It's Not Sexy Sewing...It's Domestic

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ahoy!  I survived my first week of classes and balanced some field work.  Delivering the first lecture in each of my classes -- eager eyed students who are excited to start university and the familiar faces of returning students -- is always a pleasure.

In early August, I became determined to sew some useful things that would be more green (I was working with a company last week in the field and one of the technical guys described me as a hippy.  Me!?! A hippy?!  Never thought of myself as that but I am definitely aware of how much waste there is around me and I actively try to cut down on my family's waste!).  I placed an order from Fabric.com for fabrics specific for some green domestic sewing.   Soooooooo this isn't a sexy sewing post -- I don't have a glamorous new pattern or outfit to share.  Rather this is a practical post.  Be aware that it is full of pictures!

Experiment 1:
Reusable Snack Bags

Materials:
Laminated BPA free cotton
Various Fat Quarters or scraps of cotton
Velcro (1/2" sewable)
White Thread (I think I used a big spool from my serger -- Maxi Cone)

Procedure:
Wasting ziplock bags on lunch annoys me. Grapes, pretzels, sandwiches -- they are all usually stuffed into little plastic bags.  I knew there had to be another way.  Enter the reusable snack bag.  It is lined with laminate cotton to keep things fresh and crisp. I found adorable laminated cotton (BPA, and lead free which is good for me but do what you feel best as it still contains synthetic materials to make the laminate) from Michael Miller called Sealed with a Kiss which declares my love for my family.  It is red with sayings like "I adore you" or "Honey" or "Sweetheart".  It is a secret message on the inside of the bag!
I used the DIYMommy's tutorial.  I really didn't need a tutorial but, to be honest, with my hectic daily schedule I didn't want to have to measure or do any more maths than I needed.   I just wanted to sew. The DIYMommy suggest it takes about 15 minutes to make a bag.  I know it took me a bit more time  -- plus I made a bunch of various sizes.  I did a sort of conveyer belt.  One night I cut the fabric, then after I sewed the laminated cotton and cotton together, I turned it right side out and sandwiched it under heavy books since I couldn't use an iron to set the seams. The next evening I added velcro and finished them.
While I worked a Hancock, I picked a couple of boxes of Clover's Wonder Clips on a whim.  I pulled them out on this project and instantly fell in love.  No pins just clips. Easy.  (I have since used them on pattern and fabric pieces I have cut -- very handy after I marked the fabric!).

Experiment 2:
Mug Rug or Lunch Mat

Materials:
Fabric scraps
Cotton Batting
Double-fold bias tape
Maxi-cone Thread

Procedure:
We pack our lunches everyday to work or school.  Last school year, I went to lunch with my son at least one time a quarter.  I noticed that he would eat out of his lunch box.  The idea of a mug rug becoming a lunch mat would provide him a place to lay his sandwich when he wanted to take a drink.  This is a clean mat for his lunch, small so it fits in his lunch box (and mine!), and can be thrown in the wash to get clean.
Again, while at Hancock (I think I will be saying this a lot so do please forgive me!), I picked up fabric swatches of random home decor fabric.  I just sewed up a bunch of these swatches till it resembled a rectangle.  I then added batting in the middle of two swatch rectangles and finished it off with double-fold bias tape.  I made four more of these on Saturday afternoon.  My mother, an avid lunch packer, requested several lunch mats and reusable bags. Guess I'll be sewing these items for a while.

Finally....

Experiment 3:
Kitchen Towels

Materials:
Cotton fabric
White Thread

Procedure:
Guess what?  I found kitchen towel fabric during the unmentioned store closing and bought a bolt.  Much like my annoyance with wasteful plastic bags, I have a mountain of kitchen towels to avoid using paper towels.  When the bolt was so very cheap, I could not pass it up and on Sunday I made six kitchen towels.
Since the fabric is checkered, I didn't bother to measure instead I eyed it and made sure to cut along a line.  As a result I have towels of varying length but, meh!, I don't care.  What makes this sew even easier, is that this fabric had selvages that were already sewn.  Literally that means, a turn and fold with a good press, and then a straight stitch.  Cannot beat that!

Whew!  That wraps up this round of domestic sewing.  I still have fabric bowl covers and tortilla warmers to make a some point.  I am itching to make a dress......

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Annie