Frugal means lots of forward planning to my mind – getting your menu plan made so that you can make a shopping list so that you can shave a few quid off your grocery budget so you can pay your debt down faster. Its all little steps that link up to make huge results.
Some things have really accelerated my journey – the store-cupboard being one …… and getting known as the “Mum who makes” is one of the other. The kid’s friends know (and expect) an hand-made gift come birthday time. I believe in giving gifts but I don’t believe in getting into debt to do so.
We can be generous with our time. our talents and our energy whilst we are ditching the debt. Once we are away from the crisis point we can choose to be generous givers too …. but its like the Air Stewards say “your put you own oxygen mask on first”. So in the debt destroying phase I choose to be generous without splashing the cash.
Every year I choose an age appropriate gift for both girls and boys and I set aside a couple of days to set up a little production line making multiples and stashing them away for when the birthdays roll around. That way I am never caught short and can always produce a gift without crashing my budget for the week …………. cos you know what its like when you have wee ones? It seems like there is a birthday every week by the time they are in school.
These are definitely kid sized – about the size of a paperback book but really cute to bundle up as a present. This weekend they would be perfect for popping an Easter Egg in for a lovely gift …………. yup! that is a Denim one …. the red-head decided he wanted one too and choose some scrap denim and blue gingham for his version.
The joy of this pattern – is that you can make it yourself using two sheets of A4 paper ….. this is the body of the bag. Just transfer the measurements and join up the dots.
Close up of what is happening at the top edge ……. the top edge measures 12 cm from the side of the paper. The top-left corner goes down at right angles for 1 cm and then joins up with the bottom of the bag at the 16cm point. Its a trapezoid shape when cut out.
Extreme close up LOL
So today I am making a big batch of these – but they only take about 20 minutes each to run up so they are a brilliant “sew along at home” project if you have a beginner sewer in the family.
Selected my daffodil yellow and circles print fabric ….. nice and springlike…… just so that you can see how these are constructed.
Cut two bag bodies in main fabric and two in lining …. with the strap you just need one in each fabric.
Right sides of fabric together, pin then sew down the side of the bag, along the bottom and up the other side all in one 1.5cm seam. Set aside.
Right sides together with the strap – sew right down one long side using a 1.5 cm seam allowance. Nice and straight you are in training for the” Great British Sewing Bee” LOL
Press the seam allowance open.
Then fold the strap in half lengthwise and pin carefully so that the edges line up.
Topstitch down both edges to give a lovely finish to your strap.
Flip the seam allowance back on itself and press with a hot iron. Flip the whole body over then fold the seam allowance on the reverse in the same way. Now the next bit is far easier to do than to explain believe me.
You fold the bottom of the bag so that the side seam (the one shown on top) lines up with the base seam (on the underside_ and press firmly into a point as shown.
Measure 1.5 inches up from the very point of the fabric and make a mark – draw a line at right angles to the seam as shown (I have drawn this one in pen so that you can see, but pencil or chalk will do fine). Pin securely as the drawn line is going to be your sewing line.
Repeat with both corners and you will see that your bag is now trying to sit up.
Sew along your drawn lines and snip off the excess fabric ….. you want to do this with your main fabric body and your lining fabric body.
Turn the raw upper edge of each bag piece to the wrong side at the 1cm mark. Give a good blast with the steam iron to set the crease.
Turn the pieces so that your main fabric bag has the right side pointing out and the lining fabric bag has the right side pointing in. I am sure that sentence makes no sense when written …… but when you do it it will all become clear.
Now slide the lining into the main fabric bag …… voila … all the raw edges are now trapped on the inside of the bag and can’t be seen. Matching the side seams pin all around the edge lining up the folded edges.
Beginning to look a lot like a proper bag now isn’t it???
So to finish you top-stitch all around the top edge of the bag – bringing the folded edges together and attaching the strap all in one circular seam.
And of course because the lining is constructed in the same way as the main fabric side you can choose which side you want to have on display as they are fully reversible …… two for one!!! Patterned or plain??
I can cut enough pieces for three outer or inner bags out of each pillowcase I have in my stash …. so I had a merry couple of hours with the radio this afternoon running up a stash of these for my presents box.
Some of course will go off to their new homes on Sunday with a 99p Easter Egg snuggled up inside – the others will keep until the girlie birthdays roll around.
So …………….. what creative ways do you lovelies have for coping with the endless round of pressies and parties for your families?