Fabric Produce Bags
Hey Threadsters and welcome to my teeny tiny snippet of the internet.
I felt as though it was time for you and I to get down and thready creating something awesome, reusable and eco-friendly. I have started making reusable fabric fruit and veggie bags to replace those pesky plastic guys at the supermarket. This can be a bit of trial and error but they are so fantastic you’ll want to make loads and give them to all of your friends! Here are some examples of what I have already created.
What you will need:
Lace curtains or other strong lightweight material (op shops or thrift stores are great for these)
Ribbon or something similar to serve as the drawstring.
Sewing machine (or you could hand sew these with a needle and thread)
Let’s get to Making Magic
So the first thing to decide is what size to make the bags. You could grab one of those plastic guys as a guide or you could totally make it up. I have chosen a few sizes on account of not all fruit and veggies being created equal.
Side note: if your fabric is lightweight and not too holey, you could also use it for bulk foods – dried herbs, nuts, etc.
I have chosen a blue mesh remnant, a cotton remnant and a pink tie dye dress to upcycle. Here I have measured and cut out pairs of rectangles in various sizes. I don’t have standard sizes; I just do what I feel like. Pin the pairs together, right sides facing OUT and we’ll do a fancy French seam.
But I’ve Never Done a French Seam?!
Hush my friend, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Basically, you start by stitching around three sides of your bag leaving the top open. You can use whatever seam allowance you feel comfortable with. Note: Do not forget to trim the corners and any excess fabric before sewing the second round of seams.
French seams are great because you can use a regular sewing machine and have a really neat finish both on the inside and the outside.
Turn the bag inside out and stitch the three sides again, making sure that you encase your initial seam allowance within the second round of stitching. This means when you turn your bag right side out again the inside seam will be nice and neat.
Hang on, Where Does the Drawstring Come in?
Right now. Make sure your bag is inside out and fold down the top in order to create a small hem. You could iron/pin this but I tend to just start it off and go slowly, stopping every now and then to keep the fabric even.
Once you’ve sewn that, you can fold down the top again creating a channel for your drawstring.
You do not have to do the initial hem or the French seam in the last step, it just makes all the finishes neater and probs makes the bag stronger with double stitching (potatoes are heavy, yo).
Note: You do not have to put a drawstring. You could sew a tie just below the top of the bag and just tie it up or even stitch a hair tie as a closure.
The Final Step – Feeding the Drawstring Through the Channel
Once you have created the channel for your drawstring you can turn your bag right side out. I usually grab my scissors and make a teeny snip on the inside or the outside of that channel. Measure whatever you are using for your drawstring to make sure you have enough with a little excess.
At this point, it’s time to meet your new best friend, Safety Pin. Attach the safety pin to the end of your drawstring and inch that sucker all the way around your bag until it pops out the snip that you made.
Tie the two ends of the drawstring together and TADA!
You now have some fab fruit and veg bags to take to your local farmers’ market or supermarket. These also make great gifts for all your environmentally friendly peeps.
Warning: Making these is highly addictive.
I’d love to see some of your DIYs.
Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time –
May your bobbin always be full,