Shopping Post Election : Bring Your Own Bag

What to do when you have a case of the blahs after being sidelined by illness (shingles), dog problems (anxiety and panic attacks), post-election blues (he won), and can’t muster up the will or desire to finish making a simple pair of pants started in October?

Scrap it!  At least for now, and start afresh.

from pants to bag

The election on November 8 impacted my state of California in the following ways:

California was one of four states that voted to legalize recreational marijuana use.  That brings the total to 8 states where recreational marijuana use is legal. About half of the states have decriminalized medical marijuana use.

The ballot measure to repeal the death penalty failed, and the proposition to speed up the death penalty passed.  Since the death penalty was reinstated in California in 1978, thirteen men have been executed, after being on Death Row for up to 24 years.  The last execution was in 2006.

Another measure on the ballot that passed by 52% bans single use plastic bags. Customers will be charged 10 cents for a paper bag, and 15 cents for a slighter thicker reusable plastic bag.

That adds up when doing grocery shopping every week. I’m bringing my own!  I gathered up my store bought ones which I think are made from polyethylene (whatever that is).

I also decided to make a tote/shopping bag from a canvas or twill scrap of fabric bought for 50 cents at the thrift store and denim cut from a pair of old jeans.

Shopping Bag Ribbon on Denim Pocket

I looked at two bags I had for construction details – one is a heavier tote bag and the other is lightweight and folds up to a small size.

2 Sample Bags

I made my bag without a bottom seam like both of my sample bags.

I sewed french seams on the side seams.

Box Corner and French Seams

I sewed box corners like the ones on my Queen Mary tote bag.  I don’t think they worked out quite right, and the bottom of the bag is a little narrow.

I used denim for a pocket and the straps.  I changed to a heavyweight denim needle, and used gold thread on the bag to match the jeans.  The hardest part of this project was sewing through the layers of the denim straps where they attach to the bag.  My machine was groaning! I had to turn the wheel by hand to get through the tough spots.

Shopping Bag Inside top

Shopping Bag Pocket Side

Shopping Bag Plain Side

Shopping Bag in Use

No, I don’t live on donuts and potato chips.  The photo is for illustrative purposes only.

I would also like to make a thin roll-up bag like the German bag pictured.  I’ve used that one quite a bit.

I’m happy I got through this project.  Something simple, fast, and useful was just what I needed to help beat my doldrums.






6 thoughts on “Shopping Post Election : Bring Your Own Bag

  1. thenaughtybun

    The cool thing with making such corners slightly narrow, is that you can just make a second seam to make the bottom wider and the sides lower. It’s definitely adjustable. Love your canvas! Very cheery shopping tote.

  2. KerryCan

    You had shingles?? Oh, my–I am so glad you’re better now! I can understand how hard it’s been to get motivated again–I felt that way after the election . . .

    1. Stitch It Again Post author

      I had them on the face around the eye with a lot of swelling. I’m lucky I was diagnosed early and took the anti-virus drug right away because it could have been much worse. The election was also painful.

  3. seweverythingblog

    Hope you’re back to your cheery self, Lisa! I was in California for Thanksgiving and heard about the plastic and paper charges. Well, it’s for the greater good. I use my own bags for grocery shopping, even though we get “free” plastic bags here. Heh.
    I live in Texas, a red state; despite that I spiralled into the doldrums when “he” won.
    Keep sewing what I call “little happy stuff” and the sewing mojo comes back pretty quickly.


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