Sewing for less waste

I must confess I have way too many hobbies, and sewing is one of them. I am an amateur sewer, and can pretty much only sew a straight(ish) line. But that seems to be all I need to whip up a few zero waste essentials such as bags and well, more bags, actually mainly bags.

Sewing supplies are nearly always at op shops, and sometimes they are not necessarily ‘sewing supplies’. I have used shoe laces, mosquito netting, sheets and pillow cases to make bags.

Pillow cases can be turned into bags easily by cutting through the middle and sewing the edges together and if you can manage, sew a casing at the top to pull a drawstring through.

Here’s my how to tutorial:

IMG_20160425_123310637

The pillow case, scissors and braided string were bought from an op shop.

Depending how many bags you want, cut through the middle as shown in the picture below. I have chosen to make three bags in this instance, two smaller and one large.

IMG_20160501_155033145

For the smaller bags made from the bottom end of the pillow case it’s a matter of sewing one side together and leaving 2-3 centimetres at the open end (this is if you intend to put drawstring in).

IMG_20160501_160027173

Turn the fabric inside out before you start sewing.

Use an iron or pins to fold a casing along the top and stitch around the edge. Using a safety pin thread your string through the casing.

IMG_20160514_145709179

A close up showing the stitching of one side and casing with an opening for the drawsrting.

For the bags or bag you will make from the top section of the pillow case you will need to do a bit of unpicking and cutting to remove the flap. You will be left with two open ends and partially sewn sides. Sew across the bottom, sew one of the sides to the top, and on the other side as above leave 2-3 centimetres open to leave an opening for a drawstring if needed. Fold the top to create a casing and stitch around the edge. Thread through string.

These bags have endless uses!

  • produce bag
  • bread bag
  • lunch bag
  • nappy bag
  • toy bag
  • toiletry bag
  • gift bag

IMG_20160514_142856914

And that flap of fabric you removed – don’t throw it away, it can be used to make a headband! Or keep it in a bag of scrap material to one day make a rag rug or string made from scrap fabric twisted together.

IMG_20160514_120553744

Sew in a piece of elastic

 

I believe there is enough stuff in this world. Let’s reuse, redistribute and make do.

I write this post upon seeing the documentary True Cost a revealing documentary about the fashion industry. If you haven’t seen this I urge you to do so.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Sewing for less waste

  1. Awesome Candace! I have a kids page coming up about making fabric yard or plastic yarn and knitting with it. You’ll enjoy that. Ask Tara for the link to my blog where I talk about what’s going on in my garden if you want. You might enjoy that too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Looking forward to your upcoming kids page article. I’m a bit behind on my blog reading, I’ll have a read through yours when I get a moment- I’m interested to hear how your trees are doing that you had recently planted when I visited. Happy gardening, x, c

      Like

  2. Great post Candace! I quickly picked up sewing as a hobby upon my path to waste reduction. I also use secondhand fabrics, net curtains and old pillow cases 🙂 I love the pattern on that pillow case!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s