Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mama Bags

Our Saturday Stitchers are still going strong. They've made a Thanksgiving table runner, and two weeks ago they whipped up snow caps from felted wool sweaters. I'm so proud of how they're doing! I keep reminding a few of them that a month or so ago they couldn't thread a needle or sew on a button and look how far they've come.

We've got two sessions left, meeting this Saturday and the next one. When we met for the first time I showed them the project we'd be making last, and when I asked how many of them doubted they could actually do it, the vote was unanimous - no way!

But they can, and I can't wait to meet with them this weekend, and see what their faces look like with a look of accomplishment on them. I sent them to the fabric store with instructions to buy a yard of whatever fabric made them happy, along with a yard of lining, and two feet of ribbon.

The first bag I made, using the directions from Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule was just not tall enough. It makes a dandy knitting bag, being heavy on the long side and not so much on height. Perfect for long knitting needles but we all agreed we should alter the pattern for something that would hold books, coupons, a bottle of water, etc. I decided we needed to add 8 inches in height to the pattern in the book.

Here's the one I whipped up this morning. I figured a refresher course would be good for me before I taught them how to make it. I'm glad I did, and I have a very cheery bag to give to someone on my gift list. This one was made from a tablecloth I purchased at Goodwill for $3, and two pillow cases that cost $1 each. There's tons of fabric left from the tablecloth to whip up more bags or whatever else strikes my fancy.
We also thought the bag could use a pocket or two inside.
Everything is better with pockets :-)
I lined the inside of the bag with more of the pillowcase fabric, and the pockets were cut from the tablecloth. One pocket is sewn down the middle for two smaller compartments and I left one larger with room to tuck a book or wallet in it.

And here's what I bought for the bag I'll be sewing alongside the Saturday Stitchers. We figured out putting a table in the middle of the room, with me sewing there, would work well. That way they can gather around all sides and see what's going on. I'm going to take the green and orange and split them 1/3 and 2/3 to make the outside of the bag, and who's it going to?
Me of course - it's the fabric that made me happy.
I'm pretty sure I can make good use of a mama bag too.


Becky said...

Every body needs a mama bag. Even an grandmama. Especially one that makes them happy.

Gretchen said...

Oh, that's darling. I can never have too many totes. Why is that? I've heard such good things about using sheets and pillow cases for backings and linings. Lurved your little, sweet knitted bags, too. Such a craft goddess in you, Bev. :) xxxooo

Linda said...

I love it! There are times I really wish I could sew, and this is one of them. My Mom sewed all of my clothes when I was a little girl. She is an amazing seamstress. My theory is it skips a generation!! Sewing makes me feel like Laura Ingalls said it made her feel - like I'm flying to pieces (at least I think that's what she said).
You've done a wonderful thing for those ladies!