It was the smell of the burlap that originally sucked me into buying yet another cloth shopping bag. I don't know what it is about it, but there must be some deep connection buried somewhere that associates that oily smell with heat, petrol and life in Iowa.
So for £1.50 I bought a shopping bag. Other than its smell, it was quite pointless. One big open space. No structure. Useless for carrying much of anything.
When our recent trip to the sea was looming, I realised that it could make a fabulous beach bag...with a few modifications. A plan was born. Left over Ikea fabric was cut and ironed and pinned in place.
Sewing pockets onto a ready-made burlap bag is really not that easy. Loose-weave burlap is tricky to sew with. It has its own kinks in the material. Fortunately the smell sent some sort of olfactory valium to my brain that got me through the 6(!) attempts it took to get the pockets straight (well straight-ish).
But the bag is useful and beautiful...to paraphrase GB Shaw "A bag full of mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than doing nothing". And that was the point...and both the bag and I learned a couple of things in the process!