Friday, April 29, 2022

Creating For Charity


  1. RECYCLE - These tote bags were made from pillowcases. 
  2. HOBBY - Although I am normally free motion sewing in my art practice, I do love to do straight stitching too.
  3. GOOD CAUSE - These bags were made for a charity that requires the bags they use to be washable. 
Sewing for charity this week has had the added bonus for me of taking a break from the thinking required in my art practice. Interestingly, I found by concentrating on different things than I normally do in my studio, has given my mind a break and I am looking with renewed enthusiasm to which art project to tackle next. 

The floral pillow cases were the most fun to work with.
This burgundy pillow case was of thicker material and made a sturdy bag. The satin detailing on the pillow case made a nice detail.
Selecting several blue pillow cases and setting the sewing machine up with blue thread helped for working efficiently. 

My process of using a pillow case for a tote bag.

  1. Fold the top casing of the pillow slip down to the inside about 2" (usually fold the doubled material section in half). Press and sew the edge down.
  2. Measure down the pillow case 18 1/2 " and cut off the excess pillow case. 
  3. Turn the pillow case inside out and sew across the bottom. Sew the raw edge seam allowance with a zigzag stitch.
  4. Fold the bottom corners into a triangle shape and mark a line of 6" to form a boxed bottom and sew across this line.
  5. At the top, on the inside still, measure 3 1/2" in from the edge and place a mark there. Repeat in from the other edge and repeat on the opposite side.
  6. Handles: From the left over pillow slip material cut off two 4" strips. Open up the one end and measure a 26" length. Cut.
  7. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with the right side in. Press. Sew down the length. Repeat with the other 4" X 26" length of fabric. 
  8. Turn tubes inside out. Press. 
  9. Zigzag the 4 raw edges at the ends of the handles.
  10. Place the handles on the inside of your marks, on the top edge of the bag. Place them about 1 1/4" down. Pin and sew in an X pattern to secure. One handle goes on one side of the bag and repeat. Be sure to check you don't twist the handles before pinning.
  11. Turn your bag to the outside and you are done.