It’s in the bag

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Sewers (from left) Joy Pirie, Bonnie Jeng and Margaret Schouten make cloth shopping bags.

MANY hands make many shopping bags.

A sewing bee was held at the Orphans Aid International op shop on Spey St last Thursday to make as many fabric bags as possible.

Shop manager Kathryn Casey said the bags were made in preparation for when the shop’s supply of single-use plastic bags ran out and to give customers the option of buying one, especially if they forgot to bring their own bag.

A team of sewers and volunteers were busy throughout the day cutting, sewing and ironing the sizeable bags, which also had a side pocket.

The sewers brought their own sewing machines to work in the front of the shop so passers-by could see them.

Dressmaker Margaret Schouten, who had already made bag samples at home, was quick on her semi-industrial machine, running up French seams to ensure the bags had extra strength.

Mrs Casey said the project was “Margaret’s idea”, who was also a volunteer at the shop.

“She had pointed out the shop had the material, so suggested we make it into bags.”

Extra material and webbing for the handles was also purchased to add variety to the selection of bags.

Mrs Schouten also encouraged other dressmakers to help out on the day.

“It’s the ultimate aim for what the shop is all about… upcycling and recycling, as well as providing money to help the children overseas.”

Although “it was a bit like a production line”, with various people busy, the volunteers also enjoyed the day with much laughter and teasing.

“It was a good social thing, as well,” Mrs Casey said.

“It’s all about people wanting to help… giving from the heart, as well as helping with their hands.”

Depending on the fabric and size, the bags would be sold from $3 upwards.

Making fabric bags would be an ongoing project, Mrs Casey said, so any material or sewers who could help with the project would be appreciated.

Any donations could be dropped off to the shop, and for those who may like to sew some bags, phone Mrs Casey on (03) 218 4940.

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