Caring for our planet: Sewing Edition

by SmithorJones on May 20, 2009

in Around the House, Frugal Living, green living, Hobbies, JonesGirl, Life, WebStops

timeforlunchI enjoy sewing. I know. Not everyone does – but likely even if you don’t, you know someone who does – and they might be like me and would gladly sew a small project for you for fun, or just for the pattern. See, you go buy them the pattern and fabric – and they make you the object but they get to keep your pattern. (Yikes! I hope I don’t get attacked by irate ASG members for saying that.) Bear in mind – unless it’s your grandmother, don’t ask a professional tailor for these type of favors. They’re worth every penny they charge – and likely “then some.” But if you’ve got a friend who loves to sew and you don’t have the budget to hire them, but want something made, you may be able to work a trade. Now that I’m thinking about it – you may be able to trade a service with even a professional seamstress. Bartering is a good thing.

In the case of bribing your friend who sews to make you a little something though – I’d bet your sewing friend could be tempted to make you one of these in exchange for getting to keep the pattern. Actually, that one’s really kind of easy – she may already know how to turn blue jeans into a tote.

Try this one! Who can resist Amy Butler bags(!)? Drop by your sewing friend’s house with some fabric and one of these patterns – be sure to look all “helpless” – and before you know it you’ll have accomplished two things – you have a “green” bag or two (remember, we’re recycling things – or at the very least not using plastic to shop with) and your friend’s got a pattern she was wishing she could convince herself to splurge on. (If your sewing friend is male – just substitute the correct pronouns here…for now our hypothetical seamstress is female.)

OR – there’s always the option that you could learn to sew. There’s certainly plenty out there on the internet, at your local Sewing & Vac store (often free lessons if you buy a sewing machine from them) and of course at the library or Amazon.com.

Sewing really is a fun way of saving money. Yes, fabric is expensive, and yes WalMart probably will sell you clothes for a lot less than you can make them – but if you’ve got sewing skills you’ve got the ability to keep things fresh and unique as well as make use of the local thrift store. Now used clothing is just fabric in an unconventional shape!

Recently, I made this cute little fabric (canvas in my case) brown bag. I found the idea (and pithy instructions) here.  Mine says “Time For Lunch” on it, and it’s probably a little shorter than the dimensions given for the one in the instructions, but that’s the beauty of sewing stuff – you can make it how ever you choose.  I already had the fabric and the seam binding and the button – so it was like “free.”  I just dug around in my sewing stuff and out came the things I needed to make this.  These can also be made from the old pair of jeans you finally wore thru the seat of – or similar.  I used a small piece of cardboard that I covered with a scrap of canvas and put into the bottom to give the bag a little more stability (ladybug stamp here).  Here’s a gallery of some of the steps.

In a future post, I will show more of what I have done with odd leftovers of fabric from projects.

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Mama May 20, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Havent checked out the patterns, etc, but will probably tomorrow…great stuff Cathi.

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