The first sashiko scrap bag that I made nearly 2 years ago has experienced heavy use ever since, but there are times when it isn’t quite big enough for all the stuff I want to haul around. (Mummy, can you hold this cardigan/waterbottle/doll/half eaten apple etc.) I was finally prompted into action by The Makery’s Refashioners 2016 Jeans challenge. It’s definitely a challenge worth looking at as there are so many inspiring creations this year. My favourites so far include:
Most of the fabric for the bag came from a large pair of jeans (£1.99 in the charity shop). I took them apart and bleached some pieces for varying amounts of time/strength to get a selection of different shades of denim.
I then ripped up a variety of sized strips and mixed in a few smaller scraps leftover from other projects and laid them out to create a large rectangle with a subtle ombre effect.
The next step was to hand stitch it all together which was my holiday project. It took a fair bit of time and stitching through up to three layers of denim meant sore fingers. This time I chose to use three different colours of thread and some cross stitches as well as straight ones.
For the bag itself I used a pattern kindly gifted by Sewbox UKSewbox UK. The pattern is a Hot Patterns Hot Mama Tote Bag. Honestly the pattern name makes me cringe (a lot) and styling of the packaging would not have initially appealed to me but the pattern is great. The lined tote has front and back snap-shut sections plus one central zippered section that has a variety of different interior pockets to choose from. I found the printed instructions too minimal for me to understand how to construct the bag but thankfully there are some extremely thorough sew-a-long video tutorials on the Hot Patterns website. I skipped my way through them to the bits I found useful and had no problems. Actually I had lots of problems (or one big problem) which was nothing to do with the pattern and everything to do with how thick my stitched denim ways. Sewing the bag up felt a lot more like wrestling than sewing and consequently some of the finishing details aren’t as clean as I’d like them to be, but on the plus side it will probably take a long time before the bag wears out.
In the spirit of refashioning the lining was made out of lots of different scraps of leftover woven fabrics, but not too many interior pockets otherwise I’d never be able to find my keys.