Tag Archives: hessian

A patch of potato sacks

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I scored more potato sacks from the organic food co-op we belong to.  It has been running for many years, mostly because of the hard work of a few trusty and amazing people–and one of my friends in particular.

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I turned these into fully lined bags.  The printing isn’t designed to last but I like to honour the humble hessian sack, while there are still some of them left to honour.

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I am planning for these to go back to the co-op where other members might like them.

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Needless to say lining them brought on a little bag breakout.  I managed to finish one more sheet offcut collection! And provide yet further evidence that there are some things about my camera I don’t understand after all this time.


Filed under Sewing

Bag making

There came a point in the end of year crazy-pants where I couldn’t stand all the bits and pieces that were lurking around my office/sewing space. Finally, I decided to take action.  Who needs a potato sack in residence in their work space for months?  It went the way of so many potato sacks round here.  This one was a particularly nice sack, with quite a complex weave structure (for a hessian sack).  The printing was even less wash fast than usual (for a hessian sack) but hopefully it will now have another life being appreciated for its carrying qualities.

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Then there were all the small pieces of fabric left over from other things.  I created patchwork from them and soon had enough for a bag (or two!) lined with eco-prints I like less.

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These are mostly small pieces of pre-loved garments that have been turned into other things, with or without prior leaf prints.  This one has already gone to a happy home with friends who use bags all the time.

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And then there was the ongoing bag patching ritual.  There were three or four new holes… so my favourite bag got yet another patching job.  From this:

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To this!

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Filed under Leaf prints, Sewing

What to do with hessian sacks

In my childhood, hessian sacks (I think these are burlap sacks in North America) were a common feature of life. They were the packaging in which all kinds of supplies for the garden and from the hardware arrived, and they also carried potatoes and large quantities of other eatables.  They were routinely re-used to carry things (mulch or wood) as mats (for example, in the shed or the boat or outdoors) or as linings (for example, in the boot of a car).

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Many things that once came in hessian now arrive in plastic sacks–chook food being the most obvious example in my life.  Happily, the organic fruit and vegetable co-op we belong to still gets potatoes in sacks. Some are particularly cute.  This one features a wombat, in case this is not obvious to those from far away places!  In the past, I used to get spud (potato) sacks with spud man on them, a little animated potato chap.  I a made a lot of bags for co-op members from them.  The cute ones are especially motivating.  I think they make great lined carry bags.

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First wash your sack, inside-out, to remove the mud that is great for growing vegetables but particularly unfortunate if it finds its way into your sewing machine.  Choose shape and size of bag.  Stitch side and bottom seams, fold over a top hem, and then square the corners if you like a flat bottom (I do).  (Not sure what I mean?  scroll down to ‘stitch miter seams’ in this tutorial).

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Next, make a lining of similar size from whatever scraps you have and seam it up the same way.  No shortage of scrap fabrics at my place! If in doubt, make it a fraction smaller than the hessian outer.

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Next, choose fabric for handles, iron hems, fold in half and stitch. Finally, slip the lining into the outer.  Check for fit.  Pin lining to outer, and pin handles into position,  Stitch around the top of your bag, with some reinforcing stitches to keep your handle in good order.  And there you have it!

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I have one more bag in progress.  This one is posing in the potato patch, quite shamelessly… unfortunately, the woolly caterpillars have rampaged through the garden for weeks, munching everything they fancied in the process, and the potato plants themselves are looking less glamorous than they might.

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Filed under Sewing