Simple Summer Sewing Series

Simple Summer Sewing Series Day 1: Bag Holder

My first sewing series!  Each day this week I will create a project that:

  1. Can be completed in under 30 minutes.
  2. Simple instructions, no more than 5 steps
  3. Use a yard of fabric or less (use up all of those scraps!)
  4. Fit under the umbrella of going “green”.  Good for you, good for the environment, good on your budget.

I am so excited to get started.  Hopefully at least one of the projects this week will inspire you to get sewing!  For more details on this series see last week’s post here.

Day 1:

Our local grocery store sells and encourages the use of reusable bags.  I have purchased over a dozen of these reusable bags over the years- but they always seem to get “lost”.  Lost in the trunk of the car, used for swim class or taken to the library, soccer stuff etc.  Or, simply forgotten in the trunk of the car in the grocery store parking lot!  In other words, I often forget to bring them in or can’t find them and kick myself when I walk out of the store with an endless supply of plastic shopping bags.  I hate throwing them out- it feels so wasteful when they can be saved and used again.  Unfortunately they are not the most attractive looking and can get a bit out of hand- they seem to multiply on their own!  Not the most attractive thing hanging in the kitchen.

DSCN4118
ugly plastic bags

Here comes the Bag Holder.   A great excuse to introduce an awesome fabric into your kitchen and corral those ugly plastic bags.    This is extremely simple and fast to make.  Plus, it looks a bit better hanging in my kitchen!

bag holder
bag holder

You can really make these any dimensions you like, my measurements are just an example.  This is a great way to use up fabric scraps, I actually used the dimensions of my scraps to determine how large I made mine.  Fabric is Alexander Henry Mecca for Moderns- Mercer.

Bag Holder Tutorial:

What you will need:

20x20inches quilting or home dec fabric

coordinating thread

1/4 inch elastic (roughly 9 inches)

How to:

1.  Cut your fabric to desired size.  (My example shows 2 pieces of 10×20 sewn together, had I not used a scrap I would have cut one piece 20x20inches.)

2.  Sew your seam, and finish your edges.  (I chose to use a 1/2 inch seam allowance and pinking shears) If you use one piece of fabric you sew the long edges together to form your back seam.  If you use two pieces like I did, sew up the long sides to form side seams.

3.  Create your casings by folding over the edges 1/4 inch, and again at least 1/4 inch (room enough for your elastic).  Press if necessary, although I just wing it and finger press as I sew.  Sew the casings at the top and bottom of your fabric, leaving 1/2 inch space unsewed to insert your elastic, be sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end.

4.  Cut your elastic in half.  Use a safety pin to insert your elastic through the casing, sew the ends of the elastic together and sew up your openings.

5.  Create your hanging loop by sewing a 2x8inch pieice of fabric together lengthwise.  Turn inside out.  Fold in edges and topstitch.  Fold in half to form loop and sew onto the center back of the bag (you will be sewing it at your center seam if you have one, on the inside of your bag at the elastic casing)

You could also choose to use cotton webbing, or ribbon or a coordinating fabric.  Depending on where you will be hanging your bag you may choose to use a shorter or longer loop.  Adjust as necessary, my door hook is pretty high so I chose to have a longer loop.

Now, stuff your plastic bags in one at a time through the top.  When you need one simply pull one out through the bottom- so easy!  I know these aren’t the clearest directions, but hopefully it makes sense…I will be sure to take pictures during the process next time.

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