As I have been going through all the things that I have saved for up-cycling, I came across a sizable collection of these plastic zippered pouches. These are great for selective storage! I mean, I wouldn’t store food in them, but depending upon the what and where of your storage needs, they do have their uses. (I like to put seasonal floral arrangements in the larger pouches for storing in the attic because they are great for keeping the dust out. They are not in my living space there, and we don’t handle them but once or twice a year.) However, it is possible to have too many of these, and I finally had to admit that I had too many to hold onto any longer. As I contemplated tossing them out, it occurred to me that I could hold onto the zippers in a very small space, so I began separating the zippers from the plastic. This proved useful very soon.
Last summer my daughter came to me wanting to make cosmetic cases as small gifts for her friends. There were tutorials like this one on the Internet that looked simple enough for her to manage, so I began looking for inexpensive supplies. That is when I thought of my zippers! If she used fused plastic bags for the inside waterproof layer and scrap fabric for the outside, the only expenditures would be some fusible interfacing and some thread! This allowed for some trial and error in her learning process without a financial investment -a valuable concession since she did not have an incredible amount of experience sewing in zippers at that time. She found some fabric scraps in colors and patterns that she liked, including the one in the photo above that was cut from a shirt that she had outgrown.
She used fusible interfacing to make the fabric a little stiffer and easier to work with, and then proceeded to follow the Internet instructions, replacing the lining fabric with a sheet cut from fused shopping bags. The inside seams of the finished bag are shown at left.
This proved to be a wonderful sewing project that improved her skills and gave nice results. The teal bag is made from fabric that she liked so much that she made one for herself as well as her friend. The floral bag, made from her old shirt, was used more as a test project and was a little too fussy for her tastes to give away as a gift, but still functions well as a bag. I add it here to show that a dress shirt that is worn along the edges could still be successfully used in an application such as this one with very nice results. I think these might make nice inexpensive party favors at the appropriate party.