Look at these! What a steal they were! These zippered, sturdy, lined totes are really very, very nice, featuring an inside pocket and leather handles. At JC Penny they were originally
over priced at $100, not a cost I would have been willing to pay. From the quantity available at the final clearance price, most shoppers were of the same opinion. I did, however, do a google search for the bag name and found it listed on more than one site for $60-$65.
While Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, my daughter came across a table loaded with these bags. They had been marked down repeatedly.
After a quick call for a Mama consultation, sale-savvy Rebecca marched full steam ahead to the cash register loaded down with every one of the bargains. Well, no doubt she had to march more than once but clearly this girl grew up under the influence of her mother’s Buy Bargains in Bulk!!! philosophy.
This was indeed a bonanza. On the other side of the state from me, Rebecca shared her boon with close family and friends, then put aside some for herself, with a plan for each and every one. The remaining orange and red bags were saved for me. A wider choice of colors would have been nice, but I am happy with my haul!
Soon, all the area JC Penneys were checked, but her later surveillance revealed that they were sold out at that price.
Two bags were embroidered as Christmas thank you gifts for the director and pianist of our church children’s choir. Measuring 20″ x 13″ x 8″, the bags are big enough for a stack of oversized sheet music and other musical miscellany. Both women are highly qualified and experienced professional musicians who are volunteering their time and talents to share music with our children. So a gift was certainly in order.
Embroidering the bags was no easy task. It was impossible to easily or neatly open a side seam, so the bags had to be left in tact and turned inside out. With the head of the machine fully inside the bag, the tote was basted to black cutaway stabilizer which matched the lining.
Yet again, I was especially grateful for the double “runway” lighting and the snowman camera capability of my Brother Quattro. Not only was I able to see the embroidery process deep inside the bag, but the precisely placed snowman (cross hairs) allowed the camera to perfectly align the design without perfect hooping.
The first bag I embroidered was for my preschool grandson’s teacher. I used the 7″ Garden Flag monogram from Sonia Showalter. The design is lovely and looked fabulous, but I learned from that very nerve wracking experience that a horizontal design placed high on the bag is much easier to embroider when stitching in a black bag cave.
Two other bags were appropriated by my dear husband for car emergency kits for our children. Though the practicality of these kits is undeniable, I honestly think a few plastic grocery sacks would have sufficed. I tried to convince him that it was overkill–a waste of my fabulous bags!
But he looked at the pile of totes and declared them to be perfectly suitable for holding such important (but unlovely) items as a car fire extinguisher, first aid kit, flashlight, Life Hammer Car Escape Tool, jumper cables and bottled water. I had to agree. Then he filled a third bag for my car AND he is eying one for his car!!! But how can I deny my thoughtful husband?
So now, what to do with the remaining bags? I’m sure I will find good uses for them. I foresee one embroidered with a bold, collegiate, power T for a dear, misguided friend, two with Gator embroidery for my fellow tailgating cooks, one for my sweet d-i-l, etc.
Have you found any great bargains lately? What are your sewing resolutions for 2014?
I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous 2014 with lots of sewing, lots of bargains, lots of fun.