where sisters, sibling rivalry, and creativity collide.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sewing Notions Scavenger Hunt

 Yesterday I made myself a messenger bag. You can see more pictures of it here.  It's frankly not my best sewing effort, but there is one technique I used that I want to share:  The habit of saving useful bits and pieces from items that no longer are (useful, I mean).  Sometimes the best finds are from things you wouldn't give a second glance to.  I'll break down my sources and you'll see what I mean.
  • brown grosgrain ribbon - I have two (quite long) lengths that were originally tied around fleece blankets that the kids got for Christmas.
  • swivel hooks - from an unused strap (I don't remember for sure what the strap was for - possibly luggage)
  • d-rings - from an old computer bag.
  • buckle - from an EFY name tag lanyard.
The brown grosgrain is attached to the d-ring which is attached to the swivel hook....

Besides saving 'found notions' you also need to have a place for them...
so that you can find them again when you need them.

Grandma Hanna was a master at scavenging.  She gave me a bag of used
zippers about 25 years ago. I still have quite a few of them,  plus, I've added
to the stash at times.

 I have to admit that I've not been quite as good about scavenging as I could be.  I haven't taken out a zipper or snipped off buttons in quite a while, but I do keep an eye out at this time of year for all of the lovely bits and pieces that can be saved from an otherwise unsalvageable kids backpack.

Okay, so say you've rescued a zipper...but you don't have any experience installing zips.  Here's a great little project for a lined zippered pouch from Skip to my Lou that's great for novice zipper put-er-inners.

Please notice the previously used zipper...

I know, I know...too bright!  But wow, it seems like we haven't seen the sun
in ages, so deal with it.



  1. Love it! Kevin is always complaining that I hold onto old nails, bolts, and bits and pieces that will never be used... Last night we fixed our garage door (which has been broken for a while) with my collection of screws.
    I also fixed an elliptical the other day with the use of an old key ring and some ingenuity.
    I love that I am not the only repurposer in the family!

  2. I seriously love this. I have a bookmark for some instruction that I can't bring myself to delete, someday I'll be motivated enough to actually sew a bag like yours. Love the fabric as well.