August Odds & Ends

I haven't sewn many garments that have ended up as part of my wardrobe, but now that I own a really good sewing machine and serger, I'm determined to learn how to sew them well and to make them fit. Earlier this spring I did finish a jeans-style jacket that was actually wearable, and I hope to make another for fall.

In July I decided I wanted to try to make a Simplicity 7086 blouse. I finished a muslin version, made my pattern adjustments and selected an inexpensive seersucker fabric to make the "real" blouse. But ever since then, my sewing room has been occupied by a continuous stream of projects for other people -- just look at my August archive to see what I've been working on. I finally have a break in the production line, so my blouse is getting a little attention. And, since summer is almost over, I think I'd like to finish this up really soon.

Anyway, I managed to cut out all my pieces of fabric and interfacing:

Now, I just need some time to get started sewing! I decided I wanted to make View C of this pattern, which is sleeveless. If I like the fit, I have another fabric picked out to make the short sleeve version.

Another project that's been on the back burner for a while are reusable grocery/shopping bags. I've been using a set of plain canvas bags for all my grocery shopping for about 15 years; long before it was "cool". I started out with a set of 4, but somewhere along the way I lost one. These are really sturdy bags and hold a lot of groceries, and I don't need to use paper or plastic when I shop.

For some time now I've been thinking I should make a bag to replace the lost one. And the other 3 are starting to look a little shabby -- you can see the holes in this one: (click to enlarge)

But if I make more bags, shouldn't they have some sort of embroidery on them to point out their "green" nature? I found a couple of embroidery designs which I stitched as samples on my old bags. It kind of dresses them up a little, don't you think? (Maybe the holes aren't so noticeable after all . . .)

Last spring I was cleaning out and re-organizing my sewing room and decided to weed out the fabric remnants I thought I'd probably never use. I'm kind of a remnant junkie, especially home dec fabrics. I really like the idea that I can take home a yard of a fabric to try out before investing in 10 or 20 yards. So I collect remnants, especially when they are marked down 75%. I realized I had quite an assortment of green cotton home dec fabrics. I was on a green kick for a while . . . but now they don't really appeal to me. I could donate them to charity . . . or try selling them on eBay . . . and then it hit me -- I could make my "green" grocery bags from all this green fabric!

I was inspired to use my serger to make the new bags. I measured my old canvas bags and made a simple "pattern", cut out the fabric for the bags and handles and serged the seams for 2 prototypes. I used a 4-thread overlock stitch but I think I want to try to use a combination chain/coverstitch on the rest. I haven't used the coverstitch feature of my serger yet, so this will be a good opportunity to try something new.

So here are some "in progress" pix of my new shopping bags:

The handles will be made from the same fabric and I will probably stitch the "Earth Friendly" and "Save Our Planet" embroidery designs later. I have enough of this gray-green fabric to make 6 bags and I have several other green remnants to use. I wonder what I'll do with all these bags??????


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