Wednesday, April 3, 2013

a responsible project

Lately I've worked on a pretty broad range of projects; costuming, carpentry, design, a lot of baking. I love it and hope I can keep this momentum. Working on one thing until I figure it out just in time for the next project to begin. Last summer I worked on Elderflower Organic Farm, making veggie burgers off of a sprout room. It was hot and sweaty and incredibly satisfying. Hard to not feel good at the end of the day when everything you've done has been so wholesome, efficient and productive. I had to leave this job in order to take a full time job offer from The Guild, a local non-profit theatre and gallery. I'm incredibly happy there and my job always comes with new challenges, but I did miss working at the farm...and eating the lunches at the farm. Fresh veggies, and homemade tortillas and veggie burgers...I hope to eat that well again someday! Margie, the owner of Elderflower farm (and probably the hardest working person I've ever met) contacted me in the fall to help her out with a project. She wanted some thermal sprout bags to keep sprouts the perfect temperature after people would purchase them from her at the Farmer's Market. She had loads of plastic mesh bags that she received bulk dry goods in and wanted to use them up. So, together we devised a design and I made a mock up before arriving at the final product.

First, I chose some bags in good condition and cut down one side and the bottom to flatten it out.

We wanted to use the bags for all of the fabric I needed, so I cut some of them into strips, folded the edges into the middle and sewed up the side to form them into straps.
This is her logo. I added text at the bottom and then printed them out on transfer paper. A lot of fabrics that I assumed I could iron this onto, did not want to work. I think I was working with too heavy of a weave, like canvas or linen like fabrics, where as it responds better to cotton knits, or t-shirt like materials. All it all, it worked about half of the time and I ended up using several different fabrics.

Front of the bag with patch, straps and velcro

bubble wrap layer

inside pocket made from plastic lining in the bulk bags
To aid in insulating the bags, we came up with idea of including a layer of bubble wrap between the plastic layers.  

And to make the process more efficient, I sewed the straps, patch with the logo, a velcro piece for a closing strap, as well as an inside pocket for an ice pack, all in one go!      

All of the bags were made using an assembly line method to speed things up. Margie (as well as most business owners, especially those making their own products) is always thinking of new ways to be more efficient. Always prepare for the next step and condense tasks as much as possible. I try to do this myself just because I'm impatient so seeing it applied to a livelihood that really depends on it really showed me how valuable this skill can be. In the five minutes it takes to saute some veggies, I could have several other tasks completed! We CAN do it all! But make sure to sleep and eat and shower and things too.

                                                                      Finished bag!

Side note! Check this out! This is the first time that I bent a pin this badly. The picture on the left shows it sticking out of the needle plate. It was pretty much wrapped around it and took me quite a while to dig out. On the right is how it looked when I finally yanked it out.

My book, Stay-Stitched, is on etsy! Simple projects that teach you the basics of sewing as you work.

No comments:

Post a Comment