I learned all about Dilly Bags courtesy of Molly and Mama
January 18, 2019
I learned all about Dilly Bags, courtesy of Molly and Mama. Finally! I’ve been calling them drawstring bags all my life!
I think one of the first things my mother taught me to sew was a drawstring bag. That’s what we called them, anyway. A simple bag, no lining, with a casing at the top. Thread a ribbon through the casing and voila, you have a bag to hold your marbles.
I’ve always loved the simplicity of these little bags. Whenever you need to hold ‘things’ just grab some scraps and whip up a little bag. Or a big bag. We even used pillow cases to make book bags for school. Of course, these days the kids gotta have those big, fancy, expensive backpacks with some designer logo on the back….*sigh*
Over the years I’d occasionally hear the term “dilly bag” but it never really resonated. I never made the connection. Until now…
Pretty Handmades by Lauren Wright
I’d been ogling this book for a couple of months but I kept forgetting to put it in my shopping cart because I had holiday stuff on my mind. Last week, though, I had plenty of time to shop and I finally remembered to grab it.
Just looking at the cover of “Pretty Handmades” makes me want to forget about every single responsibility I might have and head off into Sewing Land. And I bet you can guess what attracted me most. Yep. The Pretty Petal Dilly Bag. For me, that one pattern makes the whole book!
What is a Dilly Bag?
As soon as I saw that she called this little bag “The Pretty Petal Dilly Bag” it was like one of those cartoon lightbulbs over my head. I had to be sure though so I Googled, “What is a dilly bag?” And lo and behold, I found out I’d been making simple dilly bags all my life!
According to Wikipedia, a Dilly Bag is a traditional Australian Aboriginal bag, generally woven from plant fibers, used for carrying… things. Basically, it’s a reusable, therefore eco-friendly, bag, of any size that can be used for carrying… things. Things like marbles, or books, or lipstick, or whatever you generally carry in your purse.
And it also makes sense that Lauren Wright would call her pretty little bag a Dilly Bag because she’s Australian. So if Lauren hadn’t been Australian and if she’d just named her bag “The Pretty Petal Drawstring Bag” I’d never have known what a Dilly Bag is or that I’d been making Dilly Bags all my life! See how that all comes together?
Lauren Has A Blog!
Even though I’ve been making these bags like, forever, I’ve never made one as pretty as the one on the cover of Lauren’s book. Mine were always just functional drawstring bags and it never occurred to me to add a lining, fancy them up, and use them for something other than hauling marbles or books or jacks. But after following the tutorial in her book, I was hooked on Lauren Wright. So I did what any other normal red-blooded sewing fanatic would do. I Googled her. And guess what. She has a blog!
Trust me. Do NOT visit Molly and Mama unless you have a couple of hours to spare. I got lost in all of her beautiful projects and when I finally looked up I discovered I’d been reading her blog for 2 hours!
Donna Anderson 'works' at Joann Fabrics at 4600 W. Broad St. in Columbus, OH. Just look for the crazy old lady behind the cutting counter. As a kid, she ran with scissors and ate paste. She's since found safer, more creative ways to use her Fiskars and Mod Podge. Next time you're at the store, stop by the cutting counter and have a chat! (Just please don't ask her about lightbulbs!)