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Friday, November 1, 2019

DIY Dog Treat Bags - Crafting Old Favourites (and Stash Busting!)

I love to create but I also like practicality and purpose. Fortunately, some crafts have been incredibly useful over the years, and I've actually worn a few out. I consider that a small victory for creative utility, and a great excuse to re-make new versions of useful old favourites. 


When we first set out to try and significantly reduce plastic waste, I made some small drawstring bags for carrying treats on dog walks without messing up pockets with loose treats and crumbs. They've been used every single day since (often several times a day), and after three years of use, wear, and regular washing, they were coming apart and due for replacing. 

When I was sorting and prepping material as part of my efforts to make fabric stash busting projects more quick and convenient, I set aside some small fabric scraps for creating new treat bags, including some offcut pieces of (food-safe) PUL from making senior Oli some doggy diapers for nighttime bladder control issues (details will be shared at Dalmatian DIY in a future post). Anything for that beautiful old boy!

I loved our old treat bags, but one of the things I disliked was ending up with soggy treats and mushy crumbs if my pockets happened to get soaked during bag weather. Ahhh...life in New Zealand! I used the PUL scraps to make some water-resistant lined treat bags. Problem solved! I actually used one of these for a rainy afternoon walk on same the day they were made - so very useful. The PUL also has an added benefit of reducing discolouration on the bag (and or my pockets). I made a few unlined bags as well. These little bags are great for making use of small fabric scraps, and I like having multiples for use whilst others are washing/drying. On the subject of which, remember to invert water-resistant lined bags for efficient washing/drying.

The other thing I changed was omitting the drawstrings. I simply didn't use them (lazy...), instead rolling the top for quick access and easy "open/close", especially when juggling leashes. Easier sewing, less materials, and tailored to the way I use them. Tip: If I was making these as a gift or for a different purpose, I'd still include drawstrings for extra versatility. 


The basic bag-making process was similar to the previous drawstring treat bags, but with a simplified top edge (no string, so no sleeve required), and serged side seams instead of French seams. Instead of making a matching set, to reduce fabric waste, I used the shape/size of the offcuts to work out bag sizes. This means that the bags are slightly different shapes/sizes, but not an issue whatsoever for my purposes.

To finish the top edges, I used a double fold over hem. On the lined bags, the PUL was tucked under the folded outer fabric. Neat, tidy, and cute.  Using a French seam with a PUL liner works, but it's thick. Not a big deal if making a tote, wet bag, or other larger project, but I didn't like the bulk for my mini bags so I opted to serge the seams instead.  You can see the original DIY drawstring dog treat bags in our guest post at Dalmatian DIY. 


My stash busting prep reminded me of all the awesome fabrics I'd bought for projects over the years but hadn't gotten around to doing... yet. I'm already having fun whipping up new dog bandanas for these handsome devils from scraps and flats (see tips here for how to style reversible dog bandanas for more versatile use), and plotting other projects. I love having the fabric washed, pre-shrunk, ready and waiting to create when the mood strikes.  


Sewing time is limited at the moment, though, with busy spring work happening around the house and new garden. On the subject of which, another new craft from old favourites is on the imminent to-do list and that's making more painted garden markers. Humphrey's puppy pal Cooper nibbled a few during playdates and we've also expanded our collection of trees, vines, and shrubs since making last year's batch.  I love the markers (as do all of our visitors). Definitely one of my favourite projects - pretty and practical. Perfect.

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