etc, and a "green" white felt sounds good. As for wool felt, I'm all about penny rugs right now, so I can see what you mean about that being a different matter.

    Thanks for sharing the inside-ball pattern, too! I bet dear boyfriend would love one; he's always throwing around sand-filled medicine balls (and dropping them) :P "Not in the House!"

  2. What a cutie! He looks so proud of himself. He has a nice sense of color/pattern mix, too.

  3. I love the ball, Renee. As I read your gift certificate holder thoughts, I did think of something else - would they look cool if made out of old sweaters?

    Maybe I'm still eyeing my recycled mittens and am sad I wasn't willing to dish out 35 bucks for a pair tonight. I'm sure your brother is not so sad about that. :)

    BTW - I actually stopped by a boutique and showed them my bibs - I'll let you know how that turns out - I have to wait to hear from the owner.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Shopping Bags

Most stores in our town charge you a nickel for a plastic bag when you check out. I love this practice and the way that it encourages people to bring their own cloth bags or reuse their plastic ones. My habit of bringing along bags to the grocery store is well established, but I used to find myself stuck at places like the drug store or farmer's market or other impromptu stops. Then I picked up a bag at an upscale kitchen goods store that rolls up quite compactly. Now I keep that in my purse, so I always have a bag with me.

I like my bag so much that I wanted to replicate it for the art sale. The final result is a hybrid of the bag I purchased and these that I made last year.

The bag is a little bigger than the average plastic grocery bag. The velcro tab is used to keep the bag rolled up, but also can close the top of the bag when it is full.

Most of the bag is a single layer of cotton, but the handles are faced. There is a double row of top-stitching around both edges of the handl…

Grocery Bags

More gifts!

These are just like the still-all-too-ubiquitous plastic grocery bags, but they're fabric. 

I followed this tutorial and you actually use a plastic bag as a pattern.  The instructions are very good and include a pocket so that the bag can be folded up and is easy to keep in a purse or a car's glove box.

Mostly for the sake of the gift recipients, here's how to fold up the bag....

1.  Lay the bag pocket side down and fold it length-wise using the edges of the pocket as a guide.

2.  Fold it in half, aligning the top of the handles with the bottom of the bag.

3.  Fold in half again and then reach into pocket with your hand and turn the whole thing (pocket included) inside out.

Happy shopping!

Christmas Table Runner

S asked me to make a Christmas table runner for her shop. Her only suggestions about what it should look like were "not too fussy or busy."

I decided on a simple applique of three trees on a linen background. The runner is 60" long and 13" wide.

For the trees, I used a lightweight fusible product and then straight-stitched around the edges. I like the raw-edge applique look, but don't use it very often.

The border and backing is an apple green color that didn't photograph well. I was happy with the mitered corners, but they don't look so good (a little lumpy) in the pictures. I do really like the narrow folded border inside the green one. I only had a small amount of the striped fabric, but think this was a good way to use it.

I was so happy with this when I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but now that I'm looking at the pictures, I'm less than thrilled. I'm really hoping that it is just the pictures, but it looks wrinkly and rumpled to me…