Courtney discovered my secret this week – I cannot get rid of clothes once they enter my home. I still own rugby shirts I wore in middle school. The dresses in my closet went out of style in 1997. I have tubs of t-shirts in case I decide to make a quilt to cover Delaware. Thankfully, I really only have this problem with clothes. For the most part, our home has an Item-In/Equally-Sized-Item-Out policy. Still, Courtney was horrified by my stash of clothing and is threatening to “help” me go through it, which means I’m in full-on Hide Everything mode. Not really, but it did prompt me to make a quick assessment and notice a dress that will never fit me again. I haven’t gotten rid of it because I really love the fabric – perhaps I need to rethink my criteria for keeping clothes. I dropped the dress on the donation pile.
Then I went to clean the guest/sewing room because we were having guests spend the night for the first time in 6 months. The wonderful thing about cleaning the sewing room is that it uncovered my sewing machine that I haven’t seen in 5.5 months. (We need guests more often.) Seeing my machine made me realize that I didn’t have to ditch the dress, I just had to refashion it into something else.
I don’t own sewing patterns so I winged a bag for myself. It is very rough – I did not use an iron or any measuring devices. I basically cut 2 big circles – the pretty fabric from the skirt of the dress for the outside of the bag, and the dress liner for the inside. I didn’t have a large enough pieces for 2 big circles, so each circle is really 4 wedges sewn together.
I cut the bodice of the dress in half and sewed both halves onto the liner for pockets. This made me feel more clever than I actually am.
Then I sewed the 2 big circles together (right sides facing out), tucking the edges in as I went. At relatively even (by eyeball) intervals, I sewed tabs into the edge of the circle that I could later string the strap through. I think I used about 12 tabs. I am a terrible sewer and the curved edge was a bear for me – next time I’ll make an octagon to have all straight edges.
Using the ties from the dress (supplemented by some extra strap I sewed to have a long enough piece), I threaded the strap through the tabs. The strap went around in a complete circle and then I snipped it off and sewed it together to make one continuous strap with no end.
The straps can be used in a variety of configurations:
- Two loops pulled for a shoulder bag.
- Three or four loops pulled for a hand bag.
- No loops pulled to let the bag open up for a mat to sit on – which I did not do because I couldn’t even stand to be outside long enough to get a decent picture – the mosquitoes were trying to carry my away. For the Girl Scouts out there – remember sit-upons? This is totally the stealth situpon. One minute you’re strolling through the park with your bag over your shoulder and the next – WHAM! – you’re on your situpon tying a lanyard.
- Four loops pulled and hung upside down to make a parachute for toys.