Friday, January 13, 2012

Sewing Project: Grocery Bag Bag

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We recently tackled the project of cleaning out my husband's office. After our random, unexpected move a week before last semester started, his office was a complete disaster. We were so busy with other things (him starting the PhD program, me being SUPER pregnant, having the baby, etc.) that his office just kept piling up with papers, books, clothes, boxes, and on and on. I let him enjoy part of his winter break, but then we had to get down to business. We are finally pretty much done after about two weeks of sorting and filing and throwing things away! Yes, there are still papers to go through, but those boxes are sitting in our spare room so we'll pretend like they don't exist for now :)

After the dust settled, I realized that one of the things that had been piling up in the office were grocery bags. I have several reusable ones, but I often forget to bring them with me, so I end up with lots of plastic ones. This isn't a terrible problem because we use them for our bathroom trash can (hello, free trash bag!) but they are kind of annoying to control. So I decided to sew a grocery bag bag. Here's what I did.

1. Cut out the fabric. 11" across will be wide enough. Make it as long as your little heart desires! Cut your elastic. I looped it around my wrist loosely and then added two extra inches to make sure I could fit my hand in there after it was all sewed up.

2. On the top and bottom ends, press under 1/4" and again 1/2". This will create a home for the elastic.

3. Sew the top and bottom seams closed to make the casing.

4. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and use that to help you thread it through your casings. Pin the elastic in place with about an inch sticking out on both sides. Make sure to pin the side you first threaded the elastic through before it gets sucked up into the casing. The elastic will be shorter than your casing!

5. Fold your fabric in half, right sides together, and pin the seam.

6. Attach a handle by folding a ribbon in half and pinning it along the seam so the handle sticks out in between the folded fabric. Visualize how your handle will need to be and that will help you get it in the right place. I didn't have ribbon so I made a handle out of the fabric I was using.

7. Sew up your seam. This stitch will secure both the elastic and the handle.

And there you have it!

Easy peasy! I love mine already and I REALLY love not having plastic bags everywhere.

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