Yes, I know I said Christmas and spoiler alert. Remember I didn't have money to ship by gifts to the west coast. Two house payments and one income is no fun! I finally had enough money to send the Christmas presents. They were VERY late, which makes me ill. Fortunately though, my friends and family understand. My mom and best friend have already opened theirs, and I don't know if anyone else reads my blog, so I feel ok about posting pictures and such.
If you do read my blog, and you received (or are waiting to get it from my mom) a gift and have not opened it yet...SPOILER ALERT...stop reading now.
Okay that being said, drum roll please...
For the main gift this year, I made these FABULOUS "green" blue jean grocery bags. They are made with recycled/repurposed jeans from my family, and from anyone who would share with me. I had been collected jeans for awhile for another project, but when I saw this pattern I decided this made better use of them. I will say, it takes a lot of denim. I had 1 1/2 large rubbermaid tubs full. Some of them were shorts, so that does factor in. That being said, I made 16 bags. Yep 16! This is quite an accomplishment for me as I usually do something once, and then never again. It's like the thrill of seeing how it will turn out is gone and after that it becomes tedious. However, I was ready to part with all this denim and I LOVE these bags. The pattern is from Islander Sewing Systems Re-construction Zone. It is called the Double Green Shopping Bag. I did not do the exact pattern they gave. Actually there are 3 different bags. I sort of did a meld of them all. But, I will give credit where credit is due. As I think I have said in previous posts, I LOVED everyone of them, and did not want to give any of them away. I did however, and now need to make some for myself. Several people have suggested that I sell them. Because of copyright laws, I will not be doing that. My daughters have ask me to make some more like purses. I may do that, I'm still trying to figure out a pattern that will work. I may take the concept and tweak it more, not sure yet.
Another funny, not so funny thing is I actually ran out of denim. Then it was a mad dash to find more. I looked at the fabric store, but I really prefer the worn look, and the blend of different colors. I made my kids go through their drawers again, that yielded a few pairs. Finally I went to Goodwill. I wanted ones that had been donated, that they couldnt sell because of rips or stains. I can use those and just cut out the bad parts. They told me they sent all that stuff to a recycler. Darn!! I ended up buying shorts, out of the bin for 49 cents each. I bought the biggest sizes I could find. I had HUGE pairs of shorts. One pair though wasn't huge, but so 80's I had to buy it. They were white with a pink and blue floral pattern on them. LOVE! I have also recent'y bought several more pair of crazy blue and black capris to make bags. Can't wait to see how they turn out. I also bought some very large jumper dresses.
To make these, my dining room felt like a sweat shop. I had 2 sewing machines set up. Each with different color threads. Mine had the blue denim thread, and Gwen's had the gold top stitching thread. I tried a bag without top stitching trying to save a step. It looks so much better with it. I also had my cutting mat out and denim EVERYWHERE. About half way through completion I needed to change the thread in Gwen's machine. With the new thread, the tension was WAY off and I could never get it to sew right. My mom suggested it was a timing issue, either way it will need to be repaired. Bummer! So the last several bags, I had to keep switching the thread in my machine. This makes for a much slower process. If you make these and have access to 2 machines, use them.
Now for the photos. I took pictures of each side. I will group them together so you can get and idea of what each bag looked like. I like some more than others, but don't have a favorite. Just when I think I do, I see another one and rethink it.
Okay...I have messed with the photos for too long now. For me in preview they don't show together. I have tried several different things and they never move in preview. UGH! Sorry. Tomorrow, I will try to post the knit projects I worked on. TTFN