vinyl remix: upcycled bags.

I went back to work at the theater this week. It’s only once I go back for the first time each fall that I realize how much time I actually wasted during my summer off. It’s like the Summer of George every summer.

So now that I’m back and have to spend my time at the theater instead of in my underwear watching Netflix documentaries about aliens, I thought that it would be appropriate for my project this week to involve the bags I’ve been making out of old marketing materials from work. We get two of these huge vinyl banners printed for each show and they were usually thrown out at the end.

Banner, uncut.

I managed to make a deal with the devil (a.k.a. Kristin Garbarino, marketing assistant) to take these home and try to make something out of them. After a little experimentation, I came up with two styles of bag, a wristlet and a large tote bag. They’re kind of a hit at work. I made two of each this week. Sort of. I’ll explain. Anyway, first, I made two wristlets:

Well, actually, I made one wristlet. The  other one was partially done but needed a problem fixed and finished. So I did that. I did all of this on Tuesday. All told, it takes about an hour per bag to assemble these. Well, one hour and about 15 really creative combinations of “fuck” “shit” and “asshole” directed at my sewing machine. But you know, I was really moving along on my second week of crafting and I was very proud. Then Wednesday happened and I started on the tote bags:

But you know what? Every time I sit down to work on these things, I have a breakdown. Seriously, this stuff is shit to work with. How many expensive needles did I break on Wednesday? Nine. NINE. And my sewing machines alternate problems. Eventually I get angry with one machine and move to the other one, re-threading it, changing the needles and presser feet. Then that one does something shitty and I lose my mind. By the end of Wednesday night, I had thrown such a temper tantrum Trent actually came to check on me. I put the tote bags away for a bit, thinking I’d get to them the following night, after I went to motorcycle class.

But then I failed motorcycle class before I even began. I was late. That made me cry. Not regular couple-of-tears-get-this-girl-a-tissue cry, but like full on can’t-breathe-using-my-sleeve-in-a-gas-station-parking-lot-at-rush-hour cry. It was like my brain broke. It was one of those days where nothing really goes wrong but for some reason every little tiny thing that goes wrong seems suckier than it really logically should. After I turned around from the shit-show that is Rt. 19 at rush hour and got home, it occurred to me that I was not in any state to sew that night. Instead, I ate a cold Primanti’s sandwich, watched the Green Bay/New Orleans game (I’m new to fantasy football this year, I’m trying to embrace it) and made Trent give me a massage.

I’m realizing now that the title to this post should be “vinyl remix: upcycled bags. OR how to craft with pms.”

So anyway, I haven’t finished the tote bags yet, but I wanted to get this up here before I failed my own challenge. It’s probably relevant to explain that I’m pacing my week from Monday-Sunday like my work week. So by tomorrow, I only have to finish the bottom of the bags (it would take minutes), which is the last step of everything. Once I get to it, I’ll toss some more photos up on here. Actually, I’ll try to get all of my bags on here, just in case anyone’s looking for a unique gift. I sell both styles for $20.

Next week, I’m going to make a skirt that should be perfect for the fall weather. I’m happy to get away from the vinyl for a little bit.

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