He usually ends up stacking everything in a plastic grocery bag. Even though they're bad for the environment, we always seem to have a pile in the pantry. They're the right size and they can be reused many times before they fall apart. However, they leave something to be desired in the style department. I decided I'd try to come up with a bag the size of a plastic grocery bag that wasn’t plastic. Today I made a lunch bag patterned on plastic grocery bag.
My inspiration was this post on Supafine, which gave wonderful detailed directions for putting the bag together, along with step-by-step pictures. I modified the directions just a bit when I cut out the bag pieces (she called for tracing around the template; I pinned the bag to the material and cut through both layers at once), but otherwise followed everything to a T.
What I did:
- The project called for about a half yard of two different fabrics. I dug through my leftover fabrics until I found two remnants I could use.
- I grabbed a plastic bag from the pantry and cut it open at the top and bottom to use as a pattern.
- After folding the main fabric together wrong side out, I placed the plastic bag on the fold, pinned it, and cut around it 1/2" from the edge of the bag (to allow for a seam allowance). I did the same thing with the lining material, ending up with two very long rectangles.
- I pinned the rectangles right sides together, then sewed around the entire piece, leaving a 4" opening for turning on one of the long edges.
- Next, I trimmed the corners and notched the curves so they'd lay flat, then turned the rectangle right side out. A small dowel poked into the corners made sure they were crisply turned.
- All the seams were pressed flat with an iron.
- I folded the bag in half right side in, matching the edges, and stitched down the sides and across the top of the handles. The very last step was to turn the bag right side out.
I was happy with the results, but next time I'd use nylon fabric so the bag would be lighter and a bit easier to wash out. Tony thought it looked like it would work for him, so if I want one of my own I'll have to do this again. At least I can use the same plastic bag template, and keep a second one out of a landfill.