1: Pick your fabric.
At the fabric I was looking for organic fabric, but they did not have any. I found organic fabric online, but I did not want to spend $15 + per yard for something that I couldn’t see and touch before purchasing, so I decided to just get unbleached 100% cotton muslin from Joann’s. I also found some 100% cotton braided rope in the “by the yard” ribbon and embellishment section. And I already had 100% cotton thread. I went with cotton because it is 100% natural and not made out of plastic. A lot of fabrics (nylon, rayon, polyester, etc) are made with plastic. The only natural fabrics that I could think of are hemp, bamboo, and cotton; the only one that Joann’s had was cotton. I also got the thinnest width I could find. I did this so I wouldn’t have to cut the fabric as much. Oh, and I got three yards of both the fabric and the rope. The muslin was $1.99/yd and the rope was $1.79/yd. I had a 50% off coupon to use on the muslin and a 40% off coupon to use on the rope.
|Here is what the braided rope looks like|
2: Wash and dry your fabric. This is important because 100% cotton shrinks a lot.
3: I ironed my fabric. I am weird and I hate having the wrinkles in my fabric when I am cutting it. Also I think ironing it helps make the ends lay flat so cutting is easier. However, you could probably skip this step if you really want to.
4: Cut. For these bags I cut mine approximately 9 inches wide and used the full width of the fabric (which after washing was about 17 inches). I found it is easiest to leave the fabric folded in half to cut. Otherwise it is so long I had to move it a couple of times in order to cut the whole way across and that was a pain. A couple of times I did have to cut on the top side because the two ends were not always even. I also cut 6 bags this size. I’m saving some fabric to make smaller bulk bags.
5. Serge the sides. You could use a sewing machine, but I love the serger my husband got me for Christmas a few years ago and I am always looking for reasons to use it. Plus, I love that the edges look finished and not raw. Anyways, put right sides together and serge along both sides. The fabric now looks like a bag instead of a strip of fabric.
|Serge both sides together (make sure the fabric is right sides together)|
6. Serge the bottom. I wanted my bags to have a flat bottom. You could skip this step and they would be fine and completely usable. To do this you want to measure about an inch up from the bottom on the serged seam you just made in step 5. Mark this spot. Next measure about an inch in (towards the middle of the bag) from the mark you just made. Mark this spot. Then pinch this spot on both sides and pull out so you have a triangle. Pin. Mark a line across the triangle. This is where you are going to sew. I sewed it first on the sewing machine and then with the serger because it is a lot easier to unpick the stitches from the sewing machine if I messed up.
|Measure abut an inch up from the bottom and make a mark|
|Measure about an inch in (towards the middle of the bag) from the mark you just made. Mark this spot. Pinch this spot.|
|Pinch that spot on both sides and pull out so you have a triangle.|
|Pin. Mark a line across the triangle. This is where you are going to sew.|
|Sew across the line you marked with sewing machine|
|Serge along the sewn line|
7. Repeat step 6 on the other side.
|Your bag will now stand upright|
8. Make the buttonholes for the rope to fit through on the top. Next to one of the seams, measure down approximately 2 ¼ inches from the top and put a mark on both sides of the seam. Make sure to move the mark out from the seam far enough that the buttonhole will not end up on the serged seam. This mark will be the bottom of your buttonhole. Sew the buttonhole however you normally do. JT bought me a new sewing machine in January of this year and it is awesome. All I have to do is put the buttonhole foot on, put a very small button in the foot, line the mark with the red marks on the foot, and push the presser foot down; the machine does it all for me! I’ve never used this feature before as my old machine was not automatic and it is awesome! Use a seam ripper and cut open the buttonholes. Oh and if your buttonholes aren’t perfect (mine definitely aren’t) it really doesn’t matter, because seriously it’s a produce bag.
|Here are my buttonholes marked with a pencil.|
|Here are the finished buttonholes|
9. Fold down the top and pin. You will want to fold the top down approximately 3 /4 of an inch and then fold it down again approximately an inch. Make sure the buttonholes you just made are centered in the fold on the outside of the bag! Also it is easiest to turn the fabric down if the bag is still turned inside out.
|Fold down - first fold|
|Fold down again - the second fold|
10. Sew around the top seam that you just folded. I used a zig zag stitch and put the edge of the seam in the middle of the stitch.
|Zigzag stitch around the fold|
11. turn the bag right side out.
12. Thread the rope through the top seam. I found the easiest way to do this was to put a piece of tape on the edge of the rope (this also helps keep it from unraveling) and then tie ONE knot next to the tape. If you tie more than one it will not fit through the buttonhole. Thread the rope through the fabric. Once it is through tie two more knots on the rope (this will prevent the rope from going back through the buttonhole. Then tie three knots on the other side. Cut the rope and put another piece of tape on the end.
You’re finished! Great job!
|The finished bag full of yummy organic apples for Baby E!|