Sashiko Tote Bag

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Has anyone started thinking about Christmas gifts? As soon as my birthday is over in August I immediately turn my attention to Christmas! Recently I was sent this Sew Easy Sashiko Tote bag kit to try and I think it is perfect for Christmas gifts – you could give the kit to a crafty friend for them to sew up a bag themselves OR you could spend the autumn evenings stitching up a bag yourself to give at Christmas. You could even put gifts in the bag and not use any wrapping paper (anyone else trying to stop using wrapping paper this Christmas?!)

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The kit is really simple, it contains fabric, Sashiko thread and template, hand embroidery needles and a fabric maker. It also has instructions on the packaging for both how to do the Sashiko stitch as well as how to sew the fully lined bag together.

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There are directions on the pack for how to cut out the fabric but I quickly noticed that there was a few cm extra fabric (probably to allow for cutting errors or fabric shrinkage). Instead of trimming off the excess fabric I decided to deviate from the instructions slightly in order to make this a zero waste pattern! Yay! It was really simple – I cut a 9cm long strip from the top of the fabric piece to use as the straps and then I simply cut the remaining fabric into quarters to make the lined bag.

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Doing this kind of hand embroidery is just so much fun! Because you use the templates to draw on your design before you stitch, you can design it how you like and it makes the actual embroidering so therapeutic – you really can’t go wrong! It’s a bit like painting by numbers when you were a kid, because it’s already drawn out for you – you just follow the lines. I found this very relaxing as it really took no brainwork at all!

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I was also sent loads of Clover Sashiko tools to help me with this project and it was fun getting to try them all out. The Clover Sashiko needles were much easier to threads they have such big eyes – Sashiko thread is quite thick and it was a bit tricky trying to thread the regular hand embroidery needles that come in the kit. I also got to try out some needle threaders and a very unusual thimble! I’ve never used one like that before but it was fun to play with and I will definitely keep it on hand for future hand embroidery projects!

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I am planning to give this one to a family member with Christmas gifts inside but fortunately, the only thing from the kit that got used up was the fabric. I still have the needles, the fabric marker, the template and lots of the Sashiko thread left – I plan on using them to make many more. I’m thinking of raiding my fabric scraps to make some scrappy ones and hopefully get rid of wrapping paper altogether this year. See, does it make more sense now why I’m starting to think of Christmas so early?!

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Please note that this post has been edited as the description of this project as zero-waste was misleading which was not my intention.  I managed to not waste any fabric which I was excited about but there certainly was waste generated by the packaging that the kit comes in.

For more information you can head over to the Clover website  https://www.clover-mfg.com/ and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop them an email at clover@stocksitenquiries.co.uk

Disclaimer: ⭐️ Sew Easy Sashiko Tote Bag Kit and Clover tools were provided free of charge in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own, and I wouldn’t recommend something I didn’t like!

5 thoughts on “Sashiko Tote Bag

  1. It’s a really cute bag. I haven’t done sashiko yet but I’m looking forward to trying it out. I don’t know if you can call this zero-waste sewing when the kit contains lots of plastic and cardboard packaging? Maybe there were no fabric off-cuts, but “zero-waste” probably isn’t an applicable term here.

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    1. Yes you are totally right and I have no idea why I didn’t see it! I was super pleased with myself for not wasting any fabric and obviously got a bit overzealous with the term zero-waste. I’ll edit the post today. Thank you for your input!

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  2. It’s a lovely bag, but what makes something ‘zero waste’? This used packaging, mailing supplies, and presumably the fabric isn’t woven into the ideal size but is portioned somehow from a larger piece, and there’s no way to know what wastage that process generated. I’m not trying to be offensive; I am curious about the criteria that makes a project zero-waste! Could you walk us through that in a post, maybe?
    That said, your stitching is lovely and I’m sure anyone would be excited to get this bag as a gift!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not offensive at all sorry I’m only just going through last week’s comments! I think you’re absolutely right about the packaging it came in and now I see it through your eyes my description wasn’t clear at all – I will rewrite this! What I meant was that it was possible to adapt the bag pattern to make it like one of the zero-waste sewing patterns out there. Literally no fabric that came in the kit was trimmed off or cut away. I cut the whole piece of fabric into rectangles to made the bag (ignoring the instructions) and thus hacking it into a zero waste pattern. I totally didn’t mean to mislead though and will re-write asap. Thank you for your thoughts!

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      1. Oh don’t worry! I wasn’t sure if it was a technical term, like, free range versus cage free – I’m trying to learn more about this world. 🙂

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