I am crossing my fingers that the weatherman's promise of sunshine holds true .. my flip flops are getting soggy with all this rain! The clouds have been tricky the past couple days & my kids have been antsy, staying cooped in the house for the past week or so. With this blog post to complete (not to mention the never ending list of projects I want to work on) & the desire to get my kids outside playing, I resorted to some creative measures. My kiddos are too little to be outside by themselves, so I set up my sewing machine in the dry safety of the garage while they enjoyed the bits of sunshine. With the big door open, they could find quick cover & enjoy some bubbles til the occasional sprinkles passed us by.
I've spared you pictures of my garage, but instead have brought you a tutorial that I hope you find useful.
Plastic grocery bags are one of the hardest things to keep organized. Yes, I own the reusable grocery sacks (that get left in the car about 75% of the time). But I find many uses for the plastic bags around my house, so I don't feel that it's a complete waste when I forget to grab my reusable bags. Grab those plastic bags out from under the sink & let's keep them in one of these fun grocery bag holders... you'll be glad you took the 30 minutes for some stitch therapy & a cute organizing solution!
You will need:
* four fat quarters (you can use fat eighths or 18" wide scraps .. get creative with your fabric stash!)
* one piece of fabric for the lining cut to 16.5" x 26.5"
* one piece of 1" elastic, cut to 10" long.
Select a fat quarter & cut a 3" x 16.5" piece for the handle. Fold the handle in half, right sides together. Stitch along the long edge with a ¼” seam. Turn right side out & press. Set aside.
From the remainder of that first fat quarter & the other fat quarters, trim them into strips of varying widths My bag was made with strips that were 1.5”, 4”, & 5”.
Sew the 18” wide strips together with a ¼” seam. Press seams open. Trim this pieced unit to a 16.5” x 26.5” rectangle to match the lining.
Most of my red strips are 1.5". However, my bag wasn't long enough, so I added a 2" strip to the bottom. It was just perfect for the elastic casing.
Mark the top center of the bag. Position the handle 3/8” from the left edge and just to the right of your center mark. Baste the handle to the top edge approx. 7/8” from the edge. Be sure the seam for the handle is facing away from the right side of the fabric when you baste.
Place the lining, right sides together over the bag front. The handle with be folded down between the layers. Sew the top seam 1” from the top edge. Sew the bottom seam ½” from the bottom edge. The sides will be left open. Turn right sides out & press. The generous 1" top seam helps to give the bag some structure & makes it easier to stuff plastic bags in the top.
Make a casing by sewing 1.25” from the bottom edge, through both layers. Run the elastic through the casing & stitch together, 3/8" away from the ends.
Fold the bag in half, with right sides together. Stitch the side with a 3/8” seam, being sure to lock the stitches at each end & reinforcing where the elastic meets. I finished the inside edges of my bag with a serger, but you can also use a zig zag stitch.
Turn right side out, fill with plastic grocery bags & hang.
Here's another bag that I made. You can be completely free with the design of your own grocery bag holder, using various sized strips to piece, or even a solid cut of fabric for the outside. If you'd rather skip the sewing, we have a few grocery bag holders listed in our shop Phat Quarters!
How are your grocery bags currently stored and organized?
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