Patch bags

My beloved returned from a trip abroad with a gift for me.  Patches made from recycled clothing scraps!  I love them!  And then, a familiar tale unfolded.  Long time readers will feel like they have read this post before.


I realised that a bag was called for!  Apparently my year of scrap patchwork cross pollinated with my bag lady tendency, and behold.  These patches spoke to me of a friend who describes themself as non binary–not enthusiastic about being understood as male or female.  Disinterested in the whole sport of there being two rigid ideas about how to organise humanity.  You know.  ‘There are two kinds of people…’.


As a person who wants to be able to do anything–knit and fix the washing machine, embroider and ride a bike… be soft and be loud and be courageous and … you know!  I support my beloved friends in their journeys outside the box.  These bags include scraps from trousers and shirts I’ve made, leftover denim from making jeans, fabric that has been ‘stuff steep and store’-d with madder root, leftover quilt fabric.  You know.  Then some of the patches called to me about another friend and their journey lately.


I like the denim aesthetic for a nice solid bag, and soon I was digging into the cupboard where garments that are ripe for their next incarnation live.


Pretty soon the linings were getting pockets. I used to do this with jeans in the 1980s! (More or less).


A pair of jeans went past the point of mending and were cut up and added to the pile of bag materials.  An old pair of hemp shorts got the cut. Some webbing from goodness knows where became a strap for this zippered bag. You know, variety.


And, I admit it, I gave one bag away before I took its picture. I loved seeing my friend wearing it on his bike!


And… I still have some patches and some ‘blocks’.  Watch this space!



Filed under Sewing

9 responses to “Patch bags

  1. Love these bags, and the idea of so much reuse of materials. From clothing to scraps to clothing. A very marketable idea? I also love the use of your friend’s title ‘non binary’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a nonbinary person myself who often feels invisible amongst my friends and family, I want to applaud your support for your friend. I’m sure they were most appreciative! Thanks for writing about us.
    Jazzy Jack

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jazzy Jack! I appreciate the feedback. My friends have been delighted, and that’s made my heart glad. I was chatting with heterosexual friends on the weekend about the silence that often envelops queer lives when we are among straight folk, even dear ones. They seemed to believe that their queer friends didn’t want to talk about “it”. It seems as though it isn’t obvious to some straight people that we are always surrounded by talk about hetero-families and relationships and lives that assumes they are the only option and that there are so few questions about our lives. Nor that we can still face reactions to speaking about our lives that suggest we’ve said something inappropriate by talking about our partners and families like other folk take for granted. I know from my own experience that starting conversations that touch on gender normativity can be tricky too, and I’m a ciswoman who just doesn’t meet other people’s expectations about dress, conduct and such from time to time. So. I am on the lookout for ways to recognise and welcome and be warm that aren’t going to be invasive or make anyone feel put on the spot. Diversity is the good stuff as far as I am concerned!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They are perfectly imperfect. I love them. Nice long straps to cross over the body too. Lucky recipients!!!


    • Thanks, Keryn! Perfectly imperfect is a lovely expression. I do love a nice long strap, and it is so much easier to shorten for people who find them too long than to add bits on… I just tie a knot if I am on my bike and need to control my load a bit better.


  4. Fabulous bags, great statement patches. Such creative energy – please, would you be willing to bottle and sell it?? Or perhaps more in spirit: trade it. I have some inertia I’d be willing to let go of! : )
    Lucky recipients!


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