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Parachute bag

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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.

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8 responses »

  1. You could make a fourtune selling these at jazz in the park or concerts on the square!

    Reply
  2. Brilliant! And how clever of you to use it as a situpon. Now I just have to find a dress to dissect and some lanyard…

    Reply
  3. You are so clever and creative, LOVE it!!

    Reply
  4. very cool! 🙂 maybe I should get my sewing machine out….

    Reply
  5. oh my god. this is genius. I’ve always known you were a genius, but this is even beyond your usual level of genius. Why did this not make an appearance at the lake today? I would have loved to have seen the “wham” situpon in action.

    Several other points: 1) if you promise to use your old clothes for good (fun sewing projects) and not evil (taking up precious space in your underutilized wing of the house) you may keep them. 2) please include a photo of a 1997-style dress in your next post. I am picturing Laura Ashley, but that was probably more like 1987. I can’t quite get a vision of 1997 style. 3) I think Delaware is probably warm enough, but it is quite generous of you to think of them. We will be going through the t-shirt stash with a beer or three and I think it will be quite fun. 4) I see you did not mention your box of “pre-made bows”. Will that be in another post? 🙂

    Reply
  6. I’m betting she’s got a laura ashley lurking in there somewhere – I know I do… how sad.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Pick(nic)-pocket « Domestic Wormhole

  8. I’m drooling!!! This is a FANTASTIC idea and would make a totally Fab beach bag!

    Reply

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