The only bad thing about regularly stocking up on fresh fruits and veggies at the supermarket is the once use plastic bags which are offered. These DIY Reusable Produce Bags are just the ticket to kick those plastic bags to the curb. Really, any kind of thin cotton fabric would work, but sheer fabric will allow you to see what is being stored inside. Let’s get started!
You will need:
- Fabric – if you use sheer fabric you can easily see which vegetables are inside
- String or cord
Cut your fabric – per bag you will need two rectangles measuring 40cm x 30cm .
Make a mark 5cm down from the top corner on both long sides of both pieces of fabric.
Make a 0.5cm hem at the top of each side by folding fabric towards the wrong side and pressing – your hem needs to go down as far as the mark you made in the previous step. If you’re using slippery sheer fabric like we are, you’ll probably need to pin or clip the hem before sewing so it doesn’t unfold. Topstitch close to the edge of this hem, backstitching once you are 5cm (2in) away from the top.
Make a hem at the top of both pieces of fabric by folding the edge 0.5cm towards the wrong side and pressing.
Next, make the channel for the drawstring by folding the top edges of both pieces of fabric down to match the marks you made earlier. Pin or clip together and sew along close to the edge to secure, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.
We are going to use French seams for this project so that the raw edges are hidden and cannot fray. Start by placing your fabric WRONG sides together and sew along the bottom and sides with a 0.5cm seam allowance.
At the top of the sides, you need to stop and secure your stitches with a few backstitches just below your drawstring channel.
Trim your seams if they turned out a little large or uneven and snip the points off the corners without cutting your stitches. Turn the bag the wrong way out and press carefully, ensuring that the seams are pushed out neatly.
It helps to roll the seam between your fingers to get it aligned properly – you may also need to clip the seam in place so it doesn’t move while you’re sewing.
Sew along the bottom and sides again, this time with a slightly larger seam allowance to make sure the raw edges are enclosed within the seam. This is easier with sheer fabric as you can see the seam allowance from the previous step and make sure you’re sewing just inside it. Again, stop and backstitch just below your drawstring channel.
Turn your bag the right way out. Feed the string or cord through both sides of the drawstring channel – you can either attach a small safety pin or tie the string to a piece of thread and use a blunt needle to help you feed it through.
Cut the string at your desired length – don’t forget to tie the ends together to stop them fraying. If you like, you can also thread another length of string through the other way to make the bag easier to close.