29 February 2008

Swapping helps develop your simple living skills

Graphic from allposters.com

I'm pleased to see so many of you joining the tote bag swap. I think the swaps have three major benefits:

  • they give you a simple project on which to practise or improve your knitting, crochet or sewing skills;

  • they give you a practical homemade item to use;

  • they connect you with a like-minded soul who also aspires to live simply.

If you haven't yet joined one of the swaps that Sharon and Lorraine kindly organise for me, I want you to give it a go. You don't have to be an expert seamstress to join, Sharon has found some excellent tutorials to guide your project and no one expects perfection. If one of the reasons you haven't joined is that you think you don't sew well enough, put that thought aside right now. This swap will help you improve your sewing skills. Besides, it's all straight sewing, it's not complicated. You don't even have to buy anything to join, we want you to use fabric you already have at home or recycle fabric used for something else.

Our tote bag swap will give you a non-commercial shopping bag unlike any other. You can take it to the store with pride, knowing it's been made for you by someone with good intentions and using fewspecially bought materials.

I'm going to ask Sharon to pick her favourite bag, or the bag she thinks is the most unusual or imaginative, and I'll send the swapper who made it a copy of the current Warm Earth magazine.

I send a sincere thank you to Sharon and Lorraine for their help. The swaps have grown too big for me to do alone and if we didn't have those two fine ladies, there would be no swaps. So thank you very much, Sharon and Lorraine. If you have any queries about the swap, please email Sharon at cdetroyes at yahoo dot com.

If you've been doubtful about joining the swap I hope you decide to dive right in. There are plenty of good sewers here who will answer any questions you might have, so if you've been thinking about starting to sew, but haven't yet done it, this is your time right now.


  1. Rhonda is so right about this swap. If you have a son or daughter who wants to learn to sew this is a fun, easy, and quick project and they will get not only satifaction from making the bag, but then a bag that someone made just for them in the mail. A win win for everyone!!

  2. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    I have been making some cute ones out of tea towels.

  3. Oooh...I'd love some instructions for making a bag with teatowels.

    I jumped in on the tea cosy swap for the very reason that I always hang back and then wish I had. Problem is my perfectionism did make it a struggle and I felt my finished product was woefully inadequate (especially after my 4 year old had a go at messing up the final touches).

    So I'm still vacillating back and forth on whether to commit to this one....

  4. lightening, the aim isn't a perfect bag, love, it's participation and developing skills. Join in, I'm sure you'll enjoy in.

  5. Lightening-join in-there is no perfection in sewing by anyone. The point is to learn something, have a lot of fun, and meet new people. I have worn out many many seam rippers in my years of sewing!!

  6. Hi,
    What I did was cut a strip off one side of the towel. I folded that in half and sewed a seam down it. and it turn it inside out . This is the handle. The rest of the towel I folded in half then I stitched a seam down both sides. Turn it inside out . Sewed the handle on it and there you have a nice bag. Because you didn't cut the top it is aready hemed. If you need more help or a picture let me know.

  7. Thanks Elizabeth for that explanation. Actually, trying to do a handle is one of my biggest concerns so you've just given me a bit of an idea there. Maybe.

    Thanks for your encouragement Rhonda Jean and Sharon. Perhaps I will bite the bullet and give it a try. :)

  8. Lightening-you can also buy webbing straps at any fabric store very cheaply and use this as a strap-just remember to take a lighter or a candle and burn the ends of the webbing to keep it from unraveling.

  9. Hi Rhonda Jean. I would love to get involved in this swap. It sounds like fun. My email is beth-dot-storey-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk.
    I'm having problems with my blogger ID so I'll try to post this as 'anonymous'

  10. Hi Beth, I have you down on our swap list.


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