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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Re-Usable Grocery bag tut!

So, here's a pic of this month's fabric postcards. It's the last I have of this cute Valentine fabric, so next year I shall have to get more creative. I must admit to totally enjoying my guild's postcard exchange, it's lots of fun. If your guild doesn't have one you should suggest it!

I've also been busy finishing off the "bags" for my niece's bridal shower. I decided I needed to make a cotton foldup grocery bag and chose to use the garlic and mushroom fabrics. So grab some fabric you think will look cute and let's get started! Measurements don't matter - it's your bag make it whatever size you want. I choose to make the top border about 6" as I wanted to fold it over (see pic on left). I then turned down the top edge and french seamed it so I would not have open seams - this fabric frayed a wee bit! Before doing the french seam make sure you insert a loop of fabric or elastic at the centre point, this will make sense when you go to fold up the bag.
Next I cut a out square of fabric, about 2" square, at the bottom on both sides. Once sewn this allows the bag to have a flat bottom. Personally I like a flat bottom to my bags, even grocery bags - the cans sit in the bag better!. SAVE the small squares you cut out. You'll use them later. Next, with wrong sides facing sew the side seams together with a 1/4" seam, then turn right sides out and sew the sides seams again, this time with a 1/2" seam (in other words enclose or French your side seams).
Now, as shown on the right, sew together the bottom corners using the same technique to enclose your seam. It's a wee bit awkward but worth the effort. Now you're ready to make the straps. Anyway length is fine - again, whatever suits you. I just whacked off 2 strips from my initial piece of garlic fabric about 6" wide each. Fold the strips so that the edges meet in the centre, then fold again onto itself, press and seam along the open side. This makes a fairly sturdy strap.
So, using those wee squares we cut off the bottom, on the right side of the bag you want to fold in each side 1/4", place approximately 3" in from the side and 1" from the top edge, right side down. Then place the bottom of the strap into the square, fold it up encasing the bottom of the strap. I sewed down all four sides of this case then crisscrossed to make sure the strap was securely attached. I don't know the proper name for this technique, but it has a neat look to it. Lastly you want to attach a button to the bag, either above the loop, or below as I did in my example. Here's what mine looked like when finished. Er, actually I should say what my niece's looks like!
And finally, here's "the quilt" all blocks put together and applique and embroidery all done! I've been fighting with it to get the borders completed - they are not cooperating and several blocks have been unsewn then resewn, but I have conquered them. The side borders fit, the top and bottom borders will need some kind of creative solution as they currently are too big. Wish me luck, perhaps next installment will be a pic with the borders on!
Wish me luck!!


Anonymous said...

The bags are FABulous and the quilt is STUNNING!!! It's not easy with a pattern like that. Well done. I hope your niece appreciates and values this quilt when she gets it.

regan said...

'The Quilt' looks amazing! I love the squirrel and all the birds! Sweet! And those pieced blocks all around are gorgeous! Love it!