Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Santa Sack Gift Bags

As I was tidying up after Christmas, I realized I should pass along our family's idea for eco-friendly, reusable gift bags. A few years ago, my then-10-year-old daughter and I quickly stitched up some simple cloth sacks for our family to reuse every year. My favorite part about these is they don't require any accessorizing with tissue paper! You know what I mean. You grab a paper gift bag out of your stash, but then you don't have tissue paper that matches, or the tissue paper is embarrassingly crumpled. My Santa Sacks get tied shut at the top, so the contents are neatly hidden inside. If you want the shape of the contents to be better disguised, crumple some newspaper around the item when you tuck it in the sack. Another bonus: the sacks take up very little space in your gift wrap stash. 

We made three sizes of sacks. These were all sized to be cut from 44/45" wide fabric with no waste. I didn't prewash the fabric because I wanted the crisp sizing to stay in, and they don't need to be washed. After I finished the bags, I stitched the middle of a 26" piece of grosgrain ribbon into a side seam, about 3" down from the top edge. On some of the plainer bags, I used a decorative machine stitching for the top edge hem.

Small- finished size is 10" by 16". Cut 4 rectangles, each 11" by 33" across the width of the fabric. Fold and stitch the two side seams, then hem the top edge. 
Medium- finished size is 14" by 21.5". Cut 1 rectangle across the width of the fabric, 44" by 15". Fold, sew up the side seams, then hem the top edge. 
Large-  finished size is 21.5" by 28". Cut 1 rectangle across the width of the fabric, 44" by 29". Fold crosswise and stitch the bottom seam and side seam. Hem the top edge.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Project Du Jour

I love it when I can use something from my stash. Take these cute flannel prints, for instance. My 19-year-old, rather tall son needed new pajama pants. Store-bought pajama pants would be way too short. "But wait!" says I, "I can whip up some pants for you in no time!" After getting a promise from him that he'd wear pants with such childish cartoon figures on them, I set to work. In a few hours (slightly longer than my pronounced "no time" but still shorter than a trip to five stores looking for PJ's and being disappointed) I had two pairs ready for lounging. He still promises to wear them, although he refused to model them for the camera....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year (almost), New Projects

Why do I get so obsessed when there's a new project in my head? I couldn't even sleep well last night, because I kept waking up and thinking about starting a blog. Now I've spent the better part of my Saturday setting up this new blog. We'll see where it takes me. 

I'm hoping this new year means an end to major house projects. I can't believe I'm saying it, but yes, I'm sick of remodeling! Tiling three bathrooms, new vanity and sink in one, re-painting kitchen cabinets, tiling kitchen counters, laying new floor in the basement, and all 
the stripping, painting, and electrical work that goes along with it.... I've had it. As an example, we fished TV cable and ethernet wire through the walls from the attic to the basement, a job that we THOUGHT would take a few hours. THREE DAYS later, we finally brush off our dusty clothes and put the tools away. My husband and I have pledged to not start any new projects.

We'll see how long that pledge lasts.