When my mum bought me home this beautiful canvas bag from the Shakespere and Company in Paris it inspired a little DIY project.
If I used it as a bag it would get ruined so I thought it was better to make it into a cute pillow for my reading nook (snicker) ok future reading nook.
I experimented with a few bags I wasn't attached to at first, putting buttons, zippers and clasps at the top but at the end of the day they still looked like bags sitting on a couch. It turned out that the simplest way was the easiest. Just one simple hand stitched seam. I will just have to unpick it if I want to wash it but it's not like it's going to be on a bed so I probably wont get around to it often.
A few tips
- The finished products look the best when you put the stuffing right in the bag as it fills the corners out better.
- For bags that are three dimensional (ones with a gusset*) I tried a few different techniques. I added strips of other material and folded down the top like a parcel but they just didn't look right. I ended up laying the bag flat and sewing around the edges after tucking in the gusset. This made it a two dimensional bag and then I just stuffed it and sewed up the top.
- Bags with symmetrical patterns that don't have an 'up' side are the best as after you sew up the top you can just turn it upside down and you can't see the seam. You can also put zippers on these ones.
I find myself with a lot of canvas totes, whenever I'm at Cotton On I always buy the charity bags and pop them away until upcycle inspiration strikes. They have really cute designs there.
Next though I will have to upcycle my Penguin Books Collection tote bags. My reading nook is going to look awesome when it exists! Below is the quote on the pillowcase, I think it is a nice reminder.
* The gusset is the long, wide piece of fabric which connects the front piece and back piece of the bag and becomes the sides and bottom of the bag.
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