Monday, July 02, 2012

I made a reusable shopping bag from trash

I like to try out different sewing patterns, vintage and new, but I rarely like one enough to use it more than once.
Big Fat Bag is an exception.
I've made three bags so far, and I intend to make more.

The pattern is simple--you cut open a paper grocery sack, and this becomes the pattern.
You use temporary spray adhesive to sandwich the lining, two interfacings, and your exterior fabric together.
You then stitch through all layers, quilting them together.
Stitch up the sides and bottom, and use bias strips to finish the top edge. Done!
Pros: super simple pattern.
Cons: there are no interior or exterior pockets because the stitching lines would be visible, and the quilting lines would interfere.

I decided to try to sew a reusable shopping bag from a leftover bag of dry cat food, since the bag is a woven plastic material and would be sturdy.
I used one cat food bag for one side, added 1/2" to the bottom, and stitched them together so the design was face up on each side.
Two similar bag designs were used
Since this is just a shopping tote and is already sturdy, I decided not to add the batting layers or the lining.
I did add both to reinforce the base.
I was showing the bag-in-progress to someone at work, and she said, "is this going to be part of it?".
She meant why would the UPC be in the finished product.
Um, hello, I'm making something from trash here, does it really matter?
But since I had extra bits, I covered up the code on each side
It turned out pretty cute!

I decided to sew the handles from the inside of the base up the sides to increase durability, but sewed them on the interior so I left the cute kitty design visible on the exterior.
I sewed the handles on while the pattern was still flat, then stitched the sides and base.


Blogger Claudia said...

My, Barb, that's pretty cool! Well done!

I've been pondering for a while to fuse plastic bags and sew them into totes or cases, or reuse other waste material... Come to think about it, there is much more waste today than in my childhood days, although at that time, there was not such an elaborate system of recycling means.
Now, any time I empty a glass or can or package, I wonder if it shouldn't have at least a second life...

Cute bag, good idea!


9:40 PM  
Blogger kt said...

Oh Barb, that's great! I've been noodling with a bag made from my husband's old jeans--LOVE the idea of using a grocery bag as a pattern! (strikes forehead--D'oh!) That will be the perfect start for next time.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous inbaliya said...

Lovely project! (And we do have many cat food and dog food empty sacks)

12:19 PM  

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