confessions of a fabric obsessive

Take one boring shopping bag…the reveal!

I saw a tutorial for this book bag on Sew, Mama, Sew:

and it started off a desire to make myself a library book bag complete with pocket for my library card.

Knowing I had some of this fabric:

in two colours, I decided to go for it.

I also saw a tutorial (on Betz White’s blog – I love Betz White) to upcycle cotton totes by  using them as a lining for a more interesting bag.  Two tutorials means two bags.  Jump to my previous post for details of the original tutorials that I followed to make my upcycled bags, and to see the story so far.

Bag number 1

book bag

Ta-da, boring bag used as inside of interesting book bag. I love this bag, and the pocket on the outside is so useful. It usually houses my library card and the little receipts that I can print off at my local library with a summary of what books I still owe them. It is currently sitting on the floor next to my computer, full of books that need to go back to the college (where I work, I’m a college tutor/lecturer now) and to the university (where I’m a part-time teacher training student) libraries. So useful, and the pattern on the fabric defines is sue for me, which is always useful when you have memory issues like mine (aka, mind like a sieve!)

Bag number 2

purple bag

This is as far as I got! The idea of appliqué was a good one, but I’m not an appliqué kinda girl . I may get round to it, I may not. I’m not even sure where it is.

What more is there to add? I have a new bag and it makes me happy.


Claire Bear

Interesting bag-related posts from other bloggers (and one of two of my own):

Project Upcycle: An Online Class on Craftsy Taught by Betz White (whileshenaps.typepad.com)
Painted Heart Bag (craftzine.com)
Boxed-Bottom Tote Bag Tutorial (skylarchastain.wordpress.com)
It’s a Bag Marathon (girlwithjavacurls.typepad.com)
Butterfly Tote Bag (mindfuldrawing.com)
I wanna new bag…. (handmadebyclairebear.com)
Upcycle project – skirt into shoulder bag (handmadebyclairebear.com)

4 responses to “Take one boring shopping bag…the reveal!

  1. Marti July 27, 2013 at 17:03

    I like it! Was that a quilting cotton fabric? How well did it do when loaded with books? I’ve made a few shopping bags and the grocery store people load them up more than their plastic bags. I think library books would be even heavier.

    • Handmade by Claire Bear July 28, 2013 at 12:39

      Yes it was a quilting cotton, but it was sewn on the outside of a pre-existing cotton canvas bag.
      If you look carefully along the top of the bag, you can see the zigzag stitching joining the quilting fabric exterior “shell” to the boring canvas bag. The bag itself was fairly small as I can’t carry heavy weights, but it is large enough to take an A4 lever arch file spine downwards. I’ve put several large books in this bag; my only problem is carrying the weight, the stitching hasn’t split at all.
      As far as other people loading my bags too full – I don’t let other people bag my shopping, I know how I want it bagged (chilled and frozen foods together to keep each other cold, cans only half full so that it’s not too heavy to lift, squishy and fragile items together so I know to be careful with that bag). Few shop assistants bag it “properly”, so I do it myself.

  2. Jo Day February 9, 2014 at 15:41

    I love your choice of print as, let’s face it, we can’t ever have enough books or fabric!

%d bloggers like this: