Monday, December 29, 2008

Gardening Apron from (modern) Feed Sacks

As part of a gardening/birdfeeding gift basket for my Boston Brother and Sister in Law, I made a gardening apron for her out of the bags that our chicken feed comes in. These are the bags that are made from a woven plastic type material that are designed not to break or rip, and I've been saving them to sew together into a tarp to go over the coop in the summer for shade. I decided to sacrifice one of the cuter ones for this apron for my sister in law.

Here's part of the gift basket... there's also a grow kit and some suet cake bird feeder thingers.

And here's the apron on it's own. It's made completely from recycled or leftover materials. The canvas lining and bias binding are scraps from other projects, or old stuff from other people's stashes.

A quick tutorial:
Cut a 16x16 (this is the size of this one, which is too long and not wide enough for me, but my SIL is much tall and narrower than I am), 14X16, and 10X16 rectangles from the empty feed bag (it's best if you spray it off or wipe it down with a damp cloth first, that stuff is dusty!), placing the graphics where you would like them. Bind the tops of the two smaller rectangles with bias binding. I use my bias binder foot, and it's the awesomest. Put all the rectangles wrong stides to right sides, so the smaller ones will form pockets for the apron. I used binder clips to hold them all in place. Mark rounded bottom corners with the help of a plate or can, trim these and then bind all three layers together, from one upper corner to the other upper corner. To make the tie, I used three yards of binding, sewing it closed and centering the apron in there to bind the top of it. If you'd like to line it, just cut a 16X16 square of the lining fabric, put it wrong sides together with the large plastic square and treat them as one layer. I lined this one, but I think unless you want to do that for cuteness, it's not really necessary.

There's lots of things that can be done with these bags. I know that there's a person at the farmers' market who sells tote bags from them, and I'd bet they'd make cute reusable lunch bags and wallets or coin purses. Lots of pet food and bird seed come in them too. Send me pics if you try any fun stuff with yours!

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Mrs. Mordecai said...

That's awesome! I bet those aprons would sell well on Etsy.

I saw a real, live, cute cloth flour sack at the grocery store the other day. It was in the Hispanic section, and labeled in Spanish, so I'm not 100% sure what it contained, but I think it was bleached flour. Too bad. If it was unbleached, which is what I use, I would buy it just for the sack, because I've always wished that flour still came in cloth sacks.

Blue Castle said...

Very cute! Awesome idea. :)

Alison said...

That is a very cute idea!

You should plan a visit to your Boston family soon so I can come over and see you.

Melonie said...

What a fantastic idea! We read the Kit series of the American Girls recently and "Chatty" was fascinated by the feed sack dress Kit's gramma made her during the Depression. I'll have to show her this - it's a good lesson for ALL eras. :-)

Tomato Lady said...

I am so impressed! Your sister-in-law is a lucky gal. I love the choice and placement of the graphics from the sack.

Bethany said...

Thanks ladies. I thought this one turned out pretty cute myself. My sister in law loved it. She wanted to know what kind of store Rural King is that they have such cool, hip graphics, lol. It looked great on her too! I got the proportions just right to look good on her.

Mrs. Mordecai, I've seen those cloth bags too, mostly in asian markets. The graphics are nice, but I'd have loved to live in the days when feed and flour came in the pretty floured bags!

Sarah, I don't know that I can take complete credit, since I've seen other people making tote bags with them, but the apron idea... I just couldn't resist.

Ali-cat, I don't know if we'll ever get out there, but if we do, I'll definately be bothering you!

Melonie, I hope Chatty likes the idea. It's so great that you take the time to teach her about re-using things and talk about other times. Too many kids have no idea!

Tomato Lady, I love those graphics too. The little chicks on the starter feed are just so cute, lol. It practically designed it's self once I started cutting.

Now I just need a use for the back panel that's all words and instructions!

Lauriebelle said...

Okay....this rocks my world! What an amazing gift idea! NICE!

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