Some new hop fabric bags have been on my ‘to do’ list for a while now. When the snowy weather arrived at the very end of February, I speedily earmarked this period for some sewing time. Perfect. Guilt free sewing with no niggling thoughts of ‘I really should be doing ………..’ This is one of winter’s pleasures.
With outdoor chores speedily completed, it was straight back indoors. Warm and snug, a cup of tea to hand, time to get down to some serious stitching. I wanted to use some of the Bushel of Hops fabric stash to make some new shopping bags.
I have made straight oblong totes before which are fine, but the plastic bags, which supermarkets used to give away free, always seemed to hold a lot more in comparison to these totes. Reasoning that the supermarkets probably put a lot of thought into the size and basic design of their plastic bags, I thought I would base my new fabric shopping carriers on these now redundant plastic ones.
Side gussets give them extra capacity and as a hop grower, they definitely need to be strong enough to carry a few beer bottles! I lined one of the hop fabric bags, this seemed a good idea to try out, especially as I put in a small pocket to hold a phone or purse, but other than that a lining is not essential. It is very easy to vary the design with different fabrics according to how much of each you have, it is very relaxed. A patchwork of bits would work just as well but then I would recommend stitching in a lining just to be sure it up to the task. Whatever design they fold up neatly in your handbag.
The rest of the bags were not lined but I did do French seams. Mainly to give the seams a neat finish but for practical reasons too. French seams are not difficult to sew, they make the seams stronger and also prevent them from fraying when the bags are washed. Mine seem to get grubby quite quickly but that could be because I now leave them in the back of the car!
With the hop fabric bags ready to go, time to get stitching a few more things on my sewing ‘to do’ list and start another quilt before Spring sunshine stops play. The swallows will shortly be arriving and we have a new fabric to celebrate their return.