Welcome to project #3 of my Stash Busting challenge 2016: the super useful, super hardy and super cute reusable fold-away bags.
When I moved back to Spain about a year and a half a go I was quite surprised at how very few places gave you a bag with your purchases so I was always caught off guard and I always had to end up buying a bag. I know it’s only a few cents, but when you see the volume of plastics bags accumulated in your kitchen after a weeks worth of shopping, then you realise that it is about time to start taking your own bags with you and do your bit for the planet.
As it happens, I had a look for a fold-away bag that I could carry always with me but, surprise surprise… I didn’t like any of the ones that were available in shops so I decided to make my own. At this point I decided to take my project a step further and make them from recycled vintage linens, just so they were fully “green” bags.
To make the bags, you will need:
1/2 metre of fabric of your choice (ideally washable and resistant)
15cm cotton tape
Needle, thread and sewing machine
How to make it:
(all measurements include 1cm seam allowance)
- Cut two pieces of fabric measuring 42 by 45cm each (bag body)
- Cut two stripes of fabric measuring 8cm by 47 cm (bag straps)
- With right sides together, sew both long sides and one of the shorter sides of your bag body. At this point you can serge or zigzag stitch the raw edges to avoid fraying when washed.
- Still with right sides together, fold out 1cm all around the open top of your bag. Press. Then fold 3cm around the top of the bag and press.
- To make the straps, fold the strap fabric in half lengthwise and press. Then fold in 1cm from each side and topstitch all along the edge of the strap.
- Place the straps on the bag before you topstitch it. Leave 10cm at both ends of the bag and place the straps. You should have a gap of about 16cm between both ends of the strap.
- Now place the cotton tape right in the middle of the bag, catching it under the top seam that we are going to stitch now.
- Topstitch all around the bottom edge of the bag’s top seam top of the bag, catching both straps and the cotton tape. Now topstitch around the top edge of the bag, catching both straps and leaving the cotton tape free.
- If you wish, you can square the bottom stitch across the bottom corners. I’ve boxed mine by 11cm.
- Sew the button in the middle of the bag… and you are done!
I’ve haven’t had the time to sketched a diagram explaining how best to fold the bag, but I’ll upload it in the next few days so please bear with me!
This bag is super handy and since it folds so small, it is great to carry in your bag all the time. As you can see in the picture, I’ve made quite a few and so many never seem to be too many. The make wonderful gifts too because they are pretty and useful (and you can make them last minute!). The only risk is that if you lend them to someone you’ll probably never see them back…
Here there are some more pics of foldaway gorgeousness:
Have a lovely day!