Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seam Allowance- the Tote

    Every January I seem to get really bored with what is in my closet- in the past that would have meant hitting the mall or thrift stores and getting frustrated because there is nothing new yet- we are between seasons after all! However with my Seam Allowance pledge ( to sew 1/4 items that we wear) still very fresh in my mind I turned towards my scrap bin to see what I could come up with.

    It does help that I had this lovely length of saddle leather from Merchant and Mills to use as a strap- I think it really ups the anti on a simple bag like this! Plus it was fun to get out the hammer to put the grommets in- unusual for a sewing project. The bulk of this grown up tote is made of sturdy painter's linen- reinforced on the bottom with a length of denim ( remnant of last years jeans which were turned into shorts) and accented with a piece of gingham salvage.

     I was looking for something very simple- not too heavy yet must be sturdy enough to carry a multitude of Legos and Fairies, paper and crayons as well as snacks. I guess you could say this is the evolution of a diaper bag for me! Bonus points for looking great- super fresh for Spring- nice and simple- not to mention free because I used what I had on hand!

    There really is no pattern for this- I just sort of made it up as I went along- I sewed a basic lined tote but omitted the fabric handles- I added the loops for the D-rings and the leather handle once the bag was complete.  I think I might make another one- I am contemplating experimenting with waxing my own linen- making it waterproof. I also was thinking it would be very interesting to dip dye a bag like this- so once warmer weather gets here I am going to start experimenting with some natural dyes- which I am very excited about!
    The Seam Allowance project which I started participating in a few months ago is really tough- I thought it would be easy considering the amount of clothing I already make for this family. To physically sew one in four items though if a lot more difficult than I imagined. What it has done though if anything is completely curbed our impulse purchasing because I always think "oh I can make that" and I consider where it was made and by who- which is really the entire point of the project- to get people thinking!

    Going into Spring I am feeling quite a bit more organized- I know we will all need shorts soon and so I am starting on it now! Miss Lo has more than enough sundresses, cute tops and skirts so this time it is The Boy's turn- he needs a new hoody, shorts and a few more pairs of shorts for warmer weather- sewing for boys can be so much trickier than sewing for girls!

    Thank you to my friend Andrea for snapping these pics yesterday after we went for our tea date! Nothing like a good chat about babies!


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