Random Acts of Sewing Kindness

One of my resolutions this year was to spread a little more kindness through gift giving. I’ll admit – the first few months of the year got away from me! How is it March already? Regardless, I’m ready now! A good friend of mine is having a birthday this week and I wanted to make her a little something.

Side note…Do you find it challenging to sew gifts for people that also love to sew? I find myself doubting my simpler ideas just because I know that she could so easily make that herself. But that’s not the point is it? It truly is the thought that counts. And just think how much more special an item is because it was made for you instead of just another project checked off the personal to do list. So let me just encourage you to ignore that voice in your head. Simply think about what you would like to receive and don’t worry another second about it. Your gift comes from a place of creativity and kindness. (And my very best advice – if you are worried the project is too simple, break out the really good fabric!)

The gift I made is an adaptation on our Drawstring Bag tutorial. I still really love the way that bag goes together so it was fun to find another use for the same method. I’ll walk you through the steps and give you sources for the plants and pots!

First off, take a few minutes and watch the Drawstring Bag video if you haven’t already. You can find it here. My instructions here will make a lot more sense if you have an understanding of how that bag goes together.

For my gifts I used buckets I found at Michaels for $1.49. I’m sure Target has something similar right now too. Since I was making the fabric cozy I needed a pot that didn’t have a drainage hole in the bottom. I would recommend putting a bit of sand or even broken clay pots in the bottom of your planters that don’t have drainage so that any overwatering can filter down to the bottom without sitting in the soil and damaging the plant. I purchased a variety of cactus and succulents from Home Depot where the prices ranged from $3 – $5 for small plants. I also purchased potting soil that was specific for cactus and succulents. This is a special mixture that also helps with drainage.

For the bucket pictured above I cut my outside and lining fabric to 9″ x 16″. I’m going to walk you through making a cozy for a pint size canning jar in this post. For the jar cozy I cut my two fabrics at 8-1/2″ x 17″. To make a cozy for another size pot I would recommend measuring around the largest spot of the pot with a fabric tape measure. Divide this by 2, then add 2″. This number is the width of the cut fabric. For the length measure from the top of the pot, down across the bottom and back up the other side, then add 3″ (or a little more if the pot isn’t straight on the sides). This will be the length of the fabric that you need to cut. Cut an outside and a lining piece of fabric that are this width and length.

From here you’ll want to follow the drawstring bag instructions for the following three steps: (Watch the video for more detailed instruction!)

  • Place fabrics right sides together and stitch around the perimeter using a 1/2″ seam allowance and leave a 4″ opening in the center of one long side.

  • Turn right side out and press well, tucking in the raw edges of the opening.

  • Fold each short end over 1″ and press in place. Top stitch to create a casing.

*Here’s where the change comes in….when you are ready to fold the bag in half to sew up the sides we are going to add some extra folds to the bottom to create the boxed corners.

One day on an innocent stroll through Pinterest I came across this picture.

Original post can be found here in German.

I’m sure this technique is old news to some of you, but I had never seen it before and it kind of blew my mind. I thought it was my duty to share it, just in case someone else out there was new to the concept. The rest of you should just smile knowingly and nod. 🙂

Here’s how I used this method on the plant cozy:

For the canning jar I decided the length across the bottom should be 3″. I folded the bag in half wrong sides together and pressed the fold at the half way mark.

Open the fabric and lay it out so the right side is facing up. Find the crease and measure 1-1/2″ up from there. Fold over at the 1-1/2″ mark.

Fold the bag in half, matching the 1-1/2″ fold on the opposite side. It should look like this.

From here you’ll want to continue on with the drawstring bag instructions using these small adjustments:

  • Clip or pin the sides in place. Sew each side with a 1/2″ seam allowance, stopping 1/4″ from the top casing.

  • Turn the bag right side out.

  • Instead of using two strands of twill tape for the drawstring we are going to use elastic. 1/2″ elastic would be my preferred choice, but just use whatever you have. Thread it through the casing using a safety pin. Then try the cozy on the jar or pot that you are making it for. Pull the elastic tight and clip the desired spot.

  • Remove the jar and sew the elastic together in the marked spot. Trim and thread the sewn end into the casing so you can’t see it.

That’s it! Pot your plant in the jar and put it in the cozy! You’re all set to brighten someone’s day.

Just the Details:

Supplies: 1/4 yard of two fabrics, 1/2 yard elastic, pot, plants & potting soil

Fabric: Strawberry in Navy and Going Steady Grid in Flame; Flotsome and Jetsom in Sand DollarandDark Indigo Chambray

Pattern: Drawstring Bag Tutorial with modifications

Happy Sewing!

Roxanne

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