Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pillowcase Tote

I've had a couple of thrift store pillowcases tucked away in my fabric drawer from a few months ago. I bought them in the days when I was still terrified of my sewing machine, afraid it was a roaring little monster that would eat up my fingers if they got too close to the needle (it probably would, but I've learned that the key is to keep my fingers safely on the sidelines). I kept coming across tutorials online that used pillowcases, and I had dreams of someday making tote bags and little girl dresses from these vintage linens. So I picked up the pillowcases, washed them, and then squirrelled them away for a day when I knew how to use my sewing machine. Well, that day finally came!

I looked through some tutorials and the simplest came from Martha Stewart, though I think using the term "tutorial" for it is being a bit too kind. It's actually just 2 pictures and some vague, slightly confusing descriptions. After studying it a little, I did figure out what they were talking about and was able to cobble together the tote that you see above.

It's a really roomy bag and would be good for groceries, farmers' market vegetables, library books, craft supplies, or any number of other things. I threw my latest crochet project into it, along with a hook, extra yarn, and some scissors. It all fit with plenty of room to spare. One of the commenters on the tutorial said she was making them for her girls to use as overnight bags, which I think is really sweet and fitting--a pillowcase sleepover bag.

This week promises to be full of more sewing. I've got another vintage linen project planned, which (when finished) should help to keep us cooler. The making process will be a sweaty one, though. I'm not looking forward to all of the ironing in my unairconditioned* house. It's been in the 90s lately and phew! It's wearing me out!

Oh, if you click on the images, you can see them bigger! Did you already know that? In the bottom picture you can see a Plum and Sage necklace that I won a few months ago from Indie Fixx. This necklace has become one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. I love the teardrop (or perhaps raindrop) shape of it and the leaf design. I also won a kit from Subversive Cross Stitch, some mushroom notecards from Parrott Design Studio, and a ruffle tote bag from ShowPony. The prize package actually fit my interests to a T, and I consider myself really lucky to have won. A very belated thank you to Indie Fixx for the giveaway!

Be sure to check out Indie Fixx--it's a cool blog that has loads of links to independent artists, free downloadable art, and interesting interviews. Also, there's an anniversary contest going on right now, and you could win some wonderful things.

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*My goodness, how in the world do you spell that word? Are there hyphens? Spaces? has failed me on this one!


  1. vintage pillow cases also make lovely skirts with a few rows of shirring for the waistband.

  2. Oh brilliant, Margie! Pillowcase skirts had never even crossed my mind, but now that you mentioned it I can't stop thinking about them. I'll definitely have to make one in the future. Thanks!


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