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To Make or to Buy?

With increasing cost of fabric and materials along with counting my precious time, I've sometimes thought, "should I make this or buy this?" when I see something I feel I want or need.

At Quilt Market Lori Holt had the cutest vinyl shopping bag and I asked her where she got it. She bought it at the check out for $1.00 at TJ Maxx. It was kind of a patchwork pattern vinyl and so cute, especially at that price.When I had some time I went to TJ Maxx and at the check-out area I looked for Lori's vinyl bag. Of course they were out of stock. But they had some similar vinyl bags in other patterns. Again, for $1.00, how could you go wrong? So I picked up a couple bags and have used them for shopping and moving things from place to place.

I don't know if you realize but oil cloth and vinyl coated fabric is becoming more and more popular. In fact, your favorite fabric is likely out or coming in in a vinyl covered version. Jennifer Paganelli has some really cute vinyl covered fabric out right now. All the cool designers are doing it. Riley Blake is coming out with their best lines in a vinyl version. So I've been thinking I want to use some of that laminated fabric and make some bags.
I actually have some laminated fabric and oil cloth I hadn't used on hand. I thought, why not make a shopping bag. And I did. But it was more work than I thought it would be. Anytime I make something new or different it always takes me longer than I think. I purchased cotton webbing for the handles since I really don't like how the synthetic webbing feels on my hands. You can find that on etsy or a google search. And the handles on the TJ Maxx bag were too long. Making a bag let me customize the handles.
Of course I think mine is more stylish than the purchased bag. I used several different patterns and pattern ideas to make my bag and didn't follow 1 single pattern. I had purchased an oilcloth bag pattern but all I really used from that was the size and the idea to baste seams with applique glue.
I created the bottom (with heavy duty interfacing) my own way and constructed it in a similar method to other tote bags I've made. This bag is not lined however, obviously.
I had this premade decorative seam binding for a while now and I've been wanting to use it. I like the accent and how it is similar but different than the bag materials. And of course I really like the green hounds tooth on the sides of the bag.
I will make more similar laminated bags. After all, Lori has laminated fabric coming out and I will want to use that. Next time though, I'll change some things and I think it won't take as long to make my own shopping tote. But, a few $1.00 bags from TJ Maxx can't be a bad thing to have around.

-nanette

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