Saturday, February 9, 2019

Bag workshop

Today's plans almost didn't transpire, due to Peter getting sick. A good night's sleep, had him well enough for me to go again, in the morning. Go where? The Toowoomba Simple Living, bag workshop!

It was my first visit as a spectator, rather than a presenter, for the sourdough workshops I've done formerly. The tutors were wonderfully informative, and I learned so many tricks to making your own bags.

Recycled doilies and denim

I loved the recycling ethos, and how to personalise your own bags. The two presenters (Neralie and Valda) used different applique techniques, reverse applique which was especially new to me, blanket stitch (machine and hand embroidered) incorporating buttons, peepers, handles, curves on the bias, and so much more!

I especially appreciated the demonstration, how to make bags, similar to the ones purchased from the supermarkets. Only made from recycled denim jeans, these bags have so much more heft to them. Yet the shape and construction, conforms to the checkout cradle, which holds them, while being filled.

Loved the Japanese theme

I even discovered my quilting foot, was perfect for sewing the bag together. As the different layers of fabric can be quite hefty, while sewing. The sturdy design of the quilting foot, is better suited, than a regular foot. Although, you can still use a regular sewing foot. I'm just thrilled to find another reason to use my quilting foot!

Now I just need to purchase some jean needles for my sewing machine. I have plenty of scrap fabric, and even some jeans. This particular workshop, gave me the confidence to tackle some new sewing projects, I've wanted to try. I mean, what can be more practical, than a bag?

If you're reading this Nanna Chel, Margy, Margaret, Barb, Sandy and Maria (I hope I got that right) it was nice to catch up with you all again.

And here are some useful links for making different bags
{from really talented people}:

Folded corner, box tutorial
As above - only with French seams
Hold-it Bin tutorial
Fabric basket tutorial


  1. Ha ha Chris, I am just in the middle of doing a blog post about the workshop and popped over to your blog to link to your gift tag post and saw this one. Glad you enjoyed the workshop. It was just wonderful and so informative. They certainly are very creative ladies.

    1. Snap! Two for two. We must be doing well, for being so organised today. Mind you, that doesn't always happen around here, lol. I had a good chuckle when you said to the presenter, you couldn't sew straight. Yet she was encouraging to everyone, to fudge it all as you go along, anyway, lol. A great day! Coming to visit your blog now.

  2. Love the way old denim jeans can be turned into useful things. I've seen little shoulder bags made from them too. Happy sewing! Meg:)

    1. Denim is so sturdy, it can stand some punishment with recycling, well after they're not suitable to wear any more. So that's why I love old denim jeans, being turned into other things too. Plus, the more they've been worn, the more rustic it looks. I certainly see the appeal, why people want to reuse them.

  3. Chris, I didn't get a chance to catch up with you at the workshop today....a bit hectic, but I attended your last Simple Living sourdough workshop in October 2017. I have been making all our bread ever since. In fact, the grocery bags we demonstrated today are great for hefting those 5kg bags of flour we have to keep buying.
    The jar of starter I got from you in 2017 (Gerald) has produced children and grandchildren called Gary, Harry, Capone, Gertrude, Geraldine and even Rumplestiltskin as well as others.
    Rumplestiltskin went back to Adelaide with my daughter and has produced further offspring there, one of which lives with a microbiologist at a winery in the Barossa. She was very impressed with the robustness of the starter.
    Since learning how to make sourdough I have only bought one loaf of bread. I make buns, hot cross buns, fritters, pancakes, calzones, rolls, pull aparts, whatever. I recommend your blog to everyone, and can't thank you enough.
    Love, Neralie.

    1. Hi Neralie. Thanks for dropping in and sharing your awesome stories about Sourdough proliferation! Rumplestiltskin, is hands down, the best name for a starter, I've ever heard. An interstate traveler, no less. Some of the mighty kin of Griffin! I'm so glad to hear, you got to share him around.

      Your baking prowess, sounds as prolific as Griffin too! Sourdough is so much tastier than the store bought stuff. I'm glad my blog can be of assistance to others, making sourdough. Thanks for recommending it, and thanks for coming along to my last tutorial. I truly enjoyed attending your's and Valda's, yesterday. Now to make myself a bag, to tote those 5kg bags of flour home. :)

  4. Hi Chris, so good to see you and catch up a little, the workshop was very good and full of tips and tricks for inexperienced sewers.
    There is so much to talk about with all the regulars it would be nice if we had use of the space afterwards for byo lunch and catch up.
    Can't wait for Asher's demo of vegan food, I really miss Little Seed.
    Fingers crossed you get some rain.

    1. I can finally put a face to your blogger name. Thanks for signing-off as Margaret. Sorry it hasn't clicked until now! We got a little rain last night, but maybe we'll be fortunate to get more today. I see clouds looming on the horizon.

      The demo on fresh, gluten free food, sounds interesting to me as well. If there isn't a schedule conflict, I'll be going too. My husband is home, most Saturday's to watch the kids, but occasionally he'll get called in. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to it! A meet-up afterwards would be nice, but I think the room is required for other events, after ours concludes.

  5. I've never been one to sew but my daughter heard me lament about wanting to learn so she bought me a sewing machine and lessons for Christmas. I am loving it. So far have only made an apron but this work I plan to try curtains and who knows? Maybe a market bag! I love the idea of using old jeans and doilies.

    1. Well done for considering something new, and what a considerate daughter, for pushing you off the edge to do it, lol. No seriously. An awesome gift. I knew it was love, when my new boyfriend bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas. I mentioned, I wished I had my mum's old sewing machine to use again. I still have that machine, and use it. Hasn't died on me yet!

      I too like the look of old jeans and doilies. Yes, I think a market bag (or two) is in your future. ;)

  6. I envy all of you ladies being able to attend the workshop. I must set aside a week in the near future to work on making one of these denim bags.Thanks for the links Chris for tips on making these bags.Pauline.

    1. You're most welcome. Nanna Chel, posted a lot of those links on her post about the same workshop. Which was gleaned from Neralie and Valda, the two presenters. But I'm happy to share, what has been passed along. There are some very creative people out there!


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