Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gift Bags

When I was working full time, I periodically took a leave day for 'bag therapy' - a day of making drawstring bags from left-over fabric, or from sari scraps or kimono fabric to use in place of gift wrapping. I find it really relaxing, and love having a supply of bags in which to put gifts. In semi-retirement, I no longer need bag therapy days, however, when recently in Melbourne I bought a bag of vintage kimono fabric from the Made in Japan Shop in Australia on Collins.

As I am trying not to keep adding to my stash, and Christmas is coming, I have spent quite a few days playing with the fabric and turning it into bags.

Apart from the fabric itself, I get pleasure from finding the hand-stitching of the original kimono-maker, and evidence of painstaking techniques like reinforced seams, folded linings and mitred corners.
 Wherever possible, I try to keep original shapes and linings. This sleeve piece, for example, could be make into a bag as is, leaving the curve on one corner.

I divided the fabric into three piles based on colour - light, dark and red. This enabled me to use a basic thread for each pile, rather than matching thread to each bag.

Cords are mostly ribbon, but in  a couple of cases I recycled elastic cord with a stopper

 or in one case, the cord I had removed from a blouse I bought.

The photos don't give a sense of size, but the bags vary from roughly 15 inches to a couple of inches.


I'm not sure it is sane to spend days unpicking kimono fabric and remaking it into bags

- it certainly isn't an economic proposition by any conventional standard, but so satisfying.

The bags in this post are the light ones. I will post photos of some of the black and red batches later.


margaret said...

what a lovely way to wrap gifts, the bag is a gift on its own, very nice

Monica said...

I firmly believe that your enjoyment of the process is the only thing that matters, Jillian! I think it is much more about the challenge to find creative solutions than anything to do with economics.

Anyway, this is another beautiful set of bags! There are some wonderful fabrics in there. :)

Jillian said...

Thanks, Girls. You are right, of course, Monica, about creative solutions. For me there is enormous satisfaction in reuse.