Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Re-usable Bread Bags (Shopping bags)

I can't remember where I saw this idea first, but it's around. They are tote bags that, instead of being squarish as usual, are long and thin, making them perfect for a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, a carton of eggs, or anything else that needs a bag of its own. They are made of the bottom couple feet of demin jeans legs, and I've lined them all with tapestry which makes them thick and heavy. Very simple, very stable, very (fun)ctional. Embellish how you please. I've put the pockets from the jeans on a few of them.

They're one of the easiest sewing projects ever, too! Here's what I did:
1. Cut pant leg off 2 feet or so from the bottom. Attach any appliques or embellishments. Finish bottom hem and square off corners, if desired (that gives it a flat bottom).
2. Cut lining. Sew side seem. Cut and finish strap (belts work well for this, too).
3. There are a few ways to attach the lining and straps.
a. If you want the lining below the top of the outside piece (i.e. the hem of the pant leg) so that you can turn the top of the finished bag down and see denim, I think this is the easiest way:
Finish the bottom edge of the lining. Turn the top half inch or so over on the top edge of the lining toward the wrong side of the fabric and hem it. Position it where you want to attach it onto the inside of the bag, with the wrong side of the lining facing the wrong side of the outside piece. If you want a cleaner look on the straps, tuck the ends between the lining and the outside piece (be sure to position the strap's ends correctly so that they're where you want them to be, and be careful not to twist the strap, unless that's the look you're going for). Pin everything in place and sew it all together. Then you're done!
b. If you want to attach the lining so that it will show on the finished bag when you fold the top over, turn your lining with the unfished bottom inside out. Put their right sides together with the tops matching. Sew the tops together. Turn the whole thing right-side-out thru the bottom hole (the unfinished bottom) of the lining. Finally, finish your lining and attach your straps at the desired position on the inside of the bag. (I think I got that right--that step always confused me, so if I got it backwards, please let me know! lol)
c. If you don't want to turn the top of your bag down, you don't have to. Attach the lining using Step b, but place the strap ends between the lining and the outside piece, making sure the body of the strap is between the lining and the outside piece as you're sewing. It's a good idea to pin it to the outside of the bag to keep it out of the way (otherwise you might end up with it sewn into the hem--listen close, this is experience talking).

There's no wrong way to do it, as long as you like your finished product. Now, let's go shopping!

PS--A quick idea. You know those plastic containers shaped like a loaf of bread that you can store your bread in? Sticking one into the bag will ensure that your precious goods don't get squashed on the way home! I mean, you're out of bread anyway, right? Might as well take it with you in the bag. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is awesome I love this idea and they are so cute the way you pictured them!!!!