Up-cycling a sofa cover

Strange title for a post but I have a funny upcycling story.  My daughter had a sofa cover that was due for replacement and she saved the old one.  Together she and I made a “big” draft dodger for her front door in her home in Texas.  That was several years ago.  For some reason I cut up the rest of the fabric and brought a large chunk of it home. It is heavy durable twill; not the prettiest green I have ever seen but sturdy stuff.  I have used bits of it repairing a dog bed for my other daughter.  Last week, in a moment of tidying up (aka searching for something in the sewing room); I came across the fabric.  I also came across an insulated grocery bag that had a zipper problem.

Well, once I found the thing I was searching for (that delightful orange fabric for the bike bag) and got it made, I decided to take that insulated grocery bag off the bottom shelf and see about fixing it. I quickly determined it was NOT repairable.  It was made of that cheap open weave fabric that felt almost like paper and it littered my sewing room floor with little bits of stuff as I carried it to the sewing machine. It was disintegrating in my hands.  SO…..I thought about the bag; and what I could do to make a replacement.  (These 90 degree days make you think insulated bag to get the butter home from the store!).

I decided that sofa cover fabric was sturdy enough to make a shopping bag from.  I made a “test run” and immediately decided it was too SMALL.  (I forgot to account for the inches in height you lose when you box the corners. ) So, that one got set aside and I decided on new measurements and cut out a much larger bag. I cut the lining out of a bolt of muslin that I had and then I disassembled the OLD bag and harvested the insulation.  I had some Insul-Bright that you use in pot holders, but not enough for a whole bag. I cobbled together enough pieces of the old stuff and the new stuff to cut out pieces for a new bag.  I also cobbled together batting scraps to add additional insulation to the bag. (I call it franken-batting…..because it is reminds me of Frankenstein).   I used some 505 spray basting to hold the batting; the insulation and the front of the bag together before stitching the side seams.  It worked pretty well.  Putting those seams together with 6 layers total required a heavy duty needle and my walking foot!  (The lining in muslin was a breeze).

I designed as I went and my biggest challenge was the lid.  I added a “hinged” flap and 2 sections of velcro to keep it closed.

It finished at 20″ long by 9″ wide and 11 1/2 ” high.  Hubby said the handle was long enough and sturdy enough. It is NOT pretty; but it IS functional and I love that I was able to recycle a bunch of odds and ends and come up with a durable bag.

Maiden voyage of insulated grocery bag

We usually do a big shopping trip at BJ’s Warehouse once a month. Hubby throws a cooler in the back of the SUV and a couple huge totes to contain all the small stuff.  The cooler is never big enough.  So; the bag DID come in handy to get frozen food home on a sweltering hot evening.  It held a couple of boxes of ice cream bars; a container of lunch meat and a few other bulky items that were frozen.  The only thing is it wasn’t tall enough for the pizza box.  Since we “pack from the cart into the car” it was easy for him to load it full.

The test run indicated that the top needs something at the sides to ensure it stays closed; and I think I will add 2 small tabs with velcro.

Of course; it had a 2nd test last night……Smokey decided it made a really nice bed on the kitchen table….and the hubby caught him !  He is only climbing down because he got scolded!  Hubby said he was snuggled in and settled for the night~~!~~

Apparently the cat liked it too

Hindsight …If I make another bag I will use the “inner form” foam to give the bag a little shape.  And I will remember to hang it on the hook to keep the cat from making it into a bed!

Fun to up-cycle stuff and make it usable as something different.  And nice to get that old bag off the shelf in the sewing room.

What are you working on?