For me, a vital part of caring about the environment is recycling, reducing and reusing as much as possible. Making reusable, denim shopping bags was a natural path to venture down.
And I did, once I realized how difficult it was to deal with large quilts.
Shopping bags are obviously smaller, and therefore, should be simpler. Not so! Not yet anyway. I ran into issues with them as well. But I’m learning from my mistakes!
In the meantime, I still have this bag . . . . . . .
You’ll notice it’s missing something! Yep, handles!
I have two handles (only one of which I could find for picture taking purposes). This bag is fashioned from an old t-shirt my dad bought for me when I was a teenager. I’m now in my (cough, cough) mid-40’s and my dad is no longer here, so this bag has sentimental value for me. I’d like to finish it.
When I decided to make it, I hadn’t actually made a reusable shopping bag before. . . . no. . . .no, hang on. . . . I suffer from a notoriously-horrible-memory and this was a while ago.
I’m having a vague recollection now that I’d made 2 bags in early 2014,
I did so entirely from my head (no pattern searching on the internet) and have struggled with the handles as a result. My first attempts, I didn’t like, not strong enough.
I truly love the new and improved style of the Big Bad John’s handles. They’re super sturdy and you need that in a shopping bag. Don’t you?
It’s hard on my sewing machine though. At least it was when I attempted the same handle style on another bag (another
failure valuable teaching experience)
Because these handles are 4 layers of denim and the band around the top of the bag is an additional 4-6 layers. . . . . my sewing machine failed me. It’s why I have a handleless bag and bagless handles. I’m currently left to ponder the problem. I need to figure out how to lessen the layers while keeping the strength I’m looking for.
I take great pride in what I do and I want my bags to last a very long time. Otherwise, a person might as well go buy a cheap, made-in-China, piece of crap bag from a dollar store.
I’ll be back one day with photos of a finished product, or two I should say, because the owl bag needs completion as well. I think I have to disassemble the band and handles. . . . sigh. . . . . removing blue-on-blue stitching isn’t something I’m hurrying to do! I’ll have to sit outside with the mosquitoes because indoor lighting is never adequate enough for a job like that!