Monday 14 September 2009

Storage sacks

I'm not sure when I'll ever be able to resist my children asking me to sew or knit something for them. I suppose I have a hunch that there may come a time when homemade is not what they dream of. So now, if they ask me for something, of course I will give it a go.

On Saturday O was getting her dance things ready for a new term of ballet lessons and trying in vain to stuff everything into her little pink ballet bag. I think part of the reason she loves ballet so much is the vast amount of kit she has to have:

She sat on her bedroom floor with piles of this stuff around her, and declared, "I need a new ballet bag. Can you make me one?"

For a while now, I have been meaning to make a few of the drawstring travel bags from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing book. I decided the largest one would work well as a ballet bag.

It was very quick to make. I used the last remnant of the IKEA fabric I made O's bedroom curtains from when I was pregnant with her! The pink phase is becoming more dilute as she gets older and I love this fabric for being girly without sacharine. And I always love gingham.

I used pink polka dot grosgrain ribbon for the drawstring and embroidered a simple label using a scrap of leftover Clothkits fabric. I think it may be jazzed up further in the next day or two with a couple of suffolk puffs in a red fabric - perhaps a red polka dot.

Yesterday I was helping C tidying up his bedroom, and getting very tired of treading on marbles. Almost as bad as treading on lego. "I need a bigger marble bag," he sighed. "Maybe you could make one as big as O's ballet bag?"

No further encouragement needed! I whipped up another drawstring bag for his marbles. Not as big as O's ballet bag, but much larger than the tiny little bag that he had before. I cut his old marble bag in half and used it as a patch label on the new bag.

I've had a few goes at making drawstring bags before and have never been very happy with the finish around the top - where the drawstring is. This Heather Ross pattern is excellent for giving such a neat finish with absolutely no fiddling or swearing involved. The casing is sewn with no gap in it, but after reinforcing the seams with a small, tight zigzag, part of the stitching is then unpicked to make the entrance to the casing.

I love the way they look.

And I love the way they keep the marbles and the ballet kit neatly (but prettily) tucked away.


  1. Oooh, that is a clever closure. I usually end up reinforcing the openings by hand which is, frankly, a pain in the backside. Are these ones lined too?

  2. In my house the marbles would never be in the bag at all.

  3. Oh I love those bags, they're beautiful.

  4. My children think the point of marbles is to leave them scattered all over the floor, preferably in more than one room. Grrrrr.

    Perhaps if I sewed some really giant bags, I could tie one child up in each so they couldn't make any mess at all.

  5. Super bags, and I especially like how you incorporated the first marble bag into the second. It would be fun to watch that bag grow.

    You make it all look so easy, though I know it is not! Quite impressive.

  6. I love those bags, love love love.

    And Ali's comment made me chortle.

  7. so neat! love the idea of child sized bags Ali!!!!


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