Friday, May 31, 2019

Bags Made with Rip-Stop Hot Air Balloon Material

A lot of large scraps of rip-stop nylon material (the material hot air balloons are made out of ) was donated to my quilt group. The woman donating the material hated seeing all this end up in the landfill and she was encouraging us to make bags using the scraps of nylon material. She herself made several bags and donated the bags to the local food banks for the people to have something to carry their food home in. Plastic bags will be banned from all stores starting in January 2020, so people need to start bringing their own bags.

I have been bringing my own bags for over 35 years now when I shop. I earned 5 cents to 10 cents every time I brought my bag to the store; so in 35+ years I actually paid for the bags a few times. I guess rewarding people to bring bags wasn't working, so now if you don't have a bag now you can purchase a cloth or a paper bag. They should have charged people for the bags all along and that would have encouraged people to bring their own.

Back to the bags I made with the scraps from hot air balloon making. I made a couple styles of bags. The first is the Stowaway Tote (a free pattern from Moments). I used Velcro instead of a snap to close the bag and added decorative button on top.

In order to make any of these bags, I needed to first sew some pieces of material together in order to create the size fabric I needed for the bag(s). I sewed seams and then pressed seams open and topstitched on both sides of the seams. The side seams of the bags I sewed a French seam, encasing the raw edges.

Here is the Stowaway Tote~

The Stowaway Tote here all folded up into a wallet size that fits nicely into a purse. (This has Sold)
Open up the tote and you have a bag with a pocket. The rip-stop nylon holds the creases in the bag, making it easy to refold the bag after use.
This is the other side of the tote in different colors. That lime green was a different kind of nylon as it was stiffer and sounds like someone wrestling with a bag of potato chips when you handle it, LOL! There were a couple of colors like that and the others felt softer and some were a bit limper feeling too. I wonder if they mix the different kinds of nylon into one hot air balloon? 
To fold to bag,  you place the handles down first and then fold in the sides. then fold this into thirds and close with the Velcro.
Here is another Stowaway Tote~
I had to piece the pocket to make this one. (This one has Sold)
Opened up with the pocket.

Back side of bag.

Next is the Winslow Market Tote~ (from a Quilting Arts magazine years ago).

This bag needed a center, sides, pockets, handles, and a bottom. This bag is larger and has boxed bottom. Since the material is light, it could be folded up. The original pattern for this bag is made in cotton and lined, so I had to adlib when making this out of the nylon material.

This is the other side of the bag. As you can see with both bags, I had to piece several pieces together to form the handles of the bags, since I didn't have long enough pieces.

Room inside for carrying all kinds of stuff.

Side view.

Here is another Winslow Market Tote I made~

Bag empty.

I filled it up so it would stand nicely.

Side view.

Full of stuff this bag stands up nicely.

Sewing the material wasn't difficult, but cutting it was a bit tricky as this material can slide a bit. You could press the nylon with an iron because after all this material does get a lot of heat from the burners of the hot air balloon in order to get lift for the balloon when flying them. It was rewarding making something out of scraps and keeping large pieces of this material out of the landfill, as I am sure this stuff won't decompose at all.

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  1. Hi Daryl -- Those are really colorful bags! We do reuse our plastic grocery bags for dirty kitty litter. I applaud you for using your own bags for all that time! BTW -- are you making any of these bags to sell? Jackie

  2. this is probably the most New Mexico bag you can possible have. its truly a balloon fiesta bag. love the bright colors and that its so light to carry. i know i don't have the patience to sew on that fabric. great job.

  3. They are so colorful AND so useful. I use my own bags too. Eventually plastic bags will be banned in all states. Just as well get prepared and used to bringing our own.

  4. I love the bright colors of the hot air balloon fabrics! These bags are great and will be very strong for carrying groceries. So far, I haven't heard about plastic bags being banned here, but one of our grocery stores doesn't use them and we carry our own bags when we go there. I hate all those plastic bags left over from grocery shopping! Our daughter does use them for litter bags though, so we save them for her.

  5. Those are super fun!! I love all the bright colors!

  6. I think you should make and sell these. As Tara alluded to, it's a unique memento of your iconic balloon festival.

  7. Bright, colourful and fun bags, Daryl. They'll last forever as grocery bags - keeping the fabric out of landfill.


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