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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

TUTORIAL: the 'bag-bag'...


After the simple makeover to my small pantry cupboard on Monday I promised a tutorial for making a very easy, but cheery, dispenser for plastic grocery bags.
I know they are banned in many places now, but they still exist in even more places, so having a pretty place to store them is an essential in my home.
I try as much as possible to take my eco-friendly hessian bags to the supermarket with me, but there will always be occasions when I don't have them on hand or I'm purchasing from a different kind of store that only offers the plastic variety of carry bag. 

I'm only using what I have in my stash, so let me encourage you to 'shop' from your stash as well.
You'll require a pretty fat quarter, some sweet fabric for the trim, a scrap of elastic, and a long length of leftover quilt binding that co-ordinates with the other two fabrics.

Let's get started...

I cut my fat quarter down to 18" square, and sewed a 2" x 18" length of green pin-dot across the top and bottom, pressing the seam towards the green fabric...

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and stitch the two raw edges together with a 1/4" seam.
Press the seam open...

Fold a 1/4" hem down on both green edges...

...then fold again so that the edge of the hemmed section just covers the seam line along the red fabric.

Pin in place, and machine sew in the ditch.
This will catch the edge of the hem securely...

Use your seam ripper to carefully open the seam inside the top and bottom hem casings of the bag...

 Choose which direction you want the fabric print on your bag to face, and we'll thread elastic through the bottom hem casing first.

Cut a piece of elastic about 12" in length.
Attach a large safety pin to one end, but be sure the pin is not too large to thread through the hem casing...

Thread the elastic through the hem casing, in one side and out the other...

Gather the end till it's almost closed, leaving about a 1" opening (for filling or removing your bags later). 
Machine back and forth a few times across both ends of the elastic and trim the excess...

Slip stitch the opening closed. That's the bottom of the bag finished!

I have a big container of 2 1/2" wide leftover lengths of quilt binding so I chose a red check for the top ties on the bag as I had almost 30" of it...

Press your length of binding open, then fold it in half again, but with wrong sides facing this time.
Sew a seam 1/2" inside the raw edge along the length of the binding.
Trim the excess to a scant 1/8"...

Skewer your safety pin near the seam line on one end...

Push the pin inside the cavity....

Using your fingers, gently push the pin all the way through to the other end.
This requires 'gathering' along the way, then stopping to smooth the gathers, before continuing to the end...

When the pin comes through the other end, remove it from the tie and press flat...

Just as you threaded the elastic through the bottom hem casing, now you will thread the tie through the top casing...

 Once the tie is threaded through the casing, sew a small stitch to secure the rest of the seam in the hem and prevent the hem edge from gaping...

I used pinking shears to neaten the ends of the tie...

Fill the dispenser with plastic shopping bags, and pull the ties to a gather before making a simple knot...

Hang from a door or hook in your kitchen and tie a bow!
 

 You remove the bags as you need them from the elasticated hole at the bottom, and you also fill it through that hole as well. So simple, and I love how the fabric brightens the white of my pantry area...

 Just a quick reminder before I go!
There's only a few days left to join the Stitchery Club in time to receive the Month 4 patterns as a set.
(and there's also a free welcome stitchery too!)

Sign up by the 16th of January over HERE on the Club page.
hugs


15 comments:

Christine M said...

Your bag bag is so pretty, Jenny. Thanks for the great tutorial. I made one of these a few years ago using a tea towel.

Karenkay said...

Love it! Thank you

Tammy said...

Thank for this tutorial Jenny...It looks and sounds fairly simple...I hope to make one soon....

edith csokmay said...

Such cute fabrics - you never cease to amaze :)

Createology said...

Very Cheery Bag of Bags. I compliment you on your concise and easy directions with photos on how to make this bag. This would also be fun for childrens pajamas with a little larger opening on the bottom. Creative Bag Bliss...

Melody said...

Another brilliant tutorial. Love your fabric choices too.

Filomena Crochet said...

beautiful work et tutorial....Merci!!

Fernanda Scherer said...

So easy and lovelly!
It's great!
Thanks!

Maria said...

Lovely Bag Bag. Easy tutorial and I could do with a nice new for my bags..
Mine is about 30 years old...

desertskyquilts said...

Well, when you put it that way ... Easy! LOL Thanks for the very easy to follow tutorial. Getting pretty domestic looking around there!

Little Penpen said...

Thank you! I love the colors you chose for yours. I have one made out of a dish towel that I have had forever. Time for a change!

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gibbygoo56 said...

The aprons are dreamy! I love the bag holder. You are so amazing! I love your style.

Pinnylea Creations said...

They're banned in SA but when I end up buying them I like somewhere to put them and your bag for a bag is perfect. Thanks for sharing xx

KAYLEE said...

Love the colours of your "bag" bag Jenny. I made my "bag" bag before I had children so that's over 27 years ago, I made it from a gorgeous linen tea towel. It's now very frayed where the cord goes through the top and also the elastic is very stretched I used for the bottom. I think it's time for a new one. I have many linen tea towels in my stash so shall choose one from one of the many locations we have travelled years ago....