Easy Reusable Bags

Each week when we go to pick up our CSA share, we have to bring bags to hold all of our goodies.  The bags we had been using are made out of a recycled plastic-y material.  These bags work well, but I wanted ones that we could just throw in the wash when they get dirty.  My original idea was to make ones that could be folded up into a little pocket.  I then decided that I would probably be to lazy to take the time to fold the bags back up each time after using them.  The solution?  Six simple cotton bags – three for each of us.  Now we each have a set to keep in the trunk.

Choosing the fabric is my favorite part of the project.  I spent way too long browsing through fabric online, but finally decided on two different collections.  I just love the little bunny on this one.  I used quilting cotton, but other fabrics would work too. IMG_20140616_220546869-001You will need 1/2 yard of each main fabric and 1/2 yard of contrasting fabric for the handles. You will use the handle fabric for 3 bags.

Step 1:  Cut off the selvages (about 1/2 an inch).

IMG_20140702_151951532_HDRStep 2:  Cut the fabric for handles.  With the fabric folded in half, cut out 3 pieces of fabric that are 5 inches wide.  You should end up with 3 pieces that are about 44 inches long when unfolded.  Cut each of these pieces in half to make 6 pieces that are about 22 inches long.

IMG_20140702_154511039_HDRStep 3:  Iron fabric.  I recommend ironing all pieces at once.

Handles:  Place right side of fabric down and iron 1/2 inch fold on the top and then fold up the bottom and iron so that there is a 1 inch gap between the two. Then fold fabric in half and iron again.

IMG_20140702_160139347_HDRIMG_20140702_160220014_HDRBody of the bag:  Fold fabric on shorter edge 1/2 inch and iron.

Step 4:  Sew the folded fabric edge of the bag with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Sew around the long edges of the straps with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and set aside.

Step 5:  Attach handles:  Fold over the seam on the bag body 1 inch and iron.  Flip fabric so the right side of the fabric is towards you fold over 2 inches.

IMG_20140702_162337688_HDR

Find the center of the bag and place handles in the folded over edge 3 inches from the center.

  IMG_20140702_162719117_HDRIMG_20140702_162728330_HDR Fold seam edge of bag up to top and iron.  Pin handles.  Sew along the top edge with a 1/4 seam allowance. Reverse machine and go back over the handle area for maximum strength.

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Step 6:  Sew bag sides.  I decided to go with french seams for the sides and bottom of the bag, so there would be no strings to worry about.  Fold the bag in half, right side out.  Sew along the edges.  Trim the excess.  Turn the bag inside out.  Sew along the edges.

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Step 7:  Corners:  With the bag still inside out, cut a 5 inch square from each of the bottom corners. IMG_20140702_172448822_HDR

 

Turn right side out and match the opposite corners together and sew across.  Trim excess and flip inside out.  Sew across.

IMG_20140711_193526806_HDR     IMG_20140711_193546482_HDR

Here are some of the bags in action.

IMG_20140716_104043691   IMG_20140716_103702292

Two bags held all this produce! IMG_20140715_183538535_HDRIMG_20140716_104416426_HDR

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