Yesterday I went to a birthday party for a friend and as I know she's a knitter, I gave her two balls of yarn and some needles. Everyone can use more fancy yarn in their stash!
The yarn was one ball of "Plassard Pastorale" in colour 09 and one ball of "Plassard Oh La La" in colour 112. Both are dark reds, purples, browns and pinks, and the Pastorale has some yellow and green through it. (It seems that the Pastorale is an old line that is no longer available. Guess they were selling off the last of their stock at my local yarn shop -LYS).
Oh La La is a type of netting yarn. It knits up into really funky ruffles eg:here.
The needles are Clover bamboo, 5.5mm and 23cm long. I love working with these short needles if my project fits, because they take so much less elbow room! And the Clover bamboo needles are lovely on my hands.
Then I had to find something to present this in. Now I love a fancy parcel but I have a fundamental objection to wrapping paper. I do admit to resorting to it when I don't have the time, the money or even the personal motivation to fix anything else, but in principle I think the concept of gift wrapping paper is seriously unenvironmentally friendly. Most wrapping paper looks like it is not made from recycled materials and will be hard to recycle, it rarely seems to end up in the recycling bin, and it serves no useful purpose. It is use of materials purely for a fleeting, cosmetic purpose. So wasteful.
Consequently, I often try to sew fabric bags or wraps that can be regifted or repurposed. I know friends and family have stashes of my bags now (that they always seem to strategically use for their own closest family members, so they rarely make it back to me so I can reuse them! Hmph.) Apparently I've also inspired others to sew bags; my sister in law's mother now has a supply of christmas bags too!
Back to yesterday's parcel: I decided that I wanted to sew a little present bag, that could also be used as a project bag for a work-in-progress or WIP. Looking through my fabric stash, I couldn't find any lightweight fabric that I felt suited this friend. But then I remembered that I have a box full of samples from a store where I worked that sold upholstery fabric. When the range changed, I was allowed to take the old pages from the sample book. Perfect! And so I made this:
How did i do it?
I picked out some dark orange squares, and found an embroidered band that I bought years ago in a market in Ecuador. I've not yet found anything to use these bands on, and I have a few in my stash.
I cut the paper off the edge of the sample rectangles, and rounded the two bottom corners. I folded down the top edges, and used my machine's hemming stitch to sew them down as discretely as possible. I straight stitched the band to the rectangles, right sides together, and overlapped the ends of the band at one side. I zigzagged the fabric edge to stop it fraying.
Then, because it gaped open and I wanted it a little more closed as I handed it over, I sewed a ribbon loop to one top edge, and sewed the middle of a piece ribbon to the other. One end of the ribbon goes through the loop, and tie it in a bow. Da da!
Simple but I think it was very effective. :)