So? Sew what?
Why fabric? What started all of this?
This blog post first appeared May 2009 on my ye olde blog area. It's still relevant, being the back story and all, so I thought I'd transfer it over here.
Two Christmases ago, I gathered up all the paper from our Christmas morning. There were just three of us around our tree, but with one being a young boy who loves things shaped like Lego boxes, two parents who love those Legos almost as much as he does, and two sets of doting grandparents and other family and friends who send stuff to us, we amassed a small mountain of wrapping paper. We ended up filling two garbage sacks with the offensive, but very pretty, stuff. I was disgusted. It doesn't recycle well with all of the coatings they put on it to make it look fancy and it's not the best idea to throw it into our wood burning stove (although, it does look cool when it burns -- I had to at least try it).
Now, I know there are a myriad of more responsible options out there. You can purchase 100% recyclable paper made with varying degrees of recycled content. There are other wrapping options and even gift giving solutions ranging from the new old standby, "The Bag," to using the funny papers and other found objects, to making your own paper, to forgoing the tangible gift by making donations in the recipient's name to a non-profit organization and everywhere in between -- and all of which I have done.
While we continue to strive to be more thoughtful and deliberate in our gift giving actions and less spendy and consumery (I can make up words, it's my blog), some of it comes down to the fact that people enjoy giving gifts and seeing the recipient open them. Growing up, I loved wrapping presents. It was a source of pride that I could make something look really nice for someone else in addition to what was inside. It is a well known fact in our family that one Christmas, my brother had me wrap my own present from him. After getting over the frustration that he duped me, I realized that if he had done it himself, there's no way he would've gotten that bow to look like I did.
So after staring at those trash bags full of worthless paper for over a year and a half in our basement (I'm a pack rat and I couldn't bear to just throw it away), I finally said, "There's got to be a better option than all this paper."
Enter my passion for fabric. I am a late bloomer in the fabric world and I didn't own my first sewing machine until my husband gave me one on our second wedding anniversary (the traditional gift for year two is cotton and he extrapolated). My intention was to make curtains and such and a few clothes here and there to try and save a little of our then graduate school stipend and entry-level architectural intern position salary. What happened was I found out that I loved going into fabric stores and seeing all of those bolts lined up, picking a couple of coordinating fabrics out, standing at the cutting table and having the cutter ask what I was making, and walking out of the store with the precious fabric under my arm. Now, it should probably be said (although if you know me, you already know this...) that I ended up with quite a bit of fabric and not as many finished projects to show for it. I like fabric.
So it made a lot of sense to me to marry "I like fabric" to "There's got to be a better option than all this paper." I idly did some research. Many people do bags. Bags are good, we like bags, but we were looking for a little bit more refined solution with options, not "just a bag." Research transformed into, "Why isn't anyone really doing this?" to "How can I make it work?" And the Wrapagain evolved.