Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Sew Crazy - Reusable Groceries Bag

Strong padded handles - no cutting into hands
I haven't blogged for two weeks!  It's not through lack of material.  I could tell you about the Peach Upside-Down Cake that I've baked (TWICE!) and not shown you; or the Cherry Cake that I baked last week 'cos that is what I fancied; the Christmas cake that I baked and fed with brandy as a cake order for a work colleague and even the Hakka Dumpling (? not really sure what they would be called in English) with the shredded white radish filling that my mum made....

There is always so much I want to bake...  Even though I'm still on Maternity Leave, it's hard finding time to do these things.  I stay up rather late to do Minh's 1st night feed at around 1am, so inevitably I sleep in (where I can) until around 9:30am - 10:00 if we don't need to be anywhere that morning.  Still, that leaves me part of a morning and an afternoon before the evening sets in and I need to think about making the evening meal.  Time flies extremely quickly when you're a mum.  I only manage to slot in little snippets of time to myself in between Minh's naps.  These days he's spending more time awake and wants entertainment.  When he was younger, it was more frequent feeds, now he can go four hours, sometimes five but he's not always sleeping in between these feeds.  Sometimes it's the time when I think "Right!  Better get fed myself.  Or, let's do the washing up."  It can be a weary task but you are paid back in sweet smiles and chuckles of laughter that take your grumpiness away.

After dusting down the sewing machine to finish the baby quilt for our niece, I set to work on my first bag.  I've been following Lisa Lam's blog - U-Handblog for a little while now and have bookmarked some projects to make.  I even splurged on some wonderful goodies from her online shop in the Summer with the intention of making something before the baby arrived.  I thought I might get bored waiting you see - no chance of that!

I was pleased to complete this for my mum on Monday.....

Plenty of room for your shopping
Handy trolley token

It's one of Lisa's designs for a reusable groceries bag but I made mine with a square base opposed to her curved gusset.  I figured it'd be easier to sew and the shopping might stand up better in the bottom of the bag.  I used thick cotton fabric - I think it's probably curtain material so I should've made the bag cosy a bit bigger.  I also included a supermarket trolley coin - I hate it when I need a coin to get the trolley from the trolley park and I've run out of £1 coins!  These trolley tokens do just the job.

It was simply to put together even for a total newbie like me - her instructions are clear and plenty of photos to show you the steps.  I've got quite a few of her bags bookmarked to make all I need is the peace to do them!


  1. Nice job on the bag! I was going to ask how you got on with the curved gusset cos I've not tried that one yet, but neither have you it seems! LOL I do like the fabric combo too, the blue is gorgeous. Which other Lisa bags are you going to try?

  2. When I read where she says "go really slowly" on the curves of the gusset, I thought, "Gulp!" Not that I gallop away on machine, but what if I pressed to hard on pedal?
    Besides, I thought a square base makes packing easier - gives tins and bottles something to stand on. I'm not one for throwing shopping in - it's got to be "Tetris-ed".
    Other bags, umm..
    Pleaty Pouch (of Apples)
    Curvy Coin Purse
    Easy Peasy Purse
    Love Basket
    Pleats Sake
    & I have two curved purse frames (a la Chic Chain Purse) but will have a go at making own pattern up - Eeeek!
    Got eye on some straight clutch frames after seeing that tutorial link - how easy did that look?! (Although will watch again & make notes)
    ....& you? Have you made an Lisa Bags yet? Whats on your to do list?

  3. Great job on the bag! I haven't touched my sewing machine in ages. I always thought I'd make my kids clothes, little did I realise how little time I'd have :) I'm so impressed you had time to sew, love the little trolley token on the bag.

  4. Thanks Shaz! I have lots of plans and ideas, like baby announcement cards that turned into Thank You cards (although there are some still waiting for theirs!), making my baby's crochet blanket (half complete), curtains for the nursery (fabric bought, plans drawn), oh the list is endless!
    Mr Leaf suggest I make Minh's clothes - erm, I'm not sure I'd know where to start making shirts, trousers....

  5. Thanks Blessed Homemaker! It was not that scary as the tutorial is very easy on beginners like me! It's a very large bag so measuring and cutting the fabric was not fun and then the pinning too. I was pleased I'd manage to finish it and it makes a very strong shopping bag! Very smart as it's lined too! Mum was pleased!