Monday, June 21, 2010

Produce Bags

By-Jenny2

Do you ever have that sudden urge to finish a project that's been buried in your work-in-progress pile for weeks, or months, or even years? I had that bizarre impulse this weekend and am feeling strangely accomplished after completing this little project.

A couple of years ago, I made reusable produce bags as part of a "green" gift for a friend of mine. When I cut the fabric for hers, I cut about 12 extra pieces for us. While I finished her gift on time, ours disappeared into the to-do pile to be forgotten forever -- until this past Sunday.

Jenny: Produce Bags
Jenny: Produce Bags

I don't know if it's the farmer's markets popping up all over the place, or some weird get-it-done hormones from pregnancy (Oh yeah, I guess I haven't announced to our readers that I'm expecting baby #2... Hey guys, I'm pregnant! :-D) -- anyway, I just out of the blue remembered about these bags and decided that, while the husband was having a Father's Day veg-out afternoon in front of the TV and the kiddo still had about an hour to nap, it seemed like the perfect time to finish these!

The bags are simple rectangle of sheer curtain fabric I got on super sale at Joann's or the like. I zig-zag sewed the edges together way back then, and that's about as far as I had gotten.

Jenny: Produce Bags

The next step was creating the casing for the drawstring. With the bags wrong side out, I simply folded the top edge over about 3/4 inch and zig-zagged all around, back-stitching at the beginning and end, and leaving a 1-inch opening. I didn't even pin anything.

My work was pretty sloppy, but this is one of those projects where it doesn't matter. The bags are for our personal use and will hold produce -- who cares? (I did do a much neater job on the bags I gave away as a gift!).

Jenny: Produce Bags
Jenny: Produce Bags

For my original gift, I had bought 1/8 inch ribbon in 4 bright colors, so I used that again. It is so lightweight and glides easily when opening and closing the bag with the drawstring. I simply hooked a safety pin to one side, and guided the ribbon through the casing. I tied the two ends into a knot.

Jenny: Produce Bags
Jenny: Produce Bags
Jenny: Produce Bags

I was more thoughtful on my first go-round with this project and had tied 2 knots, which prevents the knot from hiding into the casing and makes it much easier to pull the drawstring.

Jenny: Produce Bags

Finishing the project took about one hour. So total time for making a dozen produce bags should be about two hours: the perfect nap-time project, and the result is very practical and eco-friendly to boot! I am so psyched to have a nice little stash of produce bags to take to the market. No more loose fruit rolling out in the trunk of my car and plastic bags multiplying like bunnies in my kitchen!

Jenny: Produce Bags

What did you work on this weekend? Any fun Father's Day activities or interesting projects?

Angel-mini-buttonWay to go Jen!  Those are super cool.  I want to make some of these as well, I've been taking in empty glass containers for the bulk items at the local grocery store, but bags like this would work much better!  I have some muslin I've been thinking of using for bags like this, I wonder if it would be too heavy?

I did work on something for Father's Day, I'll post a picture tomorrow!   

4 comments:

  1. you might have seen my newest project... pajama pants for george and i am about to cut fabric for all three boys in the house.
    i love the produce bags! i am planning on making some to use as toy bags for the car and i want to make some sort of bag that is good for keeping homemade bread.
    -mel

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mel, I did see your PJ pants, too cute!

    It's funny, I've been wanting to use this easy drawstring pattern for other home projects, including a bread bag! I have some muslin I'm going to use for that. I am toying with the idea of stamping the fabric first, to make it a bit more interesting.

    Angel, depending on the weight of your muslin, I'd think it should be fine for produce bags. The only thing that might be an issue is if the staff at the grocery store needs to read the labels on the produce? That was my only reason in opting for a sheer synthetic rather than a cotton. If that's what you have on hand and it's light, I say go for it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't really use bags for produce that much, I would use these for bulk stuff like rice, nuts, beans, etc. from the bins. I need to come up with a reusable tag that I can put the bin number on, something that I could use dry erase marker on maybe?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Angel, I was thinking about this some more. I think light-weight muslin would be perfect for bulk dry food. For a reusable tag, how about using that contact paper they sell in rolls at the grocery store? Some of it is white, and I bet it would work with a dry erase marker. You could cut a small two-sided rectangle, use a hole punch to make a hole in the corner of it, through which you could thread your drawstring. Does that make sense? It would be a light-weight label that you could reuse. I guess the only issue is if you have to wash the bags... Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete

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