I obtained a LOT of hot air balloon material. Actually an entire balloon that had been put out of commission because it was not airworthy enough to carry people. It was free, and I just had to drive over and pick it up. There is a lot of material there, hard to realize it when you see the small balloon float overhead.
The trouble is that the balloon was mostly one color, and the material is a bit stretchy, and not really good for making kites. So I mostly use it to make a lot of bags, and inflatable things. My version of stuff bags is to use two pieces of material of the same size. Sew along one side to make a rectangular piece. Then I hem the top edge enclosing a hefty draw string, and then sew up the other three sides. Quick and easy.
The problem with bags is that when you have a lot of blue or white bags it becomes hard to tell what is in them when stacked in the shed, or the back of the van. I wrote names of things in the bags ON the bags. That sort of worked, but I change inventory so often that the bags get new things in them that do not match the contents.
Tried labels, but it is a challenge to find the label when there are so many in the van or shed.
So, my current solution is to put a window in the bag. That way I can see inside the bag and get an idea of what is in there.
Here is an example of a bag with a round window. It is made from material that is often used to cover window air conditioners, or other outdoor equipment.
I cut a circle of plastic material. Here I used some plastic used for temporary storm windows. I sewed a ribbon around the perimeter.
Then I sewed a ribbon around the circumference. I then sewed the reinforced circle to the front side of the bag material. I sewed around it twice. Here is a photo from the back side.
Using sharp scissors I remove the material from behind the window. Here is the result.
The round windows are rather hard to do, for me, so I usually opt for a rectangular window. First I sew an edge binding around the perimeter of the window material.
Then I put the window on the good side of the material and sew around the outside edge. Here is the view from the inside surface of the bag.
Then I cut away the inside part behind the window, just as before.
I then put the back side of the bag on the front, good sides together and hem one side with a straight stitch. This view is of the inside (wrong side) surfaces.
I fold the top corners down about 1 Â½ inches, and sew the tab down. I am getting ready to put in the drawstring tunnel.
After both top corners are folded down and sewn I then proceed to form the tunnel. Notice that I put the draw string inside as I sew the tunnel. You can thread it through after the tunnel is sewn. I found that sewing it in like this is a bit easier, for me.
When I get the tunnel formed I then close the other side of the bag, and the bottom. I put at least two rows of stitches on the bottom. That seems to be the place the bags fail if only sewn across once.
Now the bag is ready to show off what is inside.
I do not use the plastic cord locks. I just tie a slip knot in the line when the bag has been stuffed. It is easy to tie and untie. Plus I can save about 50 cents per bag doing it this way.
Questions and conversations related to sewing up a magnificent kite creation.
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