Three easy Eco-Totes …. and Sidney!

Thanks so much to everyone who left comments on my last post or emailed me.  I’m not embarrassed about cutting up my ironing board cover at all now – in fact I shall be looking for even more ways to reuse and recycle and will definitely be implementing one or two of your ideas.  Of course a great way to cut waste and help the environment is to stop using plastic bags, something that we’re particularly keen on down here in Devon.  I always try to have a reusable bag tucked inside my pocket or handbag when I’m out shopping – and as last year’s bag is getting little the worse for wear I thought I’d include some new designs in the March issue of the Bustle & Sew eMagazine.  There are three versions, all featuring easy machine applique.  I started by photographing the Twelve of Hearts bag ….

Rosie’s already claimed this one when I’ve finished writing up the pattern!  But the bag seemed a little flat and empty in the photo.  Then I remembered a small softie who is always wanting to join in the fun …..

Yes, it’s Sidney from the August 2013 Magazine!  He would make the perfect model for my tote bags I thought.  So I brought him downstairs and tucked him inside the Bunny Love bag …

Where he looked rather nice.  Then we tried the Fabric Daisy bag – Sidney was clearly becoming accustomed to his new career in modelling and posed to perfection!

I’ve included these bags in the magazine as part of my series “Making Money from Making.”  Part Two in the March Bustle & Sew eMagazine is all about pricing – and includes why it’s important to offer makes at different price points as well as not undervaluing your time.  The eco-totes are speedy, but attractive makes that I think would prove very popular at craft shows – and  if you’re not making to sell (or give away) – they’ll be great for carrying your own shopping home!


Love the bags…and your model too, of course!

Some of the US cities in various States are now outlawing the use of plastic bags! California for one, and now some cities in Rhode Island are chiming in. Which means, you will not be given any plastic shopping bags for your groceries. Must bring your own recycle bags or carry your purchases out in hand! Or be charged 5-10 US cents per plastic bag, if available at all.


I like to give a gift inside a recycle bag whenever possible (they’re $1-2 USD in the markets) instead of paper gift bags. Saves the environment and it’s a gift within a gift. And sometimes even cheaper than the paper gift bags.


I am proud to say, lol, that I worked for the first grocery chain in the States that stopped using plastic bags and only offered paper or lots of different reusable bags for 99c – Whole Foods Market, we stopped on Earth Day in April about 8-9 years ago. People got used to it very quickly. Sadly where I live now, Michigan, peeps seem not so enthusiastic. And I agree with Valerie, a recycled bag is great packaging. It’s either that or a fat quarter to wrap a gift for a stitcher or quilter!


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