I thought I was finished with the Christmas bag making – wrong! Yesterday afternoon I distributed the zippered bags to the women in the knitting group (they all loved them) – however instead of the dozen I’d planned for, by last evening I had given away 20!
I reconstructed a list of other people I’d already given bags to – that was another 15, and I still have a further 16 on my list. In spite of the ten small bags I made the other day I was going to be a few bags short and I still want to have some around for ready gifts through the year.
So this morning I got up and started prepping for another twelve bags (finished size 6″ x 8″).
I cut the outside fabric, lining fabric, batting, zipper tape, grosgrain ribbon – that took about an hour. I sat down to production sew the bags which took just over 90 minutes (that’s less than 10 minutes/bag). By 11:30 I had another dozen bags.
And that wasn’t the end. I visited my friend Joan during the afternoon. She’s 88 and not as active as she used to be. I didn’t think she’d find a use for a bag so I didn’t take one. However we discussed them and turns out she could use a small bag to carry a credit card, a bit of cash and a key. When I came home I made her one. I’ll take it over to her tomorrow!
20 to the knitting group
15 given to other friends
14 more to give away
10 sent to my niece (for her to use as gifts)
24 in my stash
That makes 83 bags I’ve done in the last month and a bit. No more!
Not much to say about these – I can practically make them with my eye’s closed. The size of these bags was determined by the fabric pieces I had – a sample collection of colour ways in graduated sizes I was given at the sewing retreat last month. I was limited by the size of the smallest sample piece. That was when I decided to add a top strip using leftovers from the larger pieces.
Last 10 Bags For 2019!
I have now sewn close to 50 this season – that’s it, no more. Ten went to my niece for her to use as gifts.
Maxelle’s Gift Bags “Hand-made by Aunt Judith”
Twelve are for the women in my knitting group – they get their’s tomorrow. The others have been disappearing quickly from the stash – which is why I decided to make ten final ones.
I should now have enough zippered bags for this season with a few left over to give away during the year. The bags don’t need to be wrapped – they are the wrapping and useful besides.
The other day Barbara Emodi shared in her newsletter “The Elastic Wallet” (from Threads Designs Inc. Theory). Sounded interesting so I bought and downloaded the pattern and tried one.
The Elastic Wallet
The wallet is made from 2″ elastic with a non-fraying fabric piece on one side (although there’s no reason not to add it to both sides if you wanted to). The elastic is just the size of a credit card – Barbara suggests giving it as a gift with a gift card included – a nice idea.
The wallet is simple to make – but I have one suggestion – in the instructions is tells you to cut 15″ of a 2″ elastic (I just used the black elastic I had on hand), fold the two ends into the centre point, then fold in two again enclosing the two ends.
After constructing the one above, I’d do it the opposite way, I’d fold the ends into the centre but fold the elastic in two again leaving the open ends on the outside – my reason for doing it that way is because my 1/8″ seam allowance missed the open ends of the elastic in a couple of spots and they’re not secured. Leave them on the outside, use a decorative stitch to sew the two side and bottom edges together, and those ends would be sewn securely. I plan on making another one that way tomorrow.
When I got home from my sewing weekend I showed my niece my stash of small zippered bags. Offered her one, she took two. She was going out that evening for dinner with a friend whose daughter was having a birthday – she took one for Fiona and another for her sister Dana. I took another and put a birthday gift in it for a friend of mine. Now I was down five bags from the collection intended to be for Christmas gifts.
My niece sees me put the gift in a bag and asks if I would make ten bags for her to use as gifts – she’ll pay me, she offers.
Can’t say no to a request like that, so after she left for Toronto the next day, I dug out what fabric I had left over from the original batch, prepared 10 more bags, sat down and stitched them up over the next two days.
Zippered Bags For Maxelle
Past Thursday, I packaged them up and sent them off to Toronto – as a gift for my niece. What am I going to charge her? $5 is too little and $10 is too much to ask her (although were I selling the bags at a craft fair I’d charge $10 for the smaller size, $12 for the larger ones). I was using leftover bits of fabric and batting, I buy zipper tape by the yard, so while I have an idea as to what my materials might cost there’s still nothing much to reimburse me for my time. Better a gift to my niece than try figuring out what to charge her.
She should get them next week. I told her to make sure she tells her friends where she got the bags! I’m sure whoever gets one will enjoy having it. You can’t have too many small zippered bags for carrying stuff, right?
My friend JoAnn has MS and is now bound to her motorized wheelchair. She’s out and about on her own a lot – zipping over to the Games Centre nearby to use the gym, off for coffee round the corner with friends.
When the temperature is low, it’s cold on her legs. So she needs a warm blanket. But the bulk of the blanket makes it difficult to carry her stuff with her – she asked if I would add zippered pockets to the inside of the blanket so she can hook the blanket In place and have what she wants to take with her securely on her lap.
Inside of JoAnn’s Wheelchair Blanket
Not a problem – I cut a wide strip from some PUL fabric I’d bought to make a raincoat for myself (it’s not going to get used for that, I can tell). I decided on the PUL because it’s waterproof and it will keep what JoAnn’s carrying with her dry.
I made self-contained pockets – PUL front and back with raw side edges covered by bias tape. I used a heavy weight (#5) zipper with larger pulls because JoAnn’s hands have lost dexterity. There’s a top compartment large enough for a magazine, a small pocket on top of that for money, and a lower pocket for other stuff – Kleenex, etc.
JoAnn gave me the measurements she wanted and I worked to her specifications. I attached the pocket pouch to the inside of the blanket at the centre so it sits squarely on her lap. To each side I added some colourful webbing tape to hold carabiner clips which she hooks to ties on the sides of her wheelchair.
The blanket was too long – it would have become caught in the front wheels, so I cut off 18″ from the bottom and bound it with a batik fabric using a standard quilt binding technique.
JoAnn is now ready for the next cold day.
If you know someone in a wheelchair, this might be a useful gift for her/him. Just an idea….
This is the second time I’ve made this bag – made one a number of years ago (~ 2015 as I recall) using the beautiful soft purple kid skin I bought in NYC in 2010. I’ve used the bag a lot – the colour faded and it got scratched. It was time to use the remaining purple kid to make another one.
New Leather Bag
Today was the day. Actually I cut out the leather pieces and the lining pieces yesterday, even dashed off to Fabricville to purchase 14″ zippers (longer than the bag is wide so I didn’t have to worry about the zipper ends when sewing them in). It took me just under three hours this morning to put the bag together. I reused the fittings when attaching the strap.
I made a couple of modifications this time, the two painted leather inserts are narrower making the pockets accessed through the khaki zippers larger and therefore more useful than in the first iteration of the bag. I also used a painted leather insert at the top of the back to make the back long enough to match the front.
Otherwise the internal construction is the same – the major central pocket has two small side pockets built in to each side to hold things like hand sanitizer, nail file, wallet, glasses cleaning cloth, Swiss army knife (credit card style), etc. With stuff stored in the pockets I can find what I’m looking for easily – it’s not all a jumble at the bottom. The other two zippered compartments are simple pockets – one for my check book (yes I still carry a check book although I must admit I haven’t written a cheque in almost a year!), and for stuffing shopping receipts in one place so I can find them.
I could put my phone in the bottom pocket if I wanted to – it’s large enough in this version of the bag. But usually I carry my phone in my right pants pocket.
I’m still procrastinating about starting a quilt! I’ve pulled out some fabric – a double jellyroll (5″ wide strips) to start something – Tomorrow! I’ll get going on something tomorrow, for sure.