Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just One Word - "Plastics"

I was too young to see The Graduate when it came out in the late 1960s. I saw it for the first time when attending college. One line among many that sticks with me is from the scene early in the movie at the graduation party of one of the main characters, Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman. This party is hosted by his very proud, if out of touch parents, at their suburban home in southern California. It is attended by a bevy of the parents' friends but none of the Graduate's friends are at the party. Benjamin is exhorted by an older, very earnest man, to go into "PLASTICS". Plastics, Benjamin is told, is the industry of the future. (This is, I presume, before anyone envisioned what the descendants of the ENIAC would become!)

So...what has been on my mind lately? PLASTICS. Plastic bags. The ones you get at the grocery store. And the convenience store. And Target. And the State Store (I'm in Pennsylvania, and we don't have liquor stores or wine stores. We have State Stores. Because the PLCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) has a monopoly on wine and spirits here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But I digress.

Back to PLASTICS. Plastic bags. The March/April issue of Sew News
has a great article (page 54 and 55), written by Lynn Weglarz. She gives complete directions on how to make your very own "Plastic Bag Thing" (my name). Basically, you cut a big rectangle, sew it together lengthwise, hem the ends, putting in a casing, then insert a drawstring at the top end, and a 6 inch piece of elastic (joined) at the bottom end. You end up with a sausage casing like thing, which you can hang up. You stuff the bags in the top, at the drawstring end, and pull them out the bottom at the elasticized end. It is a great way to store plastic bags neatly and conveniently.

For my version, I used some leftover corduroy (I think a fabric with body is best for this project). I also embroidered "Bags" on the fabric. Yes, it would be self-evident that "bags" were in this thing, but what the least I used my embroidery machine. I liked mine so much that I ended up making a total of five. Four of them will become gifts to family members for this upcoming Easter.

After I got done this project, it occurred to me that one could make this same thing out of some old jeans legs (or any pants legs). Since the diameter of the sleeve is about that of a pant leg. Oh well, maybe next time...

I don't do much 'crafty' stuff like this normally. But this was fun, and after three hours' work, I've got some useful gifts to give my family!


Sewfast said...

Nice bag holders! I like your idea of using old pants legs. I made a bunch of these a couple years ago and embroidered a couple of "the golden gals" (free designs from ) and added the words "Old Bags" They were a big hit! Mary

Patty said...

How cool is this...Lynn Weglarz is a member of the local ASG chapter and I KNOW her!

Marji said...

Those are really clever.
Meanwhile, my grocery store is now selling those mesh bags (stamped with the name of the grocery store chain) as reusables in order to decrease the number of plastic bags we all bring home. We're coming full circle.