[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]
I make a lot of cookies. Most of my friends are in architecture studio, slaving away until the wee hours of the night. Since I don’t have studio and I get lonely, I like making them cookies or doing menial tasks for them (like gluing together a pile of cylinders). Since I make a lot of cookies and I feel bad throwing away all those plastic bags, I have decided to make reusable, washable fabric bags for cookies. Well, I haven’t gotten around to that part yet, but I’ve made the fabric tags to identify the cookie types. I’ll get around to making the actual bags later … eventually … sometime. I’m busy!
First comes the template. I would’ve just cut out a chunk of fabric and started sewing, but I have finally learned that I am not good at cutting a straight line. I drew a rectangle 2.5″ by 6″ in the corner of a manila envelope with my trusty metal L ruler. Cut out a chunk from the corner of the template and then went about tracing shapes from the fabric. I have a lot of this cheap fabric because I originally used it to cover the wall partition in my studio. It’s the same fabric I used for these.
Cut out all those shapes, and then fold them in half with the wrong sides out. The fabric I used was the same on both sides so it really didn’t matter. Sew the two long edges and the short side closed while leaving open the wedge. Then flip it right-side out through the opening that was left. I ironed it at this point to make it easier to work with. I’m not good at drawing a straight line, cutting a straight line, or sewing a straight line. Oh well. Wonky edges make it seem more homemade, right?
Then comes the stuffing. I just added a bit of stuffing into each tag to give them some thickness and make them a bit more substantial. Batting probably would’ve worked easier, but I don’t have any of that. While embroidering I would have to keep pressing the stuffing to where I wanted it because it moves a bit. Once the letters are embroidered, however, it’s pretty much stuck.
To make it easier to attach the tags onto the bags (which I intend to have some sort of drawstring or handle), I decided to sew on some loops. I used a random shoestring that I had and cut it into three-inch strips. By the way, this was a new, clean, completely unused shoestring. Since it was going to be used near food and was meant to be washable, I avoided my usual twine and ribbon. Tucking it into the wedge, which had been folded in, I secured it with a pin, and then took it to the sewing machine. I stitched around the edge of the entire thing, and when it got to the area of the wedge, I stitched that opening closed, making sure to get the ends of the cord as I went.
Then came the final step: embroidering! This was the most fun but also the most time-consuming part. I didn’t really plan much before starting the letters, so in some cases I had to go back and redo a letter or two to fix the spacing. This is where a disappearing-ink pen would’ve come in handy … if only I had one. Make sure to sew all the way through the tag to cinch in the stuffing. I think it’s cute because the reverse side of the tag spells out “oatmeal” but backwards.
I currently have three made: oatmeal, choc chip, and sugar. I plan on making a few more, but I have no idea how I’m going to embroider “peanut butter” onto one of these things. I’ll probably also have to make another “choc chip” in case I make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip (which would require both an “oatmeal” and “choc chip” tag). I’m running out of the purple embroidery floss I was using, so that is yet another thing to add to my list. On the other hand, my August total is so tiny!