Useful Sewing

One thing Amie and I like to emphasize when we're coaching young sewers is how useful their projects can be around the house: Hot pads, cloth bags and eyeglasses cases always seem to be in short supply, especially in my home.

Over the last few weeks, I've been on an organizational rampage -- which, of course, means taking a break from cleaning every hour or so to whip up one project after another on the sewing machine.

I modified Amie's Treat Bag Tutorial to make a drawstring bag, which I filled with rags (i.e. cut up scraps from stained dishtowels, worn-out t-shirts and threadbare pajama bottoms) and hung from the pegboard in my laundry room. I paired two strips of Kerchief Girl fabric, imported from Japan (I purchased mine from ReproDepot, but they seem to be out of stock) with larger pieces of cotton ticking, and used a foot of blue rik-rak to create the drawstring. Using a machine, the entire project took less than 10 minutes, and I smile every time I see my rag bag hanging in the laundry room.

Next, I whipped up a series of baskets using a pattern Amie discovered earlier this summer: Orange Flower Sketchbook's Fabric Basket Tutorial. I put square plates in the bottom of several baskets so I can use them to store farmer's market bounty, such as onions, garlic, cucumbers, and dried peppers, in the pantry and in the fridge. I even made a few more baskets to organize the samples of face and hair products I hoard from Sephora.

What I really love about both these projects is that they require just a little bit of fabric, so I can delve into my favorite yardages without feeling too guilty. They also make great gifts for friends, and it's easy to make several at once.

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