GO GREEN! MAKE YOUR OWN GROCERY BAGS!
Some areas of the country are banning plastic bags and other places are charging for plastic bags and some stores are giving a slight discount for bringing your own bags to the store.
In addition, you can help the environment by making study, durable, reusable, washable grocery bags to use when you shop. They are so easy to sew, that even someone learning to sew can made shopping bags.
The fabric bags sold by retailers are very flimsy and the handles break early. The solution is to sew your own bags with heavier fabric.
Watch this video tutorial with step-by-step instructions to learn how to sew a simple reusable fabric shopping bag.
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The bag is large, sturdy and handy for trips to the grocery store, farmers market, department store or library. It has a boxed bottom for added convenience.
To make this sturdy bag, you will need a sturdy fabric such as denim, duck cloth, sturdy broadcloth or home decorating material. It can be made with less than a yard of fabric. The straps are made from webbing strap material.
Before constructing the grocery bag, you could embroidery a design on the fabric, stencil it, sew on patch, or just leave it plain. I embroidered the fabric for my bags with eye-catching environmental statements. For one bag I found a lady with shopping packages and put the tag line, "Proud to be a Bag Lady". For the other bag, I embroidered a world design on the fabric and put the line, "Saving the Planet One Bag at a Time".
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Sturdy Fabric - such as denim, duck cloth or home décor
- Belt Cording 1” or 1 ¼” wide - 2 yards
- Basic Sewing Supplies
STEP 1: CUTTING
From the fabric chosen to make the shopping bag, cut a pieces that measure 19" x 41"
From the belt cording, cut two pieces measuring 18" long and one pieces that measures 35".
STEP 2: PREPARING TOP OF BAG AND INSERTING HANDLE STRAPS
Place the 19" x 41" fabric on ironing board, with wrong side up. On the short 19" side, turn the fabric down 1/2"; press. Turn under again 1 1/4" and press.
With one 18" strap, measuring 5 1/2" from the side of the fabric, place the strap under the fold, then flip it up and pin. Again, measure 5 1/2" from the other side, place the strap under the fold, flip it up and pin. An important note is to make sure you do not twist the strap.
Repeat process on other end of fabric to insert other 18" handle strap.
STEP 3: SHOULDER STRAP
It is time to place the shoulder strap on the bag. On one of the 19" folded edges, measure 1" from the side, insert shoulder strap under the fold, flip up and pin.
With the other end of the shoulder strap, place it 1" from the other top edge under the fold, flip up and pin in place.
STEP 4: STITCHING TOP
Topstitch close to the bottom fold and then edgestitch close to the edge of the top fold.
STEP 5: SEWING SIDE SEAMS
Fold the fabric with right-side together aligning the top edges. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, stitch the sides of the grocery bag together. Since grocery bags get lots of wer and tear, sew a second row of stitches about 1/8" from the first stitching (toward the edge).
Zigzag the raw edge to help prevent fraying.
STEP 6: BOX BOTTOM
The bag should still be inside out. To make the box bottom, iron the bag and crease the bottom edge of the bag. You will need this crease to help make the boxed bottom.
Begin by ironing one side seam to one side. To form the boxed bottom, align the side seam with the bottom seam forming a triangle, pin in place.
With a quilters ruler, measure 3 1/2" from the point of the triangle and with a pencil or fabric marker, draw a line.
Go to the sewing machine and stitch along the line, backstitching at the beginning and end.
Repeat the process on the other side seam.
STEP 7: FINISHED
Just turn the bag right-side out and your grocery bag is finished.
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