Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tote Redo and Renew Ideas

Hope you experienced true joy this Christmas season, I know we enjoyed some and a quieter celebration than others in the past.  But in the quiet comes awareness of how blessed we are and in a state of gratitude for the gift of our Savior and for each other.

My sewing room has been the dumping ground for many weeks, but I have finally cleared a path and begun creating from my thrift collection again.  One item I enjoy working with are the tote bags you come across at Good Will.  Usually there is nothing wrong with them, they might have writing on them, or just are too plain Jane for my taste.  For a Christmas gift for my sis, I jazzed up a plain blue and brown nylon tote, that had Curves written on the lining.  Probably was a free gift with purchase or something, but a nice size to carry books or small purchases.  I have a plethora of doilies, lace and buttons, so naturally I had to change it's look.  What do you think?

 I used a glue gun to adhere the trimmings, but hand sewed the button for security.  The nice thing is that the bag can be wiped clean with a cloth, the vintage trim, will only improve with age. 

Here are a few more Good Will bags with my 4Rs approach:

 This woven bag had nice features and shape, but it was blah. I added some vintage lace in a large flower motif.  Just hot glue, and minutes later, a bag that is stylin with interest.  I glued a few more flowers on the back side so it looked complete.

 This black brief case sized bag, was very black and blah.  I had this petite doily with embroidery and crocheted lace, that just needed to dress it up.  Hot glue again, and on the backside, I applied a battenburg lace trim to the zipper flap.  Call me crazy but I think it is an improvement.

 This springy off white woven bag was dull, but I had saved this embroidered piece from a pillowcase, I reinforced it with fusible pellon, then glued it down.

This last bag is typical what you find in thrift stores.  A useable tote bag with writing from a trade show.  I don't like providing advertisement for events, especially past ones, so I took a vintage quilt piece and made a pocket from it.  Turning the edges down, and then I sewed it around 3 sides.

 Sorry, the pic below is sideways; it wasn't easy to sew, as my machine is not good on heavy layers.  But I managed to get it done, and while it is slightly crooked,  it covers the writing, and makes a usable pocket. 

 For practically nothing, I jazzed up a few bags, and made use of my vintage linen stash.  A win-win, right?

What have you recycled lately?  Share, and link to my flickr group on side bar.  Sorry I have not posted regularly, my teaching job is done now, and I am back to subbing sporadically. I am taking a grad class online, but hopefully won't be overwhelmed like last semester.  Time will tell!  Post your comments, please!!!

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