The Bag Project {Richmond Newborn Baby Midlothian Photographer}

The Bag Project {Richmond Newborn Baby Midlothian Photographer}

 This bag has a front and back. Made from a curtain, pillow sham, bed sheet and upcycled button from my button collection.

This bag has a front and back. Made from a curtain, pillow sham, bed sheet and upcycled button from my button collection.

I am so excited to finally be announcing this very special project I have been working on for the last few months. It's been so hard to keep quiet, but the secret is out!  Let me introduce you to The Bag Project! These bags are made with 98% upcycled material, designed by me and sewn by the very talented Mia Johnson!  

These bags have been designed exclusively for my newborn moms! I really wanted to give them a a special gift because giving over your body for 9 months (much longer if you are nursing or pumping) is no walk in the park and they deserve something special. Although the parent, whose body has not been taken over by baby, is just as important I think they would agree that their wife deserves just a little extra something special :) 

So why an upcycled bag? Let me first start off by saying I LOVE bags and firmly believe you can never have too many of them. I love that many stores like Saxon and Urban Outfitters are now giving reusable bags made of non-woven polypropylene.  I make those bags last forever and you can even throw them in the wash! I use them as grocery bags, over night bags for the kids, gym bags and a way to tote my percussion toys around when I'm playing out. I often throw my laptop, water bottle and notebook in one when I'm working outside of my house for the afternoon.  The uses are endless! 

Why upcycled material? My obsession with upcycling began when I was a poor struggling college student. I didn't have much money, but I did have an addiction to clothes that I wasn't about to give up, so I had to get creative.  It definitely took time and patience, but after a couple of hours of sifting through every rack in the thrift store I would leave with 3 bags full of new-to-me (#newtome) clothes for less than $50! It was easier back then because I was into dressing retro and consignment shops hadn't taken off quite yet, so the "cool" clothes were plentiful and really cheep. Eventually I started looking through the housewares and found some beautiful things to adorn my dingy apartment. It wasn't long before I developed an addition to decorating as well. 

My thrifting and consignment obsession became more than bargain shopping it became a creative challenge. To thoughtfully thrift you must be creative. You have to be able to look at a piece of "junk" residing on a shelf cluttered with even more junk (that really is junk) and picture it outside of that environment. In your mind, you have to take it out of it's element (the thrift store) and imagine it in your element (your home). The more I did it the more I loved the challenge!

 My button college. Twenty years of collecting! 

My button college. Twenty years of collecting! 

Twenty years later, although I no longer need to thrift shop I still LOVE it! In fact, I'd say I love it more now than I did when it was a necessity. When you find something in a thrift store it is instantly one of a kind. Although it may have been a common household item 20 or 30 years ago now it's almost obsolete.  You can just about guarantee no body else on the planet is going to have that particular item in their home! I also love the idea of taking something that has been discarded, that no longer fits in and giving it purpose (perhaps a metaphor for my own awkward teen years?) One of my favorite Christmas specials was Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer. My heart always ached for the Land of the Misfit toys. 

During my college years I also became more environmentally aware. During my two year stay at Erie Community College in Buffalo NY I established with 2 other people and became vice president of The Environmental Club. Repurposing is a great way of keeping things out of landfills! 

Let me share one more little piece of history about me. My first major in college was fashion merchandising. I really wanted to be a designer, but my lack of confidence and motivation at the time put me on the track of merchandising. I couldn't sketch to save my life and I fumbled  my way around a sewing machine. After a few years and a few major changes I completed my bachelor program with a degree in Special Education (I know quite a stretch from fashion - long story). My heart though was always pulling me to the creative side and 12 years after graduating and becoming a teacher my heart won.  Being creative for me is an exigency it is not a choice. Photography has allowed me to be creative in more ways then I ever could have imagined. I get to go back to my roots (design) like I had always imagined (the bags). These bags are so special to me because they exemplify the very essence of...well...me. This is a gift from my heart to show all of my newborn moms just how amazing I know they truly are! 

What are the bags made of?

Table clothes, table runners, cloth napkins, curtains, bed sheets, pillow cases, blankets, vintage fabrics, discarded fabrics, scarves, clothing, upcycled buttons, doilies, dishtowels and anything else that can be sewn! 

upcycled bags | Sarah Kane Photography

 

 

This bag is one of my favorites. The salmon colored fabric I found at The Goodwill. The top piece and pocket lining are from a pillow case. The inside lining of the bag was some left over fabric that my mom gave me. The lace one the outer pocket is from my personal vintage lace and doily collection. 

I had a heck of a time cutting out the pink fabric. It was super stretchy and frayed very easily. I can only imagine what it was like for Mia to sew with it! She is truly amazing! 

 

 

This next bag was the first from the collection! The outside of the bag is a curtain, the top is scraps of fabric, pocket from my doily lace collection and button is from my button collection! 

upcycled bags | Sarah Kane Photography

Outer bag made from a curtain, top piece fabric scraps, lining of the pocket cloth napkin, outer pocket from my doily lace collection, button from my button collection.

Upcycled bags | Sarah Kane Photography

Outer bag curtain valance, top piece discarded fabric from my mom, button from my button collection and the black tassel (that is removable) came from the valance.

Upcycled bags | Sarah Kane Photography

I call this the Holly Hobby bag. Outer bag fabric found at the Goodwill, top piece fabric found at the Goodwill, pocket cloth napkin, button from my button collection.

Upcycled Bags | www.sarahkanephotography

Outer bag curtain, top piece curtain, bag lining, pocket trim and bow pillow case, button from my button collection.

Upcycled Bags | www.sarahkanephotography

Outer bag curtain, top piece bed sheet, pocket bed sheet, button from my button collection.

Upcycled Bags | www.sarahkanephotography

The Autumn Bag. Outer bag table cloth, top piece curtain, button from my button collection. 

Upcycled Bags | www.sarahkanephotography

Outer bag fabric found at the Goodwill, top piece and pocket fabric found at the Goodwill buttons from my button collection (the top green button is vintage)

Upcycled Bags | www.sarahkanephotography

More bags are on the way!

Want to win a bag? Head over to my Facebook page and/or Instagram and you could win one of your choice!  

If you would like to donate anything listed above to The Bag Project please email me at sarahkanephotography@verizon.net. I will come and take it off of your hands!