Monday, March 16, 2009

Mission: Impossible

My almost-4 year old son's room is, more often than not, a disaster. He has a big open floor space for playing and takes advantage of it. We've successfully resisted accumulating lots of toys over the years, but he loves legos and puzzles so his floor is often carpeted in little plastic cubes and amorphous cardboard shapes. He has shelves and 10 or so labeled bins for all the different types of toys (legos, puzzles, sound, wood, vehicles, etc), but nothing ever seems to get back into its original place. Ely also attends a Montessori preschool and he must put away his work (what they call their activity) before he can get a new work out. Yet somehow, that practice has never translated to home. Ely also loves books, which his Dad and I are thrilled about because we love books too. In fact, we put a moratorium on book buying 4 years ago because we were out of space, and also needed to remove that line item from our budget. For any holiday/special occasion that involves presents, Ely receives books as gifts and he also gets one book every month from Dolly Parton (I love Dolly and love her even more now.) So on top of the lego/puzzle carpet is a usually a secondary layer of books.

In order to combat this mess, I've been meaning to sew (oh for only about 6 months now ) some cloth bags in which to store his puzzles. Puzzles come in their own boxes, but in my house those boxes are usually destroyed then added to the recycling bin. Recently, I saw Betz's tutorial and then saw how Blair used the tutorial to make her daughter some bags for her treasures. Heather Ross also has a pattern for drawstring bags in her new book, Weekend Sewing, but I don't have a copy of the book yet. On Saturday and Sunday, I has some kid-free time and a clean sewing table so I started on my own drawstring bags.
The bags were so simple to make. Even though I'm a slow sewer, I had 5 made by the end of naptime on Sunday. I used the 13X18 inch size from the tutorial for the larger bags, then raided my remnant stash for the smaller bags. Because these were "boy" bags, I was able to finish off some favorite fabric (Alexander Henry's 2-D Zoo) as well as some blue fabric I've never been very fond of. Betz used a serger to contain the inside raw edges of her bags. I don't have a serger, but a zig zag stitch with my Janome's overlock foot made a lovely serged-like edge. That was probably my favorite part of the whole project, because I learned how to do something new with my sewing machine. Or maybe it was the post-naptime clean room, with puzzles contained in pretty drawstring bags and put away in their labeled bin. I couldn't get Ely to use all of the drawstring bags for puzzles. He promptly filled one up with "sleep friends" (aka small stuffed animals), so he could easily take them with him in the car in case his baby sister fell asleep on the way to their grandparents' house.


Liz said...

love the bag! I had to smile - I have the Denyse Schmidt dots (right?) in yellow as my kitchen curtains, and the Zoo was Maeve's first crib skirt. Great idea for leftovers...


mames said...

i just found your blog via the alabama stitch book flickr pool (whew, that was a line-ful). i am loving your projects and your voice and look forward to reading more.

the corset looks wonderful, i am going to try the reverse applique skirt first though, not quite ready for corset action.

newmomma327 said...

Are you in Sevier County? My family lives there and I used to visit every summer growing up. Dolly will always hold a special glittery spot in my heart - Dollywood was and is my favorite tourist destination there especially since my grandpa builds the rides there.