Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thrift & Grocery Sack

I'm still obsessed with thrift. I love finding vintage/retro fabrics for good prices and thinking what I can make out of them. It was a few days ago when I knew that this Vintage Sheet Patchwork Swap was going on. Too late. I'd love to join in though for the next round now that I've got enough fabrics!

Found this basket too. Carrying this big basket and another huge bag from the thrift store on the way home embarrassed me a little just because it's a quite trip. Walking, taking a bus, taking a train....but I just couldn't wait to see how it would look under my sewing table. (by the way, I got a better table!) I love it!

This laminated place mat is one of the things I found at Thrift Town in S.F. Super duper cute! This got me thinking that I want to make a vintagish place mat and I am working in progress.

I'll show you the pics of the finished project tomorrow. I'm loving it quite bit.

Another great find: Vintage pattern from 1969! I've been always scared of working on a big project like a dress based on a pattern, but these cute dresses make me feel like I wanna give a shot.

This is really cool too, although if I actually make one, the bottom of the skirt will probably be way below my knees. haha. I'm only 5 foot 1 inch.

Grocery sack I made for my friend's birthday. To tell the truth 'purple' has been the most difficult color for me to deal with, but I learned that with radiant, bright color like orange, deep pink, or green, purple can contribute a vintagish design that I can really enjoy. yay!

The pattern for the bag is from one of Japanese craft magazines (Cotton Time). When I saw it for the first time, I simply thought "Wow! it looks super easy! I can probably make it in an hour!" But, no way! That was a big underestimation. This bag is a lot more complicated than it looks!! I give a big credit for someone who came up with the pattern. I think it's genius, absolutely creative. I would never be able to come up with a pattern like this.

A good thing about a handmade grocery bag is that it can be folded neatly so that it fits in your small purse whenever you go grocery shopping. And of course, by using it you are "going green"! This bag makes me feel like going to a farmer's market and grab some fresh tomatoes.

Did I subconsciously copy the colors?!


I have some great crafts to show you guys! Check this out!! Woo hoo!!

heartFabric Basket and Pen Cases by Mamalife
(She's made a lot of things using my tutorials and this is my first time to see my pen case's sisters! So happy!!)

heartCamera Case by Eve

heartCamera Case by thucnghi

And thank you for Luciana who's kindly sent me a picture of her camera case;)

I love, love, and love looking at what creative people make with my tutes!
I promise more tutorials are coming!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Such thrifty goodness! Great finds!

  2. OMG! I HAVE that McCall's pattern from 1969 and somewhere I have a picture of me wearing the dress I made from it! I have been sewing for >40 years and never get rid of a pattern (although I hate making the same pattern twice :-) Haven't done much dress making recently...just quilting.

  3. I used to have the pattern from 1973 - I loved how cute the girls on the cover looked - but I don't think I ever made it for myself. I'm short and round, so it definitely wouldn't have looked that cute on me.

    Like Pam, I also have been sewing for over 40 years - and I am continually inspired by your blog. You have such creative ideas for using fabric - and you get projects done!

    By the way, I'm Matt's mom, and I was really blessed that you took the time to send him birthday greetings. I loved the pic of him and Joe.

  4. You are such a talented person! I really look forward to your posts and your projects. Have you ever thought of dreaming up an original pattern and offering the PDF for sale? Just a thought....Have a great week!

  5. The patterns are awesome, I esp. like the second one! I would love to see a picture of your new sewing table with the basket!! The bag is so cool too, and I really like that you added the purple print!

  6. Those patterns are AWESOME!!! I have yet to make myself anything from a pattern, but it's one of my goals. Oh and thanks for the tag - I was able to come up with a few things but I'm pretty bad at that stuff. Also, I think we're neighbors - we live in Milpitas. :)

  7. Those dresses look like a lot of fun to sew. I can't wait to see your results!

  8. Those dresses are so cute! You should totally make them.

    I want to make the grocery bag.. but I can't read Japanese. Tutorial please??! :)

    (btw, thanks for the link.)

  9. Thanks for the link - LOVE the colors on your grocery bag. Every week when we throw away too, too many plastic grocery bags, I say I need to make some of these... it is on my list!

  10. I have a set of vintage sheets exactly like those on the bottom with the orange flowers (I have a set with yellow flowers too) that I found while thrifting. Its so neat to see what others get on their thrifting excursions.

    And your sewing is stunning- love your patchwork stuff.

  11. Thanks for your nice encouraging comments!

    Thanks! I got lucky!

    I would LOVE to see the dress you made!! If someone very experienced like you says the pattern is good, it must be good! I am so glad to hear this!

    What a nice surprise! Matt's mom?! I'm so glad to hear from you. Matt's been a great friend for both of us. We miss him a lot.
    Thanks for your comment on my crafts;) I wish I could've visited you one day to see your sewing projects while I was in Seattle..!

    Ruby's Daughter-
    You're so sweet!! I would love to make my original pattern for sale some day..

    I will show you my sewing space once I'm done with decorating. so far it's just a mess.. I have to get something to organize everything first!
    Did the purple work well? Thanks for saying that!

    Yep! we are neighbors! I go to Savers in Milpitas all the time. The Great Mall too! So nice to know that someone enjoying sewing like you is living around here.

    I can't promise I'll make these dresses. I am a bit scared still, but they are so cute I might try!

    I'm thinking about making a tutorial of a different bag sometime..and I think you'll like it!

    I bet you can make grocery sacks super quickly! You are always so fast at sewing and I am impressed!

    Thanks!!I know it's fun and inspiring to see what other people find at thrift stores. I have to check out many more thrift stores!!

  12. OMG I think I'm in love with that grocery sack!! I've had "make grocery sacks" on my to-do list for about a month now. I had planned on making them out of my least favorite fabrics, but yours is just so pretty that I may have to rethink that plan. Love, love LOVE it!!!

  13. Those patterns bring back memories! Really, you should make the dress. I love Cotton Time, I was able to buy one from etsy, a little pricey, though. I wish I could find a source here that I can pick up that wonderful magazine. I don't know Japanese, but I love the patterns and photos.

  14. Thanks for your nice comments!

    Thanks for loving it;) I think grocery backs are something worth making a lot of, because we might need more than one bag quite often;)

    Yeah, the magazine is awesome, isn't it? Lots of instructions on the book are well illustrated so it's fun to look at;) I know it's pricey, it is too even in Japan like $9. I have to go to a used bookstore in Japan to look for old versions of the book!

  15. San Jose, You make miss home more. I am from Santa Cruz. Living in Texas and missing home.

  16. Beth-

    Thanks for your comment! I've been to Santa Cruz only once and have wanted to explore more. I went to Hart's fabric store there..It was amazing!!


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