Added Jan 4, 2013
Bella Vista, Cal...
Trader Joe’s Reusable Grocery Bag
I love reusable grocery bags, and because I am such a cheapskate, my “green” contributions to the environment have to be cheap and make me feel like I am living in the 1800s.
I love grocery bags for around the house, such as garbage can liners, taking out kitty litter, covering fresh baked bread, and throwing away anything that is too disgusting to mention. But so many are piling up, I need to cut down. Winco gives 6 cents per bag, Raley’s is about 3 cents, and Safeway dissapointed me by not giving a discount off your purchase, but only if you buy organics. Who the hell thought that up?
My dad gave me a Trader Joe’s grocery bag a few years ago, and it is a bag that doesn’t make you feel like a dork when you use it. It looks so hip, I use it for other things besides groceries.
This morning I finished a neat reusable grocery bag that has gussets and is copied from a plastic bag. It took quite awhile, but is very cute. But this copycat of the Trader Joe’s bag was quick and easy. Here’s what you need:
-) 1/2 yard of upholstery/home decor fabric (got mine at Wal-Mart for $5 a yard)
-) Heavy Duty/Denim needles by Schmetz
-) Serger (optional, but makes this bag what it is)
-) Thread, scissors, etc.
Cut a 16" wide piece of fabric. Most upholstery fabric is 60" wide, so from this one cut you can make about 2 bags. Then turn this cut and cut 20".
Cut 4 pieces 2 × 22″ for the straps.
For most straps, you fold in half lengthwise and have to turn. This thick fabric is awesome, but not for turning. I just placed two straps right sides together and serged the edges. It looks nice and saved me lots of trouble.
For the body of the bag, the fold is the bottom. Sew up your side seams, and serge if desired to finish.
With the bag wrong-side out, create the gussets. My gussets were about 3" deep, I just winged it. Go with what works for you. I sewed, and then serged the excess off.
Turn in about 1/2" to 1" of the top of the bag and sew. Then sew on the straps with the neat "x"s (I had to go over one stretch of previous stitching to complete my “x”, if anyone knows how to sew these boxes without going over any previous lines of stitching, let me in on your secret). Sewing on the straps probably took the longest, but overall I think this bag can be made in about an hour (unlike those 1 or 2-hour patterns, which I think sometimes takes me longer than a complicated pattern).
I hope you enjoy your bag. It has no lining, but that can be added, but this home decor fabric is heavy enough I don’t think it needs it.
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