Anyone who has peeked in at my homestead blog knows I feed a small menagerie (or petting zoo, depending on how fancy a vocabulary Dad feels like using) and that results in quite a few feed bags - full when I buy them, then empty. We had been using them as trash bags in the feed shed, then over the summer I saw someone at Tractor Supply's market day selling shopping/tote bags made from feed bags. I tried asking her for details, but she just said, "Oh, there's tutorials online." I guess she was just selling them for whoever did the actual sewing since she didn't seem the least bit interested when I tried to ask about needles and thread used.
So, we've been saving the 50-pound bags when empty, and they do pile up pretty quickly. I don't bother with the very smooth plastic hay cube/pellet bags, and I also don't use the Nutrena brand 40-pound bags, as those have the annoying habit of splitting open if tossed at the store. I easily found a couple different tutorials online (I like this one best), and made a test bag. OK, my machine doesn't really like the textured plastic bags. I used an universal needle, size 14, for the test bag, and I don't think my machine appreciated that too much either - it made the thump-thump noise that lets me know it's past time to change needles. Meh. Hubby ordered me some size 14 leather needles (I like Schmetz brand) and I had picked up some light beige heavy duty Coats & Clark thread off clearance ... now it's time to figure out which machine will do the best job at this. I intend to pull the trusty old mechanical Brother, Timex, out to see how that goes. If not, then the old-as-I-am Kenmore Anchor will get a shot at it.
First, though ... I need to wash the bags off. I have about a dozen or so in the bathtub right now.