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Weekend Project: Reusable Drawstring Produce Bags

May 31, 2009
Reusable Produce Bags In Action!

Reusable Produce Bags In Action!

Yay! I did it! I finished a weekend project.

I only made three bags for a test run, and after putting them through the grocery gauntlet this afternoon, I can only say this – no wonder the plastic bags are so big. My three are only about 8×8 inches, which fits alot, but getting the produce into the bags was a bit of a chore. So if you want an easier fill, make them larger than a 10 inch width.

I felt a little silly whipping out my little hippie bags in the middle of the grocery. Maybe next time I’ll use the purple butterfly fabric left over from my daughter’s curtains to flair them up a bit. A couple of the directions are optional, but they will make a stronger bag.

From this point on, it gets really ugly. I mean the post, aesthetically. And the directions. Be strong.

Make ‘Em Up Drawstring Bag for Produce

Materials
guide, sheet of paper measured and cut (12×16 inches is a good size)
100% cotton fabric, 1 yard will make a good deal, width is variable
yarn, 1 small ball
thread
pins
scissors
crochet hook or safety pin
sewing machine

Cutting Time!

Ex. 1 - cutting

Ex. 2 - 2" mark

1. Fold the fabric in half, pattern side on the inside, to give two sheets lying on top of one another. Use the guide (I used the phone book cover) and cut out the pattern. Keep the two sheets together using four pins in the corners, finish cutting out however many bags are needed. (example 1)
2. At the “top” of the bag (where that is is up to you), mark the spot two inches from the top on each side. (example 2)

Sewing Machine Time!

Ex. 3 - corners

Ex. 4 - Line 2

Ex. 4 - Line 2

Ex. 5 - open seam

Ex. 5 - open seam

Ex. 6 - Line 4

Ex. 6 - Line 4

Ex. 7 -

Ex. 7 - top seam

Ex. 8 -

Ex. 8 - top sew line

Ex. 9 - all sew lines

Ex. 9 - all sew lines

(Line 1) Sew down each three sides starting and ending at the marks, making the sew line 1/2 inch in from the side. Turning the pattern at the corners is easier than starting a new line. (example 3) Just make sure the needle is stuck through the fabric! Cut off thread.
(Line 2) Optional. Start and end 1 inch lower Line 1 and only 1/4 inch from the side, sew the three sides again. Cut off thread. This will give more assurance against unraveling. (example 4)
(Line 3, 4) At the top, fold the fabric to match the open seam and pin. (example 5) Sew down one side, turn machine, sew down bottom of opening, turn machine, sew down other side. (example 6) Repeat for opposite side. Cut off thread. (example 7)
(Line 5) Turn down the top of the bag, matching the seams and pinning it down 1/2 inch below the start of Line 1 (or side seam). Start the sew line just at the top of Line 1 and go all the way around the bag. Cut off thread. (example 8)
(Line 6) Optional. Move the needle 1/4 inch below Line 5 and sew around the bag. Cut off thread.
Full view of all sew lines. (example 9)

String Time!

Ex. 10 - drawstring

Ex. 10 - drawstring

1. The yarn length should be twice the width of the bag opening, plus 2 inches (example: 8 inch width bag needs a 18 inch piece of yarn). Cut two pieces of yarn.
2. Attach one piece to the crochet hook or pin and thread through both tunnels of the bag. Knot the two ends together, cutting off any excess. Starting at the opposite side, do the same for the second string. (example 10 )


All done!! Obviously, I’m not a pro at this and the directions are seriously vague, so to make up for my shortcomings, I put up a TON of pictures. If anyone wants to correct me, feel free! 😛

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