A zero waste satchel

Liz Haywood, that renowned zero waste designer, published a pattern for a zero waste satchel in her May e-zine, and I was really keen to make it immediately, but events got in the way until this week. I am really pleased with it; it’s a perfect size and I love the design.

I was really happy to use my recently acquired light box (from the Fibres West garage sale – $10!) to assemble the pattern. No cutting required! It was so nice to just line everything up on a horizontal surface rather than trying to use a window – or just guessing!

I decided to use some canvas that I use for outdoor cushions. It’s dark grey and the perfect neutral for wintery clothes. I had to think about the bias binding. I was going to make some but had this leopard print in my stash, which I loved with the grey. I dreaded this bit as I’m not good with bias binding and I did mess it up even though I tacked it all on first.

I chose not to line it, for reasons I can no longer remember really, but it’s absolutely fine as is. I also didn’t interface any of it as the canvas is quite stiff.

I had recycled black D rings in my stash, so every part of this satchel came from what I had.

This is a lovely thing to make. Liz walks us through every step, including how to curve the bias binding – and there’s a lot of bias binding!

You can see here that every edge has bias binding on it.

Inside are two pockets, big enough for keys or phone, I have even managed to get two small wallets in one.

The satchel is big enough for my kindle when I travel, and it is pretty securely fastened.

It has backpack style straps as well as a regular handle. The Kylie and the Machine label hides the join in the bias binding at the bottom. It offended me!

I managed to get some photos of me wearing it. Coincidentally I am wearing Liz Haywood’s Make it Modular zero waste jacket from her March ezine, that I fashioned from an old pink blanket. I’m also wearing a skirt which I made many years ago from a tiny remnant of ponte and it’s basically two rectangles joined together. Looking back I realise that it’s also zero waste although the term hadn’t permeated my brain then.

It’s a really comfortable satchel to wear, although if I made it again I would make the straps adjustable, which I had considered this time but hadn’t cut them long enough.

If you want a small satchel/backpack from minimal fabric, this is a lovely one and I can thoroughly recommend it. The e-zines are available on Liz’s Etsy shop.

I babysat Miss G today and managed to get some photos of her “reading” the book I made a year before she was born. I used Vogue 1959 for the pattern and it’s made completely from scraps. I had read it to my teddy when i first made it so it’s lovely to see little hands feeling it. I keep it at home and take it to her house, together with a couple of books and toys which had belonged to her father. This system seems to work well as she’s always excited to look in my bag.


4 thoughts on “A zero waste satchel

  1. My maternal Gran (sewing Gran) used to travel up to Scotland by train (from Blackburn) with a single small suitcase. This contained all her clothes for a 2 week stay but also always ‘something of interest’ for me and my brother. I still have the tiny rolling pin that we baked with and the divided tin money box. Whenever we visited her there were the 2 children’s annuals, 4 Enid Blyton books, that I didn’t have at home, and a few board games kept in the cleaning cupboard that were all special to ‘staying with Gran’.
    I should think Ted is thrilled that someone else enjoys his book, hands/paws on, as much as he does.

    1. I love the idea of being a sewing granny – fingers crossed! This child has so much stuff at home that anything I make her gets lost so now I am hanging on to it and will take it back and forth. Your gran had the right idea, keeping things that are special are a great way to have grandchildren look forward to visits. thank you Wendy.

    1. Thanks Liz, I am inordinately pleased with my satchel and it will be going on my adventures with me this year. Glad you enjoyed the treat, she’s really developing. I’m wondering when I can introduce her to sewing!

Leave a Reply to FadanistaCancel reply