Review: Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes

(This is my WFMW post this week as well.)

I have a giveaway going on!

What I love most about Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes is the tagline: 18 pattern-free projects you can customize to fit your needs.

And it’s true! See what I made without a pattern?

Know what it is? It’s cutest little green thing ever.

The main book entry is a big tall bag holder for your kitchen. Basically a long tube with elastic at each end and a ribbon loop at the top. Put your grocery bags in one end, pull them out the other. Everyone’s Nana has one of these, right?

But then there was this itty bitty picture of a lady with a little white dog and a tiny bag holder around her wrist. You know, to help her be a good neighbor.

I don’t have a dog. But I do have eleventy-billion grocery bags stored in a kitchen-sized garbage can in my pantry. I can’t bear to toss them. I haven’t gotten my act together (or my sewing skills up to par) enough to make resuable grocery bags, so I keep adding to my impressive collection.

But that little picture got me thinking. Especially since I’ve been reading all week about people using resuable bags as their small change. The biggest complaint is that they went out the door without them. My little wheels turned until I thought, how about a teeny tiny little bag holder that would fit right into a purse or diaper bag? Just a little thing that holds enough bags for one trip to the store.

Anyway, I made up two. One for grocery bags, and one for produce bags. Homemade produce bags are light weight enough that they’d fit in here, but since I already have a stock of produce bags I’ve been hording, I can use the heck out of those. I even made the ribbon long enough that the bag will sit around my wrist while I’m shopping. And they can wait for me on the hooks by my door in the meantime, if I don’t want them in my purse.

Each little bag is 6 inches long and about 3.5 inches thick when filled with 5 standard-sized plastic grocery bags. Perfect for dog walks, like the book said, wet cloth diaper bags, or little wash cloths, or (what I plan to use them for) a trip to the grocery store. They’re so stinking cute that I’ll be able to spread the word about reusing grocery bags when everyone at the store asks me about it.

Okay, okay, back to the book. It has a core of four types of bags (totes, drawstring, messenger, and organizers) each with a project for newbies, pros, and daredevils. There are also five adorable warm-up projects, of which the grocery bag tube is one.

The best part is each project lets you customize, like I did for the grocery bag tube. The instructions are written in a fun and friendly tone, with no intimidation factor at all. The instruction section in front has all kinds of details like how to measure a shoulder strap, how to make sure you’re making your bag deep enough for your needs, and how to do a test run with paper.

The book is spiral bound, so it lays flat while you’re working. The samples inside are made with inspiring fabrics that make me want to make one of each.

I won’t say the ideas inside are super unique. There are patterns all over the place for drawstring bags, or messenger bags. Even grocery bag tubes. What makes this book special is how it encourages the reader to stretch their imagination a little and not get hung up on a pattern. So I’d say for a beginning sewer like me, who needs well-written instructions but also permission to experiment, this book is a keeper.

(The publisher of Sew What! Bags sent me this book to review for you. This didn’t inform my opinion in anyway.)

More WFMW here.

Things other people love here.



Filed under mind, spirit

6 responses to “Review: Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes

  1. Pingback: long day « My failed perfectionistic journey

  2. Gee whiz! If you guys don’t stop blogging about sewing projects, I might just have to dig my machine out and try some of these.
    Cause these sure look like a lot more fun than fixing the seam on my husbands pants, or the strap on my tank, or the button…

  3. Great idea! Love the bags! It ALMOST makes me want to dig out my sewing machine. Almost. : )

  4. Pingback: The Plan: Month Two, Week Five « Live Once, Juicy

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