Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stories, Confessions & Being Practical

So I guess the "how" and "why" behind what I've been working on these days perhaps might need a little explanation... including somewhat of a confession. Before you quickly scroll down to see what I've been sewing, let me first warn you that you are not about to view the most "wow" worthy thing I've ever sewn. In fact, I would say that anyone who sews, at one time or another has made something similar. Perhaps, I need to explain a little...

As I've shared before, simple things like grocery shopping in Germany is much different than in the U.S. I shamefully admit that prior to living here, my weekly shopping trips included way too many plastic bags that only later found their way into the trash can. But that's one of the things that I love about Germans, is that almost everyone recycles here. So, in case you're on the U.S. side of the pond, let me fill you in on a little something that one would find in EVERY German home, and not just one but several... simple canvas bags. You can pick them up just about everywhere, but somehow it seems that one never has to because there are always a million of them at home, and as you read in my last post, Germans love them because they are very practical. (If you are German and reading this I would really love to know just how many of these you have in your home) Instead of plastic bags used to lug groceries home, one uses baskets, boxes, and yup, you guessed it, canvas bags. It really is great to have at least one or two of these in your purse in case you stop by someplace unexpected. Say for instance you need to pick up something at the florist, and then remember, you need a couple stamps and other office supplies at the post office, then since you're just next door you need to pick up a few things at the pharmacy, while doing that you think that it might be nice to pick up a few pastries for coffee and cake time in the afternoon... where do you put it all? yup, again, in your handy, dandy canvas bag. (boy, you're good)

So since living in "Rome", it might be easy to see that I've started doing a few things the way the "Romans" do. But now for my confession. I too tote these little bags with me when I am out running my errands. And once again I shamefully admit that I've not been taking my pretty handmade purses for the daily "here and there" shopping. Not only that, I've opted to take the old, faded, worn out, don't know where in the world they came from, canvas bags because they are, um, well,... practical.

But I could bear it no longer, and decided that practical could be pretty too, and not only could be, but should be. In addition, I was able to put to use some really nice scraps in the process. I no longer have to hang my head in shame because of the old, dirty bags hanging on my shoulder, but I now I have my own stack of pretty canvas bags to replace them...

... proving that one really can have the best of both worlds... any "confessions" of your own?


  1. Haha :) this is great! Yes, I do have many of these bags and love to use them. My mum made a few out of my dad's old shirts for me. I love to use them as they remind me of him, wearing the shirts...and I got rid of the ugly ones a while ago because I always use the nice ones :)

  2. lookin' good! love those bags!! great colors...

  3. Super cute! I love those baskets that Germans carry that have metal handles. I need to pick one up this summer, but I have to say I am a shameful American who despite having canvas bags often forgets to put them in the car and comes home with a ton of plastic.

  4. Hey Allison!
    I am Brazilian and am living for more than 16 years in Germany! And yes, I got used to take the basket and the canvas tote with me once I go shopping! I get a bit nervous, if people give me a tinny plastic bag for something I buy, than I get a bigger one and can put the tinny one in it etc. At the end of the day I would have tones of them. No...
    And your self made totes look soooo pretty! What is the solid bafric?

  5. These look great! I'm waiting for my current bags to finish falling apart before making new ones, but good reminder!

    I actually keep meaning to take one of my MIL's (she must have at least 40, no lie!)and dress it up a bit for her, also a good reminder! =)

  6. kolora, what a great thing to have. I am so sentimental that I'm not sure if I would use them or just keep them tucked away somewhere.

    Kelleyn, will you be anywhere in Northern Germany? Will you be bringing all the kids?

    Pontos da Flavia, it's a really nice, simple, sturdy Ikea fabric... what can I say, you just can't beat the price. But that's what I liked about adding my fabrics to them... it gave it a little more personality.

  7. I'm practical and love things that are pretty as well - these are both ;)
    I made plenty of shopping bags myself and even went one step further - made them even more practical: folded to a minimum when not in use.


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