Monday, May 21, 2012

Reusable Produce Bag Tutorial

Paper or Plastic?

We've been shopping with reusable grocery bags for a while now, but I'm still using plastic produce bags when I'm picking up fruit and veggies. I've tried to forgo the bag all together, but the cashiers tend to give me the stink-eye when half a dozen oranges go rolling about freely during check out. What a dilemma.

I knew the solution was to make my own, and I had two requirements. It had to be extremely light weight ('cause produce is sold by weight, duh!) and the goods inside had to be easily visible - we don't want to irritate the cashiers by making them search for the sticker...

So below is what I came up with. Not only does it meet the above requirements, it is also extremely cheap and fast!

Reusable Produce Bag Tutorial:

Nylon netting 34 x 14 inches
2 fabric strips 31/2 x 14 inches
narrow ribbon, string or cording
optional, cord locks

Fold the netting in half, matching short sides. Sew long sides together. Turn.

Sew fabric strips WST  on short sides forming a band.
Leave a small opening on one side, back-stitching where you start and stop.
 (no precision here, just below the half way point)

Press seams open.

Edge stitch both sides of seam with the opening.

Fold band in half and press

Open band up and press 1/4 hem on both raw edges

Re-fold band in place

Matching side seams, pin netting into band, placing raw edge of netting against inside fold of band.

Pin all the way around the band.

Edge stitch around bottom of band, being sure to catch both top and bottom layers while stitching.
Edge stitch around top of band.

Your band is now a casing for the drawstring.
Using a safety pin or a bodkin, feed your ribbon (or cording) through the opening you've left in the casing.

Pull ribbon all the way through.

You can tie a knot in the ends of your ribbon so they don't slip back into the casing,

or you can use a cord stop.

There you have it!
1 yard of netting cost me less than a dollar, and gave me enough material to make 4 full size produce bags!

I used the scraps to make a teeny tiny produce bag for things like Garlic and Ginger

 Tell us! Have you made anything "GREEN" lately?
As always, if you decide to make one up we'd love to hear about it!

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