Monday, 9 May 2011

My lunch is packed, I’m ready to go

This is what John Denver would have written before he went off on a jet plane if he had my new lunch bag. I am a pack lunch kind of gal. I pack a snack to eat at break time every day--usually a piece of fruit and some almonds. Almonds are high in calcium as well as being filling. 16 almonds is a serving so I actually laboriously count out 16 into a wee pot and bring it with me. For lunch I bring leftovers (if there are any) or a bag of goatmeal to tide me over until I can get home. If you have no idea what goatmeal is--look here. 

But I needed a new bag. I had one that was just the right size but was getting fairly tatty. See it here? 

 It is small with a wide flat bottom and stands up fairly well (meaning it doesnt sag) and it was a free gift from sister in law who got it from Whole Foods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for me. It came as a set of two but the other one had already gone on to meet its maker. Now this one was wearing out.  So whats a crafty Spidergrrl to do? Make it herself of course!

I had cut apart the first one to use as a template but trying to choose the correct fabric was a puzzler. I had previously tried to make one that was waterproof--meaning you could wipe it down if you spilled anything. I dont generally spill stuff (well not in my lunch bag--everywhere else, yes) so that is not really an issue. I just really liked the cool wipe off designs on the plastic laminate tablecloth that I bought at the market. I tried to ignore the fact that it was plastic and  concentrate on the pretty design. That was a dismal failure. It wouldnt sew. It was too thick and broke my needle. I bought a heavy duty needle for denim but the tablecloth tore. I scrunched it up and threw it in the bin and cursed myself for being seduced by plastic. That was a few months ago. Since then Ive been trying to think of what to do to replicate the parts of this bag I like before it completely disintegrated on me. Then Saturday night--it came to me in dream. I know that sounds like mystical hoo ha but I really work that way. I often dream craft projects or short stories and whilst recovering from the horrible hysterectomy I dreamt (and subsequently wrote) a 60,000 word novel.

Anyway, I woke at 8:00 Sunday morning and I could picture what to do. I knew I had lots of scrap fabric that had pretty designs and was FREE just waiting in my fabric offcuts bin. I knew I had heavy duty iron on interfacing left over from making the pink backpack.  I thought about a bag we have that has a piece of something stiff in the bottom to keep it flat and help it hold its shape. I was sure I had some craft foam lurking in my crafty drawer just waiting to be used. I excavated the old cut apart bag and guided by my dream imagery, I went to work.

By 9:00 when it was time to get dressed for Meeting for Worship I had gathered my materials, cut them out and ironed all the interfacing onto the cloth. I went to church and then came home and finished the job.

Here is the completed bag. I am very pleased with it. I didnt have enough of one fabric so I had to piece together different coordinating fabrics to make it. I had *exactly* enough iron on interfacing which did give the bag some stiffness and helped it keep its shape. I decided after putting a strip of craft foam in the bottom to put some in the side pieces as well. It really stands up nice and tall without sagging but the foam is flexible enough if it needs to get squashed into another bag. I modified the strap from the original because I like one that hangs on the crook of my elbow and not always in my hand as I am less likely to drop it. I decided some sort of closure would be nice so I dug around in my sewing drawer but couldn’t find a button that would work. I had to go to the Haberdashery stall at the market and buy a button. I spent a whopping 20p on a festive yellow button, made a button hole and sewed it on.

Voila! The new lunch bag!
I've also had another craft project dream and am in the process of making a new handbag! Hoorah! Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of Old bag/New Bag.

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