Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Re-usable Produce Bag Tutorial

I have my own collection of "green bags" for groceries.  They are great and I love that my pantry is no longer overflowing with plastic bags stuffed inside of plastic bags. However, I was still using the plastic produce bags.   

So, it was time I went green with my produce bags!

You can make some too!  And the best part is it takes 15 minutes...or less!  

Here's how:

Materials You Will Need:

  • Sheer Fabric, Cut to measure 13" wide by 43" Long. (**see note on size at the end of tutorial)  I like sheer fabric because it is breathable but protects your produce, letting your produce last longer. 
  • Matching Thread
  • 2 - 30" long pieces of ribbon, twine, or other string that can be used as drawstring ties.
  • Serger or machine with a zig-zag stitch *Optional

Step 1. Set your serger to a rolled hem.  Or set your zig-zag stitch to a shorter width (about 3) and length (about 2).  

Serge or stitch the 43" sides of your fabric rectangle.  Or, you can do a 1/4" double rolled hem and straight stitch. 


Step 2.  Fold one of the 13" edges over 3/4" and press.  Fold it in the opposite direction another 3/4", like a fan.  The raw edge should still be lined up with the outer edge of the rectangle. 

Step 3: Serge, zig-zag, or straight stitch the outer edge on both sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Creating a drawstring pocket on each end. 

Step 4.  Press drawstring pockets so that the seams just sewn in step 3 is on one side and the 13" sides of the rectangle are the tops of the pocket. 

Step 5.  Fold the rectangle in half widthwise so that the pockets line up and the pocket seams are on the outside.   

The pockets will be the top and the folded side will be the bottom.

Starting at the bottom straight stitch each side closed using a 1/4" seam allowance, stopping exactly when you hit the drawstring pocket seams. 

Step 6.  Turn bag right side out. 

Step 7.  String your bag.  The secret to any good drawstring bag is the method of stringing.  Many patterns have you use just one string, but the best way is to use 2!  Here's how: 

Take one of the drawstrings (ribbon, twine, etc) and string it through one of the pockets, then through the next one.  Match up the ends and tie it in a knot. 

Take the other drawstring (ribbon, twine, etc) and start on the opposite end of where you just tied your strings.  String it through one pocket and then through the next one.  Match up the ends and tie in a knot.  

You should end up with a knotted end on each opening side as well as the untied end of each string on the opposite opening. 

Now go be green! ;) 

A Note on Size: Grocery store produce bags that you pull of the roll are 12" wide by 20" Long.  
To get that same size you would need to cut your piece of fabric 13" wide by 43" Long.

To make taking the step by step pictures easier, the bag pictured in this tutorial is 8" wide by 10" tall.  
You can make your bag any size you want.  

To determine the size of material you will need, simply add 1" to the desired finished width and 3" to the desired finished length. 


Lil' Bit Sassy said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial!! I've been looking for something to put produce in that will make it last longer.

Angela said...

I have been wanting some of these forever, now I can make them myself. Awesome!

Sue at nobaddays said...

Thanks SO much for this -- I've been looking for a tutorial on this subject. Looking forward to doing away with the knot of plastic produce bags in my closet.

Anonymous said...

Could you be a bit more descriptive of the fabric you are using? "Sheer" is not quite as much detail as one would like when heading to the fabric store.

Mauby said...

@Anonymous I would go with a sheer linen like this: Or a curtain sheer, just ask our local fabric shop where they keep them, it s usually near home decor. Or with a turgal sheer like this: I personally would NOT go with something that is silky or voile like in texture for this project. hope this helps!

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