I’ve noticed more and more people bringing their own bags to the grocery store which is awesome except those same people can also be found in the produce section using a separate plastic bag for each fruit or vegetable they are purchasing. Tomatoes don’t have cooties I promise! And when you go through the check out line just take the various items out of the bag to weigh them. You are going to wash them later anyway so its okay if they touch the register scale.
An easy alternative is to whip up some of these produce bags and kick the plastic bag habit entirely. You can certainly use organic cotton but all I had on hand was unbleached muslin and while not quite as “green” it still works. I’ve also seen this done with mesh or tulle but I think the cotton is more durable, less likely to rip or tear and I can decorate it :)
You will need:
- Two pieces of fabric 14 inches wide by 17 inches long/high
- String, Ribbon, Twine, Fabric etc to use for the drawstring 32 inches long and less than an 1 inch wide. I used ribbon that I had already.
- Fabric scraps for applique. You could skip this but I think it adds character to the bag.
- Matching thread
- Safety Pin to thread the string through
Step 1- Cut out your fabric pieces
Step 2- Applique
I freehanded my design but you could find something online if you prefer.
Cut the design out of your fabric.
And my favorite part, play around with the placement of the applique.
Once you’ve decided how you want them positioned pin in place and then sew in place. I used a zig zag stitch all the way around but you could fuse it as well.
Step 3- Sew your bag together.
You are going to sew it almost all the way around three sides. You want to stop short 1 1/4 in on one long side.
This leaves an opeaning for your string to come out. (This will be clearer in the next step)
Step 4- Create the casing for your string.
With the bag inside out fold the raw edges down 1/4 inch and in 1/4 in on the two open ends like this
Press and then fold down again this time 1 inch and press.
Edge stitch along the fold to sew in place.
This edge won’t be raw but now is a good time to serge or zig zag over the raw edges on the inside of your bag so they don’t fray. The bag will last longer, annoy you less, and look more professional this way.
Step 5- Insert your drawstring.
Attach a saftey pin to one side of your string/ribbon/etc and feed it through the casing until it comes out the other end like so.
Step 6- Place somewhere you will remember it when you go to the store.
Honestly isn’t remembering to bring the bag the hardest part? I try to keep bags in all the cars so I never forget. The nice thing about this bag is folded up it could fit in a large purse and you could use it as a grocery bag in a pinch.
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