This is a project I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I
always usually bring my own grocery bags to the store and have been doing this for a while but I’ve been feeling guilty about all the little plastic bags I use for my fruits and vegetables. Until recently, I’ve been saving and re-using them a few times.
The recently part is because the commissary (the grocery store on base) hasn’t had any little vegetable bags for the last few weeks. It’s been making me crazy! What’s going on?
It made me so crazy that I came home one day, went online and debated different fabrics, ordered fabrics from the U.S., the fabrics came in the mail, I dragged them home and get this: I actually made some bags!
(I’m sure tomorrow the commissary will have the little plastic bags again.) It doesn’t matter though because I have my own little bags and I’ll be standing on environmental high ground!
These bags were so easy to make! I’ll walk you through the process so you can make your own.
Step 1: Pick your fabric. You really can make these out of anything. I wanted light-weight, see-thru and washable so I picked these two fabrics from Fabric.com called Telio Mod Stretch Mesh (left) and Bartow Tobacco Cloth (right).
I wasn’t sure about sewing that mesh so I started with the Tobacco cloth which was very soft and lightweight. It’s very loosely woven though so it requires a little more preparation.
Step 2: Decide what size you want to make your bag. I folded the fabric and cut mine 12 1/2″ wide by 16″ tall. I kept the fold at the bottom of the bag in hopes that the bag will be stronger that way.
Step 3: Finish the edges so the fabric doesn’t fray. If you have a serger, this would be a perfect way to finish the edges or you can zig-zag the edges. I just folded the ends a tiny bit and sewed very loosely. When I worked with the mesh I skipped this step since it didn’t seem like it would fray.
Step 4: Add a tunnel for a drawstring on both top pieces. For my drawstring, I used 3/16″ polyester Cable Cord and I figured it would save me time to just sew the cord into the bag. DON’T SEW INTO THE CORD – you want it to move freely.
Step 5: Sew the side edges together. You want to put the outsides of the bag together for this step and if you are sewing it with the cord inside, be careful to keep it out of the way and going the right way.
Step 6: Turn it right side out and you’re done!
As you can see, the tunnel part of my bag isn’t sewn together.
I can pull my cord up at one end or both, however I like. I’m not really sure if I can burn the ends of the cord or how to keep them from fraying. I plan to consult with my husband who has more rope and cord knowledge than I do.
Here’s the mesh bag which was actually easier to make; just a little stretchy to sew over. Also, I didn’t need to do any ironing on it.
There you go! A couple hours of sewing and I have 5 fruit/vegetable bags that I can use over and over again.