Friday, December 19, 2008

Wrap It Up

It's no secret that I wrap my gifts in cloth bags. Christmas, birthdays, new baby, be nice to my kids on their report card. Whatever the occasion.

These cloth bags can go around and around through family and friends. A few of these cloth bags have even made it back to the house as gifts for my family. Most of the gift bags linger out there in the unknown. I like to think that they have been lovingly reused and have crisscrossed the globe as they are gifted from friend to friend.

For years I have purchased gift bags from online retailers and little old ladies at craft fairs. This year my bag suppliers have dried up. My favorite (and reasonably priced) online fabric bag seller closed it's site. The craft fairs aren't drawing the little old ladies like they used to.

So what's a girl to do?

After my sewing machine debacle of 2007 my friendly mummy bought me a drugstore special sewing machine for $8.99. Big didn't work.

I then invested my own ten dollars and three hours of my life into a hand held jobby that could only sew four inches at a time.

I got my money back, but those three hours will be lost forever,

Fourth time's a charm. Right? Maybe? I put down seventy dollars on a real life sewing machine. It had lots of bells and whistles, but I was only looking to sew in a straight line.

This fourth machine helped me sew goodie bags for girlie's birthday. One eight hour day later and the bags were done. "Primitive" I called them. "Um, my eight year-old daughter sewed them... Yeah, that's what happened."
Now, here we are at Christmas time again. And here I am in need of more gift bags. Looking at the prospect of working for many days and nights just to make a few bags, I did what any enterprising suburban gruppie would do.
I called my dealer.
My sewing dealer. Gutter brain.

My friendly neighbor down the street started a small sewing company creating purses, vests and the like. I called her up using my most desperate voice. "Sandy, I um tried really, really hard to make my gift bags this year. I even bought lots of cute fabric on sale. Since you are really talented and I um and pitifully arts and crafts challenged. Could I commission you to make my gift bags this year?"

A Christmas miracle came early this year. Friendly and talented Sandy said "yes." She agreed to be my new fabric gift bag supplier. In one swoop she saved me and saved a little part of the world.

Next time you are lucky enough to receive a fabric gift bag with a wonderful gift inside, take a minute to ponder all of the places that bag has traveled and the woman who may have lost hours of her life trying to make that very bag.


Late Bloomer said...

Wow - I think I might have given up after all that! Good for you for sticking with it.

My Mom gave me her old sewing machine a couple of years ago but it hasn't been used much (New Years resolution to change that), but I bought most of my Christmas gift bags at the local thrift store. They had lots of them and, after I bought up their entire supply, I bought a few of the 50 cent Christmas towels they had and sewed three sides together. Cheap and quick!

Merry Christmas!!

Erikka said...

check out a craigslist near you - sometimes you can get FREE sewing machines and not just good ones, but sometimes antique ones.

also, if you can't find time to sew bags, using cloth as a wrapping material works just as well! you wrap and tie with pretty ribbon and viola - reuseable gift wrap.