Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Dog Food Bag Bag

Better known as the project from hell. 
First off, I will admit they turned out pretty cute, but it really wasn't easy getting to the end of this one!

In the beginning I was planning on doing an actual tutorial for this project.  In the end I realized that this was such a pain in the bum to sew I scrapped the tutorial idea.
 I started out with a  Boots and Barkley 20 pound dry dog food bag that was made out of a very heavy Tyvek - this is what made the project hard.  The tyvek was very hard to manipulate. 

I cut the bag open at the bottom and one side making a long rectangle and tried to wash the inside as best I could. (It still stinks a bit like dog food).  Then I cut the bag down to a slightly more manageable size and stitched it right sides together (using a denim needle) on two sides leaving the top open. 

I decided at the last minute to line the bag and since I had the perfect dog fabric in my stash that was the exact size I needed I decided to go for it.   I wanted a nice flat bottom on the bag, so I boxed the corners on both - the tyvek is stiff enough that the bags stand up on their own.

I decided to take the easy route and just stuffed the lining, wrong side out, into the bag that was right side out.  I stitched across the top edge to join the two together.  The tyvek was horribly hard to maneuver and I was so frustrated with it by this point I decided I didn't really care how the bag was sewn to the lining. 

For the handles I used the old seat belt straps that I had cut off one of our car seats when we converted it to a booster seat.  To cover up the edge of the bag (and in an attempt to make it look a little nicer) I added a strip of belt around the top edge of the bag.  What a pain!  Half way through I realized I really needed to turn the bag inside out to sew the strap on because I simply could not maneuver the bag under the needle any other way!  I am glad I added the strip.  It helped to cover up some of my messy stitching from attaching the lining and straps.

As you can see in the picture above I tried to serge the top edge.  BIG MISTAKE!  I think I killed the cutting blades on the machine and I am positive I need to change the needles now!  I am so sorry you poor innocent serger...  I also added some strips of double fold bias to the top edge in an attempt to cover the top edge.  I really should have added it before I attached the handles.

In the end I got a big thumbs up from Ran.   I think the bag took me over 2 hours to make.  And since I really am a glutton for punishment I decided to make a second bag. 

The second one was a TON easier.  I cut out the heart shape from the front of the bag, a matching piece for back and a strip for bottom/sides of the bag.  I sewed this one wrong sides together.   I then covered the seams and top edge with some bias tape.  I used a single strip of webbing for the handle and no lining on this smaller one.

This project was definitely a challenge!  It was not easy to do, but I do like the end result.  We now have two very one of a kind bags!  I think what has been the hardest for me is admitting that the stitching on the bags is far from perfect.  The lines are very wonky and they big one is kind of Frankensteined together.  I really underestimated how hard this material was going to be to sew.  But it truly is a Trash to Treasure!

Now, how long do you think it will take till my hands stop smelling like dog food?

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