Sewing

Environmentally Friendly Produce Bags

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Today I thought I’d show you how to make these super quick and  reusable produce bags.  One bag took me about 30 minutes from start to finish. To make these bags even more environmentally friendly, these are made from an old unbleached cotton sheet and used (clean) shoelaces that my sisters had leftover from re-lacing their sneakers.

This is also a great first sewing project, since the only technical part is threading a drawstring.

You will need:
  • 1 yard of cotton fabric
  • sewing thread
  • shoelaces, or something similar for the drawstring
  • sewing pins
  • 2 safety pins
  • iron
  • sewing machine
  • pinking shears

Note: It’s best if you cut your fabric with pinking shears to avoid fraying.

Start by cutting a rectangle of fabric that is 20 inches wide by 15 inches tall. Iron to remove any wrinkles

Fold it in half with the right sides together so that you now have a piece of fabric that is 10 inches wide by 15 inches tall. Pin with sewing pins along the open side and bottom. Starting 1 inch down from the top, start sewing 1/2 inch from the edge, removing the pins as you sew.

My sewing machine has a stitch setting that back-stitches on itself after it makes a new stitch making the bag’s bottom seam more durable, but if your machine doesn’t have that stitch, just run over the bottom seam with another row of stitches. Press the seams open with an iron. To make the casing, first fold the top edge down 1/4 inch and press with iron, then fold the remaining 3/4 inch down and press with iron and pin in place. Stitch 1/2 inch down from the top edge.

Turn bag right side out.

Now it’s time to thread the casing: stick one safety pin through each end of your shoestring and thread through the casing.

Line the ends up evenly, remove the safety pins and tie the ends in a knot.

If you want to add a crocheted touch, instead of shoelaces you could crochet a long chain stitch to use as a drawstring.

If you have any questions or if you have made these, please let me know in the comments!

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