Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Placemat Totes - part of the "Every Weird Thing..." series*
"Jessie, I love your bag," I told her one Sunday.
"Thanks. It's made out of a placemat."
Ha! Who'd have thought?
Many months later, I found myself needing to come up with an idea for a homemade gift. My responsibility in the church is in the Relief Society. Occasionally, the Relief Society holds additional meetings during the week. (Because sometimes three hours of church on Sunday is just not enough.) At these meetings we might learn a new skill, be educated on a topic, have a parenting class, go on a field trip to a museum. My job is to coordinate these weeknight meetings. We decided to have, in conjunction with our Annual Soup Dinner, a Homemade Gift Ideas Night. Women could share ideas for homemade gifts, giving help to whatever degree they felt comfortable. They could simply show the item. They could provide an instruction sheet. The could give a link to a website. They could offer personalized instruction to anyone who might want to make their item. As one of the women in charge of this activity, I felt like I needed to come up with an idea.
Jessie's placemat tote bag!
I actually made three of them. It was really easy. I'm pretty sure chimpanzees could be trained to produce these bags.
All you need is a placemat and a yard of grosgrain ribbon. And a sewing machine. If you can sew forward and backward in a straight line, you have the skill necessary to complete this project.
Step one: Fold the placemat in half (the hamburger way). Stitch along the sides. Make sure to backstitch at both ends.
Step two: Flatten the seam allowance open and form corner into a point.
Measure 2 1/2 inches from point and mark with a pencil. Both sides.
Step three: Stitch across from one pencil mark to the other in a straight line, backstitching at beginning and end. Repeat steps two and three on other corner of bag. Turn bag right-side-out. Voila!
Step four: Cut the yard of ribbon in half. Cut a notch out of each of the four ends by folding the ribbon in half ( the hot dog way) and snipping out a triangle. Make sure you snip in the right direction!
Step five: Position ribbon on bag. Stitch a small box-shape to secure in place. Stitch over it three or four times for added strength. Repeat with remaining ribbon ends so that you have two handles on your bag.
Step six: Load up bag and go to church. Don't forget the No-doze. Just Kidding!
*Every Weird Thing You Wanted To Know About Mormons But Were Afraid To Ask Because Then The Missionaries Might Show Up At Your Door