Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grocery bag update.

I had some pictures of hand-made grocery bags on my very first post. Left over from those was just enough fabric of the red checkered cotton for one more bag. That's what I did today. I remembered to take pictures every so often and I'll try to be descriptive of what I did in this post.

I had about 20-22 inches of fabric. Just folding that into half gave me a very very wide bag :) So I cut two strips from one of the length-wise edges, for the straps. That way the dimensions of the rectangle that will eventually become the bag, were proportionate.

The fabric given to fraying, I wanted no open seams anywhere. I sewed the bottom of the bag shut, wrong sides together.

 Pinked the edge, not too close to the stitch -

Turned it over and sewed over it. I am not sure, but I think this is what is known as a French seam. This way all your seams are completely covered, very neat and professional!

Once I closed the bottom of the bag, turned it right side out.
Now lets give the bag a 'base'. For that, from the bottom edge, mark approximately 3 inches in, like so -

Now pinch at the marking and turn the fabric wrong side out.

Once you've done the whole length, you should have something like this -

The open side in the picture above is one of the two sides of the bag. Sew both sides shut, make sure you reinforce where there are four layers. Once done, you'll have a closed bag, turn it right side out, this is what the base should look like -

Time to get the straps ready now. Fold it like you'd fold a bias tape -

and sew along the edges.

Fold the top unfinished edge of the bag (don't sew it yet) and pin up the straps where you want them. The end of the strap will fold under the upper edge. (You can tell this was in the evening, the camera flash came on :D )

Once you've confirmed the location of the straps, finish the upper/open edge of the bag. That'll stitch the straps in too. For reinforcing the strap-bag joint, mark an X on the inside, and stitch over it.

And you're done! This one has shorter handles (as compared to the previous bag made of the same fabric). Now if I'd only remember to take this when I go for groceries :)

Speaking of groceries, there is one thing that always made me wince a the store - when the person at check out fits in two 1 gallon milk jugs into one of these grocery bags. Boy, those are heavy, and two of those are sure to rip open some seams! So as a preventive measure, I made 'made-to-fit' milk jug carriers.

Have you ever seen a dandier milk jug?!

I made one more, so our weekly supply of milk is carried home safely! 

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