Monday, August 12, 2019

Upcycling: Cushion Cover to Tote Bag

Last month, Bill picked up a set of 6 cushion covers from the local charity shop, because he thought I'd like the fabric. I do like it and might end up cutting one or two up. But the first thing I did was to get a couple of blanket wraps that I am not using right now--one is in Christmas colours, so I only use it for a month or so out of the year--and put one in each of two cushion covers. They fit perfectly! I like sitting in bed looking out the window at the treetops, the water and the hills beyond while I listen to stuff and stitch in the evenings/nights. I am much more comfortable with my 'pillow' behind my back.

When he first brought them home, I thought that they'd make good bags. The fabric is sturdy and the zipper is at the top. I plunked the idea into my mind and let it simmer. The main thing was deciding how I wanted the straps to be. By this afternoon, it had simmered enough and I rummaged around in my yarn scrap collection to find some black and some grey. I grabbed my 10mm crochet hook and got started. Holding two strands together, I chained a lot. I think I stopped at 270ish. I made a triple crochet (US terms) in each chain, starting in the 4th one from the hook. Then, I turned and did surface crochet slip stitches back to the other end, then turned again and did the same thing back again. I find that the surface crochet chains provide some extra sturdiness and the handle is less stretchy. Then it was just a matter of sewing the straps to the bag. To do that, I used 4 strands of size 30 crochet cotton, just to make sure it was very strong, since I was sewing by hand. I'm quite pleased with how this turned out and I think the bag will be handy. I'll do a test run with it tomorrow.
it actually does lie flat, I took the pic before I noticed the waviness--the grey stripes on the strap are the two rows of surface slip stitches
I hope it's a nice day in your neck of the woods.


Vicki said...

I love it! You and Bill make a good team!

I wish I would have had my mom teach me to crochet, knit, sew, etc. Now that I'm older I'd love to be able to do those things.

Shari Burke said...

Thanks, Vicki! I'm a self-taught maker. I started as a kid with stitchery kits and then crochet and knitting over 35 years ago as a young mother with a toddler, because I wanted to be able to make wearables and blankets. Later on came needle tatting and needle felting. I'm crazy about all of it :-) It has helped me through some deep depressions and it seems to be something I have to do. I especially love working with scraps, odd balls, and things other people haven;t wanted anymore to create something new. Anyway, crocheting only requires a ball of yarn and one hook--you could probably find what you need for a couple of bucks, or maybe someone you know has an odd ball and a hook in a closet somewhere! There are some great youtube videos that could provide good visuals. I learned from a magazine called Stitch-by-Stitch, but that was the 80s and it's not around anymore, although I have sen some in thrift stores.