Guys, things are still crazy slow at work. Last week I was on call for twenty five hours and only actually worked for fifteen. It's enough to make a person go stir crazy. Because while being on call and not working sounds delightful, the reality is that you have to be ready to respond to work at the drop of a hat, and you're on call pay is only $1.50 an hour (pretty sure they haven't raised on call pay since the opening of the hospital). So, it's easy to fall into this trap of just watching a lot of Netflix. (I speak from experience. I powered through Jessica Jones and have moved on to Stranger Things.) But, I've been trying to be more productive and read more and I decided to dust off my sewing machine. I have barely used it since last December when I finished a big project for someone and sewed for a craft fair.
I don't really feel like working on a something big or persnickety, like sewing clothes for myself or trying a new bag pattern, when I'm on call and may have to leave in the middle. But I realized little projects that can be done in steps are a win. Things that you can start cutting out, but if you get called away, you can easily shelve until you get back to them have become my jam.
So, if you're a lover of small but functional projects, or if you're a new sewing looking for some confidence boosting projects, here are my recommendations!
I use this tutorial from Cafe Mom but instead of making a loop out of fabric, i use pony tail holders or elastic cording. These were a great seller at last year's craft fair. They use up scraps and only take one 5x7 piece of interfacing. So, they're great for cleaning up smaller pieces. You can make the cover out of one fabric and then the inside out of something else, make them all the same, whatever you like. I like to just iron pieces from my stash, cut them, and then sew a bunch of these up at once, assembly line style. As you can see, I've made one or two of these.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Sitting beneath these tea wallets are one of my most made sewing projects. These grocery bags from Michelle's Patterns are so versatile. I use the large size at the grocery store and always receive a lot of compliments on them and the small ones are perfect for toting lunches to work, using as gift bags, or as produce bags at the grocery store. You can see past ones I made here and here and here. Like I said, they're a favorite project.
Boxy Bags (a.k.a. Dopp Kits)
These boxy bags from Kelly B Sews are a new favorite pattern. They take much less fabric than you'd think, they look snazzy, and are highly functional. All things I love in a pattern. I've made four of these this month alone, and even finally cut into some of my favorite stash fabrics. I love the Sweet as Honey line from Art Gallery Fabrics, but only had a yard each of a couple pieces. But, I think these are totally worth it. And with I yard, I can make four of these without breaking a sweat.
So there you have it. If you're new to sewing these are all really easy projects. And if you want to try the dopp bag but are worried about installing a zipper, never fear! The directions are VERY clear and she gives some great tips to make it go super smooth.