Welcome, and thanks for visiting. I have to keep my creative juices flowing, so these are some of my creations!
If you are a miniature or fairy garden enthusiast, like I am, please visit my Facebook page, Away With The Fairies, for ideas and inspiration.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Old Bag

I'm trying hard to recycle/repurpose when I do sewing projects, as fabric remains fabric, and usually something can be made with part of, if not the whole item, even if the designs on it are outdated, even if there are marks or stains, holes or fading.  So, this project puts my new mantra to work!

Go to the charity shop of your choice.  Find 2 matching (or not matching if you're adventurous!) pre-loved fabric placemats (.25c each in this case).
Iron them, then get out your ribbon stash and choose a color palette to play with.  I chose blues, greens and browns for this one (for my DIL's sister as she wears denim a lot.)  Lay your chosen ribbons onto the placemats and rearrange them until you're happy with the color and pattern mix. 
Sew the ribbons onto the placemats (I used different ribbons on each side), trim the ends, put them right sides together, and sew around 3 sides (leaving top end open).  Fold the top (open) end over and iron flat.  Use a heavy cord or trim for the 2 straps/handles, and pin them in place with the ends tucked in under the edge like this:
Sew the whole way around the folded edge, making sure the strap ends are sewn securely.  Fold the straps up and out of the bag opening and sew right around the top edge, again making sure the straps are sewn down well.  Turn your bag inside out, and there you have it:
I added the co-ordinating ribbon flower pin (which can be removed and worn as a brooch).  There are lots of ribbon flower tutorials on the web, so if you decide to dress your bag up a little, do a Google search and find a pattern/tutorial that you like.  This one is a simple gathered ribbon sewn onto a round piece of blue felt, then onto a cut-out of green felt leaves, with a button in the middle and a brooch pin sewn onto the back.
I made my DIL a diaper bag the same way (using corduroy fabric), twice this size, and with a pocked for her phone and a ribbon keychain attached to one of the straps.   I also made a bible tote for my friend but forgot to take a pic of it before I gave it to her!  Oh yes, and I made myself this one awhile ago too.  (Flowers are felt cut out on my Cuttlebug.)
I hope I've inspired you to look at old placemats in an entirely new light!


  1. What a super bag. Ideal gifts. You are so clever. Warm wishes

  2. What a terrific bag -- you are one very crafty lady!

  3. Tilly, I absolutely LOVE this project. Great job!!

  4. I am in LOVE with your idea and completely inspired to try this! I haven't broken out the sewing machine in years and I tell ya, in the middle of the night last night I almost woke up my hubby to go get it out of our storage area under the stairs, I was so excited. I think I can actually do this! Thank you sooooo much for the awesome and super clever idea! I am a follower now and will be checking your posts daily. You are one of my top 10 favorite blogs for sure now. :0) Please, if you get a chance, and haven't already, come on over to my blog at http://lv2scrapandfibrofacts.blogspot.com/ and see what you think! I love new friends. :0)
    XO ~ Amy Jo (new follower and idolizer - LOL)
    amyjrockstar at gmail dot com