Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Basic Bag, Cute String, and A Question

This post may seem a little random, but--trust me--it will all come together.  At least in my head it does.  It's kind of another one of those "one thing leads to another" things.  Just bare with me...

So last week I had a fun customer order several buttons.  Yay!  But you know how I am about packing things up cute.  It's a fetish.  And because this customer ordered so many buttons (yay again!) I couldn't package them up like I usually do.  So I decided I'd make a quick and simple drawstring bag to keep her order together while it traveled through the mail.

Because I'm obsessed awesome I wanted the bag to coordinate with the buttons, so I went for this pretty solid blue.  But then I realized I didn't have any drawstrings or ribbon to match.  I was in a bit of a time crunch and wasn't in the mood to turn tiny, skinny little strips inside out, but I was at a loss for what else to do.

Well, that was until I spotted these little lovelies.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

This sweet combination of mini toadstool spools and baker's twine 
came from my newest sponsor

When the package first arrived I was so excited about how wonderful they were packaged up and how cute each little spool was... that I was afraid to cut into any of it.  Doesn't that always seem to be the case with favorite supplies?  So it's been sitting on my window sill above my sewing machine looking pretty and making me happy while I worked up the courage to cut some off.

This bag was the perfect project to finally make the plunge!  Since the bag is so small it didn't require a lot of the twine, but I really think this sweet color combo really brings the little drawstring bag to a whole new level of coolness.

And the baker's twine turned out to be especially wonderful to use as drawstrings because it's such skinny string that I didn't have to make a very wide casing!  But--unlike a lot of string that's this skinny--I think it will still hold up well over time.

If you're looking for some of this sweet baker's twine (and the adorable spools they come on) you can purchase the full mini set HERE or you can purchase the individual mini ones HERE

And in case you're wondering, I used the tealish color for the drawstring on the little blue bag I made.

Aren't these spools just the sweetest? 

I love my Wee Toadstool Spool set, but if you're looking for a little more, you can also find the larger versions in the Wee Waldorf SHOP.

Best of luck resisting that temptation.  :)

Ok, back to the bag and on to my question...

I made this little blue drawstring bag similar to the way I made the Mittens & Cocoa Drawstring Bag.  And the main part of what makes these drawstring bags so quick and easy is the fact that the raw edges are just finished with a zigzag stitch.  (As opposed to lining the bag or using another method that would hide all of the raw edges.)

Now this method works fine with a zigzag stitch... but you know what it works even better with?  A serger.  I've been day dreaming about having a serger for some time now.  And it looks like it's still going to be quite a while until I actually have one, but I'm getting more serious about saving for one. 

Uhh... which has led me to realize all over again that I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to sergers.  I know that some styles and brands are better than others, but I don't really know what style or brand would be good for me.  I don't think I need one that's industrial strength since I would just be using it for myself and my little business.  So I feel like I don't need to buy one that's super duper expensive.  But, on the other hand, I don't want to waste my money on a cheap one that won't work very well either.

Do you have a serger?  Do you have suggestions for me? 


Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva said...

Those toadstools are just way, way too cute!
~ Kimberlee at The Spunky Diva 
{Check out how I made my name 'clickable'.}

Sarah said...

I was lucky enough for my MIL to give me an "extra" serger she had sitting around (she does machine quilting). It is a Bernette by Bernina. It is very old but works wonderfully. I LOVE it for working with knits! However, I've never changed the thread (it's tan) because it looks pretty difficult to do so. I'm guessing the newer ones don't have this limitation? Anyway, maybe you could find a great deal on Craig's List. Good luck!

Angel said...

I took the plunge 2.5 years ago to buy my serger, and I obsessed over it for sooo long. I tried them out so much and just fell in love with the Babylock Imagine. I lucked into a fabulous deal (maybe they were sick of me coming in to 'try' them out? Maybe it was because I brought two of my kids with me? who knows?) and bought it. It works like a dream. I feel that it is worth it to spend more for a quality brand because I don't hesitate to use it often or change threads around since it has the jet-air threading. Get an old makeup brush to keep by your machine (and pipecleaners!) to clean the fuzzies out! Also I see them in the sewing and vac store a lot because people will trade up...maybe you can find room in your car to take it with you. = )


Beth said...

I actually got one of the cheeper Janome brand sergers. I was scared to death of it, and even more scared that it would be worthless since it was under $200 on sale, but it's fantastic. It's held up great (and I use it at least weekly, but mostly daily) I've used it for thin fabric, and thick fabric, even terry cloth (for some quick diaper inserts) and it's awesome! Someday, when we actually make some money, we'll invest in a really nice one that is self threading, but for now, I love the serger I have. I know that some people say that janome is bad, but I have both a janome sewing machine and serger and I love them both, they've out performed my singer and my brother, so now I'm hooked on that brand. Even my 5 yr old can use them and I'm not all freaking out about her breaking them. My husband and I refer to them as the "work horses".
It did have a bit of a learning curve, but after a few nights of playing with it, I got used to it, and it barely takes me any time to change thread or fix the many knobs to switch fabric types. I'd recommend it to new serger people, especially if they aren't willing to shell out many hundreds of dollars on a machine.

Dorothy said...

I have a Janome and it is indeed a workhorse. When you get one look for at least 4 thread, and if you can afford a little more, get one that will also do a coverstitch. (That's the double-stitched hem you find on all purchased knit clothing items.) Since you enjoy re-purposing knit items you will be mad at yourself if you don't. :) I don't have the coverstitch because they weren't built onto sergers yet when I got mine. Oh, how I wish it did!

teacherspet04 said...

I also have an old Bernette by Bernina. I bought it second-hand from the man who owns a high-end fabric shop here. It was his mother's machine & well cared for. My mother (who has been an industrial seamstress AND a tailor at various times in her life) used it over Christmas and fell in love. She said that it is one of the best sergers she's used.

Kathy Haynie said...

I don't know anything about sergers, but I wanted to thank you for the link to the string spools. They are really cute!

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

I don't know much about sergers although I've used my friend Lisa's and my mother-in-laws. I hope to have one someday...but I don't think I'd want one right now because I don't have the space for it.

I totally know what you mean about not wanting to cut up cute trims and things...but what's the point of never using it. :)

Kristie said...

I have a Kenmore, from Sears. I got it about 2.5 years ago, and it works really good. I have a Janome Sewing machine, which I love! Just look around. You don't have to spend much to get a great deal. And my Kenmore is not very hard to thread. My mom has a babylock, and that one is amazing as well.
Good luck!

Amanda said...

I'm super excited that this little bag came to my house! When I first saw the post I was hoping but I didn't want to get my hopes up, but I did start stalking the mail man a little harder! It got here today and it is so so so cute! Thanks for taking the extra time to make the packaging so nice. It sure does make a girl feel special!! And I LOVE the buttons!

I've looked at sergers, but they scare me so I haven't made the leap yet. If/when you get one, I'd love to hear how/why you made your choice and how it's working out.

the momma said...

I bought a Brother 1034D after a good bit of research. I've had it for 4 years and have been very pleased with it. The only downside for me is it is a bit loud. I was tickled to read that Ashley of LilBlueBoo fame uses the exact same machine :-) (except she has 2 of 'em!)