Thursday 25 January 2018

Challenging Myself ~ Making 100 Drawstring Bags

My enthusiasm for sewing is back this year and I am on a roll. And much of that is due to the sewing / blogging community that I love - that's you guys!!!

When I shared my tips for maintaining enthusiasm with a repetitive project, Donna told me about a huge project she had undertaken. 

I was feeling very pleased with myself for finishing 30 library bags in a timely manner. Ha! Donna had made 100 bags for a literacy project. Yes, you read that right - 100 bags!!!

Donna put it all down to hard headed determination. Her comment to me - 30 is quite impressive! 100 is nuts.

Well, Donna has spurred me on. I'm wondering if I am capable of making 100 of the same item. 

I knew straight away what I'd attempt - 100 small lined drawstring gift bags. They're quick and easy to make, not to mention it would be a perfect way to use up lots of small scraps that are accumulating in my sewing room.

And so I raided my fat quarter or smaller stash. I haven't at this stage tried to co-ordinate outer and lining fabrics. I'm not going to get bogged down with that yet, or it could slow me down and I'll lose enthusiasm right at the beginning. I just started cutting small pieces of fabric into 6½" x 7" rectangles. 

I have no idea how many I've cut out. For some reason or another, I feel that keeping track of numbers in the beginning might not bode well.

Attached to my notice board is a template, within easy reach if I find I have scraps from another project - I can cut out as I go.

I'm counting the three extra bags made the other day when I made the thank you gift bags with soap. Ha, ha.. that's 97 to go.

There's no way I'll attempt to sew the bags without doing other sewing. I'll intersperse the drawstring bag project with other undertakings, using my own tips for maintaining enthusiasm with a repetitive project.

Donna took roughly three months to complete her 100 bags, so that's loosely the timeframe I'm giving myself - but no pressure or absolute deadline. Maybe by Easter this year you'll see whether I'm nuts or not.

Check out Donna's project...

What suggestions do you have to help me tackle the project? Or do you think I'm nuts just to start... LOL???

... Pam



  1. I think it's a great goal and challenge - YOU GO GIRL! I'm working slowly on my Ziploc bag of black and white scraps - I finished a tote bag today, thinking that a bigger project would use lots of scraps. I still see no reduction in the amount of scraps in that box, so black and white-ing will continue - surely at SOME point I'll see the light at the end of the tunnel, lol!

  2. That's awesome Pam! I love these little bags. It's one of my favorites to sew up for birthdays and Christmas.

  3. Awesome goal! I love donation sewing. I have no tips except a particular chocolate every time you finish.

  4. This is a wonderful project to take on! I sure could use a project for reducing my stash, but doubt if I could take on something as big as this, at this point in my life. Good luck!

  5. Do I think you are nuts Pam? Absolutely! Will I be cheering you on from the sidelines? Absolutely :) By the time you stitch up that 100th bag you will be able to make them in your sleep!

  6. You are nuts, but in a good way! When I do a massive project like that I make it my goal to do 5 a day and then I can sew something else! 100 divided by 5 is only 20 days, doesn't feel so overwhelming now!! I can't wait to see what you make!

    1. LOL!!! I have found that 5 of these bags is easy to do in a night if there's nothing else on. I'll get there. I'll get there. I'll get there.

  7. Great project! Where will you be sending your bags?

  8. Holy cow! If I encouraged one person, I guess I did good, huh? I didn't count as I cut. I just cut when the spirit moved me. I kept the rotary mat out and would cut a few at a time.

    I did get pretty sick of sewing for a little while and took a few days off, but other than that, I just destashed, cut, sewed and sewed and sewed.

    Motivation - just keep going. When you get past the 50 mark, it's a challenge. You can't stop there. The 60 mark? You've doubled down. The 70 mark? Only 30 to go! The 80 mark? You got this. No stopping you now. The 90 mark? Hey, you're gonna miss this when you're done. At 100, you'll start planning what's next.

    You go!

    Thanks so much for highlighting my project. I highly recommend finding a local nonprofit and come up with something for them. I'm thinking of the no-fee hospice for my next project, but I'm not there yet. I'm painting rocks, sewing for myself, and finishing up a several-year Cathedral Window quilt for my brother.

  9. Yep, you did good, Donna!!! I'm up to 17, so still a long way to go... LOL!!! But not sick of them yet. Stay tuned to see how I go.

    Love the sound of your Cathedral Window quilt - sounds like a long term project.

  10. Have you ever considered making a "Japanese Knot Bag"? Simple to make and perfect for holding knitting, or necessities.


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