Monday, November 28, 2011

How To....Turn a tote bag into a drawstring back pack.

    Let me start this tutorial by explaining what inspired it: I have a generally small frame which comes with inconveniently narrow shoulders. Because of this, tote bags, purses, or anything else worn on one shoulder constantly falls off of them, especially annoying when I'm running to class and I have to stop seven times to re-position it. I much prefer those light-weight drawstring backpacks that are popular with teens and twentysomethings. So, I decided to figure out how to convert my favorite tote bags into more functional drawstring backpacks!

You will need:
  • A tote bag 
  • Scissors (I used Fiskars Razor Edge, they're spring loaded, and amazing for crafting)
  • A small knife (I used an X-acto) or a seam ripper
  • A needle
  • Thread in your choice of color
  • Straight pins
  • A safety pin, no more than 1 to 1 1/2 inches
  • 3 to 4 feet of shoestring or other cord (I used the drawstring salvaged from some discarded sweats)
  • Clear nail polish
Step one: 
Take your tote bag and remove the straps...SAVE THEM
So now you have this:
Step two:
Take the straps you just cut off, pin them to the bottom corners on the back of your bag:

Step three:
Take the loose ends of the straps and pin them about 2 inches apart on the inside of the bag (the closeness will prevent the straps from falling off of your shoulders):

So now you should have this:
Step four:
Stitch in a square where the straps are attached to the bottom of the bag. Small, close, tight stitches are the key to a strong seam.
Step five:
Stitch two lines on each strap where the straps are pinned to the top of the bag, one at the edge of the strap and one at the top of the bag. DO NOT stitch the lines vertically or you will not be able to put in the drawstring!
Step six:
Cut two slits in the front of the hem of the tote, about an inch apart, then apply clear nail polish to the cuts to prevent fraying.
Step seven:
Take the cord/shoestring and put the safety pin in one end.
Step eight:
Thread the cord through the hem of the bag.

Step nine: 
Put your stuff in your bag, put your bag on, be awesome.

Hope you enjoyed! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chapped Lips and Melancholy

    Do you ever feel like you're all alone? I've been struggling with that lately. I have friends here, but the truth is, I don't really have a "best friend" at school. And now that I have a double single, it is all too easy to just lock myself in my room and watch TV or read a book. It's not that I don't want to be social, because I'm a very social person. Sitting alone in my room makes me sad. The problem is, whenever I text someone to see if they want to hang out, they're usually busy doing something else: be it work, homework, hanging out with other friends, etc. Then there's the ever nagging feeling of "I want to hang out with _____, but I don't want to seem annoying or invite myself somewhere I'm not wanted." Being at a small college doesn't help, where if you're not a part of the group, you never will be.
    Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but a lot changed over the summer. Many of my friends aren't here anymore and I'll admit that I'm not doing the best job of adjusting. I've honestly thought more than once about transferring to P-Land or the U of I at the semester break just so I could go back where I have people. 
     I guess I just need to pray a lot about what God wants for me, because I don't feel like I'm done at Blackburn, but I know that I'm not supposed to feel all alone.