Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sewing for the planet

It's been a sunny Sunday here in North Lincolnshire, so I have divided my time between indoors and outdoors. A walk to visit a friend. Tidying up in the garden. Wash hair. Dyson all through downstairs and half way up the stairs, couldn't be bothered to do any more. Wash pots. Sewing. And made a start on the decluttering. I cleared two shelves, and that's as far as I got. 
I need to sort the fabric into piles, from heavy to light. Then what shall I do with it? Put it all back in neater piles? I need to get rid of it, I need to use it up. and get it out of the house. So, I have a plan. 
What is easy to make? Yep, shopping bags. I am going to make lots of shopping bags, well, maybe not lots, but quite a few. Keep going til I get fed up of doing the same old thing over and over again. Then I am going to give them away. I am going to take them with me when I go shopping, and give them to random people outside Tesco who haven't brought their own bag. I am going to ask them not to take a plastic bag and to keep their new bag in the car for future use. I am not going to sell them as I don't need the money, and our cat rescue has enough at the moment. It's not about making money, the fabric cost virtually nothing, it's about getting the message across, doing my bit for the planet. 
So, making the bags is part of the decluttering. I've picked these four pieces out for the next bags. They are quite heavy fabrics, a bit like upholstery fabric or thick curtain fabric.   
Here's two I made earlier. The dark one on the left is very heavy fabric, I thought I would have difficulty getting the needle to go through it. Although bulky it was fine.

I have some sad news for you. My poor rigger boots have finally given up the ghost. After many years of protecting my feet from the harsh terrain of quarries, the mountains of mud on building sites, and the many winters of unloading lorries in slushy conditions after a heavy snowfall. They are now kaput, defunct, and not fit for purpose. 
I remember when me and RB met. I was working at Rugby Cement, I had searched everywhere for a pair in my size, but no one stocked small sizes. I went to the stores in the cement works and told them of my dilemma. Aha, said the man behind the counter, you might be lucky, and he went round the back and came out with a size 5. I tried them on, just like Cinderella, and they fit. Someone had mistakenly ordered them and they had been languishing at the back of the stores for a long time. How much I asked. He couldn't give them to me because I wasn't employed by the cement works. You can have them for £5, he said. I handed my cash over, and I was the proud new owner of my very own rigger boots. Now I was one of the lads, YAY :o))
So dear RB, you have served me well. You have been my friend for a long time and I am sad to see you go :o(( 
Before I go, I have read your comment on yesterday's post, Anon 'N', and will give it some thought for a future post. I see several people have replied, thank you everyone for your useful comments.
Catch you tomorrow. Toodle pip

26 comments:

  1. Love the sound of your 'good karma' bags!

    X

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  2. Excellent idea on the shopping bags! Good, sturdy ones like yours will last for years and years. And nice fabric, too :)

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  3. quick, get them out of the bin, you can recycle them in loads of places! We even have a container outside our pet shop.

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  4. Sounds like the rigger boots were excellent value.

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  5. So sad about your boots. Couldn't you plant something in them, a Lady's Slipper orchid or Lilium 'Satin Slippers' maybe? After all you already have drainage holes in them!

    Love that red bag!

    Linda xx

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    1. Now you are making me feel guilty about throwing them.

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  6. I think the bags are a great idea- I use mine at tesco weekly since I win it, as well carry marked books in it for work and lots if people comment on how unique it is. And last week the checkout woman said she had seen one like that in topshop and would buy it now that she had seen how good it was! I think the people who get them will appreciate them. I love mine!

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  7. Good evening Ilona from Housefairy
    Love the crafting idea's. The bags are brilliant.

    Ilona, I read something in a magazine and thought of you instantly. A lady had used a map to track her holiday over the miles to Cornwall.
    The holiday travel was tracked on a map with brightly coloured sewing stitches. Like ------------- all the way.
    The map was then put on the wall.
    I thought, maybe you could sew a trail on a free map of your walks. Each walk in a diffrent bright colour thread.
    Best wishes

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    1. Hello HF. I seeing that somewhere. Worth thinking about for a future project. Thanks for reminding me.

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  8. Retrieve those old boots, Ilona. Cut the soles off, slit the seams of the leather so you end up with the component parts of the boots, and the leather can then be cut in strips and used to replace a broken cupboard/box/suitcase hinge using tacks or rivets. Or cut the leather into really thin strips for use as heavy duty laces/tie ups etc. The rough side of a piece can be used as a fine polisher....
    PAUL H

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  9. What a brilliant idea for the bags! You`ll get famous for being the local bag lady, lol! I`m sure that some people will truly treasure them.

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  10. Ilona, some of the leather pieces might come in handy. I cut some handles off an old pocketbook and made thin strips to use on a door decoration. It was made of slate and suspended with a leather thong, which broke. So you never know! Now you can clutter your house up with pieces of leather!
    Maggie from US

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    1. Thank you for that suggestion Maggie. I already have some square new pieces of leather from a sample book. I have enough. Good idea though.

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  11. The bags look great. Would you be able to post a simple tutorial for making them?

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    1. Hi saraband. I posted a simple bag tutorial here.
      http://meanqueen-lifeaftermoney.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/easy-to-make-shopping-bag.html
      Can't add links in comments so copy and paste into your address bar. Hope this helps.

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  12. Very kind of you to make bags to give away at the store. :)
    I hope you will consider planting something in your boots.

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  13. A brilliant idea giving the bags away. You are going to make some folk very happy at the start of their shopping :-)

    Poor rigger boots ... I bet they could tell some tales!! A planter would have been a brilliant idea, but don't feel too guilty for simply throwing them, I think for a £5 outlay you've had your money's worth a few thousand times over, :-)

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  14. Hi Ilona, have you heard of "Morsbags"? You can find details on www.morsbags.com. I have a "pod" and we have made 4,400 bags in the Market Harborough area and have given them all away. I hate to see people with trolleys in supermarkets piled high with plastic bags, that are so flimsy that they just split! I keep a few morsbags in the car, and then there is no excuse for forgetting to take them shopping.
    If you are ever on one of your walking trips near Market Harborough, we'd love you to pop along to one of our sewing meetings!
    I really enjoy reading your blog - especially the walking trip notes, and the ideas for reuse and recycling.
    Best wishes,
    Claire

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  15. A friend of mine planted geraniums in her husband's old worn out shoes. They looked so cute sitting on her patio :)
    Nice idea sharing the bags! Jan

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  16. I enjoy your blog very much. You mentioned that you vacuumed with your Dyson. I was wondering how you liked this vacuum cleaner. I have heard varying reports and would really value your opinion.

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    1. Hello Anon. I have a yellow Dyson DC07 model, bought in 2002. I have been happy with it, it picks up the cat hairs. I am not a fanatical cleaner, it only comes out once in a while, so probably does't get as much use as someone with a large family. I wrote about it here....
      http://meanqueen-lifeaftermoney.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/if-it-aint-broke-leave-it-alone.html

      I have never had it serviced, I have taken it apart myself for cleaning, it's easy to put together again. One niggly thing is that the hose spring is quite strong and it can easily topple over when you stretch it to reach in corners. The hose will reach from the bottom of my stairs to the top, but it is stretched to the maximum. I usually go halfway up, then lift the machine and balance it on a stair, hold it with my leg, and continue the rest of the way up. One small attachment has broken but I was able to repair it with some very strong tape. I think the hose has a split in it close to the top end. I can manage with it at the moment by holding it tight in my hand and not stretching it fully out. I might need a new hose at some point. Apart from those things which are normal wear and tear, I have been happy with it. I can see it lasting a few more years yet.

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  17. What a brilliant idea making and giving away the bags. I bet a lot of people will be happy to get one. I usually bring my cloth bags to the market and then sometimes forget them in the car! I've already ran out to the car to get them after shopping leaving the cart there til I got back with the bags. I get so frustrated if I forget them. Every little thing you do for the environment helps although I know some people who think it's not worth it unless everyone does it. What do you think of that? If we all thought like that, no one would do anything!

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    1. I think it's very sad that people don't give a thought for anyone else except themselves. It's all me me me, and grab grab grab. We are just a tiny speck of dust on this planet. If people could only realise , through their own greedy grabbing ways, they are hastening the destruction of our wonderful planet. But as King Canute found out, you can't turn the tide.

      Someone has to make a stand, but most will shrink into the background and mutter, why me. I say, why not you. Get off your arse and do what you think is right, for the planet.

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  18. Pity about your rigger boots, i always hate it that the boots are still in good condition but the soles have gone, it seems such a waste.
    I could do with digging mine out with the weather being like it is.
    Dave.

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