Last night I repaired our two oldest and most loved reusable cloth shopping bags.
The old blue one had some holes developing. But with a little bit of sashiko (Japanese repair stitch) I was able to darn the holes closed and reinforce the cloth around them.
I chose a dark blue thread to make the repair slightly visible, but still in keeping with the theme of the bag. Actually, it's the colour the bag started out as.
This bag was coming apart at the top of the seams so I used bias tape (you can make your own or buy it) to reinforce the seams and the top of the bag.
We sew the bias tape on once, then fold it over and sew again. That makes two rows of stitches as well as the tape to strengthen the edge.
Doing this makes me think about how good some reusable bags are. The ones made of cloth or even this old Trader Joes bag can be repaired quite easily. But some of the ones they sell in the grocery store only last a couple of years. Each of these bags have over 15 years of almost daily use and with some love, hopefully another 15 years.
Nice work! This reminds me of the old saying "a stitch in time saves nine". So, sashiko is like a decorative reinforced weaving? And, like all repairs, probably works best when the stitches are made in time. For my bags, I hand stitch using dental floss. Seems like we always have a bunch of sample packs of floss from dental cleanings. Might as well put them to good use.
With forty shades of green, it's hard to be blue.
Garg 'nuair dhùisgear! Virtutis Gloria Merces
Karen Donnachaidh wrote: sashiko is like a decorative reinforced weaving?
Sashiko, literally translated to “little stabs”, is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching, usually running stitch, for areas on clothing that get a lot of wear.
Boro is the Japanese art of mending, “literally translated as rags or scraps of cloth, the term boro is also used to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times.” -Furujistar
Awesome job with what looks to me as a form of "Darning repair", and use of Bias Tape for the corners.
I have seen new bags come with such poor stitching they come apart on the first use.
Sometimes buying Bias Tape is simpler than making it yourself, but either way it is very effective at reinforcing the joins/corners.
I love that you are still using a 'Vibrating Shuttle' sewing machine.
Is the machine a treadle, hand crank or electric and what kind is it - looks like it might be an early Singer or similar machine.
My wife is a quilter and as such I have engaged in repair/refurbish of the 'older' machines.
This includes several Singer Featherweight(221), 99's, 66';s, 128 'coffin top' machines (all treadle/hand-crank/electric),
Along with other brands from Elna to White and branded machines (Sears, Eatons, etc.
These machines just simply work well on anything from satin/lace to canvas & light leather - and easy to maintain/repair.
There is something soothing about using a treadle machine.
I repaired some of mine last year in March when it seemed like ‘doing something while simultaneously being asked to do nothing’ seemed like a worthwhile endeavor. I got the outdoor company bag for free as a prize during training for them but it needed a patch and new handles and I did some subtle embroidery for fancy factor. The cat one was from a friend’s yard sale leftovers and it needed a reboot on the paint job and handles and the embellishment admittedly got waaay outta hand one quarantine morning. But they are sassy and I love them!
The only thing that kept the leeches off of me was this tiny ad: