Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stylish, Homemade Drawstring Bags

Back in July, I found this post in my google reader and they looked so cute, I decided to make the kids their own bags to carry with us to our various Summer outings. However, they looked a bit beyond my skill level so I searched for some simpler designs. I settled upon three and they can be found here, here, and here. The first I used only for reference of the patchwork, the second one I liked how she sewed the holes for the drawstring much better, and the third I liked her step by step pictures. I am such a visual learner. Each tutorial is easy to follow and the bags came together quickly and quite nicely. I tried to document my process to give you all a tutorial of my own, but alas, due to my lack of sewing skills (and unable to read directions when I am tired) it was 2am when I finally finished Sophia's bag and the photos came out terrible. There is little to no light in my craft room, or the dungeon as I refer to it sometimes, as my craft room is in the basement with one tiny window in the top corner, and the track lighting we installed is just not getting the job done. So I apologize, but if you follow the tutorials from the links above you should do just fine.

Once I had my plan written down, Mason went with me to JoAnn's (I had a coupon) to pick out fabric. He was insistent on the flame fabric as soon as he saw it. Such a boy he is, I swear. Finding fabric for Sophie was a bitter harder. I know she likes pink, but wasn't sure what she would like beyond that. I finally decided upon a set of flowery fat quarters in pinks, blues and greens. I also purchased cheap white linen for the liner. I then went to AC Moore and bought parachute cord to use as the drawstring. Though, nylon cord from Home Depot would work just a good.

I used a 3/8" seam allowance and calculated that into my measurements, so I ended up with my final bag measuring 13"x11". Perfect for small children.

Supplies for Mason:
1/2 yard of flame fabric cut into 2 - 15"x12" pieces
Liner fabric cut into 2 - 15"x12" pieces
16ft. of black parachute cord cut into 2 - 21" lengths (about)
Grosgrain ribbon cut into 2 - 2" pieces

Supplies for Sophie:
4 fat quarter pieces cut into 4.875"x3.875" strips
Liner fabric cut into 2 - 15"x12" pieces
16ft. of white parachute cord cut into 2 - 21" lengths
Grosgrain ribbon cut into 2 - 2" pieces

(Aren't they such cute models?)

The kids are super proud of their bags and couldn't wait to start using them. I couldn't have gotten them done at a more perfect time as they came in very useful for our second trip to the Free Summer Movie Fest. It was the day after Sophie's trip to the ER and I was uber paranoid about her eating anything that I couldn't read the label. Yes, this included popcorn and all candy sold at the theatre. My plan was to use them to bring our own food. I packed two juice boxes, some fruit snacks, goldfish, and gummy bears in each of their bags. (I ended up caving and buying some popcorn once we sat down and it was fine). We have since used these when going to see other events like Reptiles Alive at the mall (packing snacks like grapes, raisins and goldfish), going to the allergist (I packed it with some books and toys), and one more trip to the movie theatre (this time I made our own popcorn). The kids insist on bringing these with us just about anywhere we go now. I'm glad they are getting good use, and holding up to the wear and tear. I had also intended to use these for going to the pool. Kids could pack snacks, goggles, toys, a change of clothes, etc. in their bags and it would be less for me to carry. But we haven't made it to the pool much this summer. I just had an idea; if I lined the fabric with vinyl it would be perfect for the beach. Note this on my list for future projects.

I had planned to post this back in July, shortly after I finished making them, but recent events pushed this to the back burner. I have found it hard getting back to normal, and writing about projects or crafts have just felt so trivial. I know blog posts have been sporadic at best and sometimes just random, but it has been an incredibly rough and emotional few weeks. Most days I can't even find the words to write, or it all comes out sounding so disjointed (a bit like this post is sounding right now). I am slowly getting back into the swing of things and will hopefully be blogging regularly again soon. In the meantime, what do you think of the changes to my design? I even created, and added two new blog buttons, so if you haven't already, grab one for your website or blog.

As always, thanks for reading.
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