Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Green Grocery Bags

edited from a post at BlogHer.

September is National Sewing Month. Last year, I gave some guidance on the basics of sewing (here, here, here and here.) This year, let's apply those ideas. I've picked a favorite crafting activity of mine: sewing some kind of bag. It might be a simple grocery tote, a cute felted bag, or a real purse. There will even be some talk about what you might not want to do. But we'll be "baggy" all month!.

With everyone talking "green" and "recycled", I thought I'd start out with some suggestions for sewing your own Fabric Grocery Totes.

Writings under the faerie moon's pointed out simple directions at Morsbags.com. I found their .pdf instructions a little confusing, but they have a wonderful "how to" animation that answered all my questions. This is NOT my solution for a reuseable grocery bag, though. The MorsBag does not have a flat bottom, and packing groceries in this bag will be challenging. It will be a good bag, however, for Farmer's Markets, drug store runs, picking up a couple small things somewhere. Sorry. Didn't sew one of my own.

Classic Tote
A better option is at Make It Easy. The classic open tote. This design is offered free for personal use and is an example of the designs one can find in Hold It!! by Nancy Restuccia. I made my version with some "scrap" upholstery fabric to give it some class and strength. It's large enough to carry more than my standard grocery store paper bag, which might tempt me to overload it (by weight). Wider padded handles would help with this concern.
ReUsable Grocery Bag-stuffed
Which is why I think the BEST tutorial might be this one at U-Handbag blog. Not only does she explain how to sew a prefect curved gusset (the side panels), her instructions include a cute little bag cosy to carry the empty grocery bag in! Plus padded, comfy handles!! I made this one up in just a couple hours; and since I've figured the pattern out, I'll be making more!

Lisa has a monthly contest on her blog, and has set up a Flickr Group for people who have made her bags. Check it out!

Another take on the tote comes from Kawaii Crafter's blog: Zakka Life. She uses a large rice bag.

I hope these options encourage you to start sewing your own re-useable grocery bags (remember: holiday gift gifting time is just around the corner! Imagine making a bunch of these bags in which to present your presents... and passing the green grocery bag idea along!) I have set up a Flickr group so we can share our work.

Coming Next Week: Not So Green Bags and Fun Alternatives.
Today I'll blog my Tale of the Scale at Deb's Daily Distractions. I also blog at BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

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