|I LOVE this fabric! I chose to use red thread because of the cherries. I also used one of my sewing machine's 6 non-straight or ziz-zag stitches for decorative purposes.|
Let me be upfront about this right now: my motto when sewing is "Good Enough" Is Better Than Trying To Be "Perfect" and Losing My Mind.
I am NOT a talented sewer; I don't know much about selvage edges or which direction the weave of the fabric is going or things like that, but I have figured out how to make a few things I like that aren't too complicated for me. Still Playing School requested a tutorial for these cloth bags, so here it is
These instructions will help you make 2 cloth bags. I like to use 2 layers of fabric to make sure the bags are strong; my bags can hold 2 gallons of milk without breaking. I'm sure there are other, better ways to do this, but this is the way I know how to do it.
- 1 yard of 45" wide material for the outside of the bag (I like to pick something fun and/or pretty for this one.) (Er, I think I used basic cotton fabric.)
- 1 yard of 45" wide material for the lining of the bag (Often, I will pick a solid color of less expensive cloth for this layer.)
- 30" of 45" wide material for the straps (You will lose about 2" of length on the straps when you sew them to the bag. Use a measuring tape to see if this is a length you like; if not, make them shorter. I like them long enough to hang over my shoulders so I can carry in lots of groceries in one load. Also, this is actually enough fabric to make 11 straps, so keep that in mind if you're making more than two bags; this gives you enough straps for 5 bags.)
- Remember that lighter fabric will look dirty sooner, but these bags are easy to wash, so take both things into consideration when choosing.
- Thread that matches or coordinates with your fabric
- Tape measure or yard stick
- Iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine
- Serger (but if you don't have a serger, I hear you can use the zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine instead) (for the story behind why I have a serger, despite not being an expert sewer, see here)
Cutting and pinning the bag
|This is the fabric I picked to go with the outer fabric. I made 2 bags with a dark blue lining, 2 with a light blue lining, and used dark blue (or was it black?) straps for all 4 bags.|
|Here is ~one yard of 45" wide fabric, washed, dried, and ironed.|
|Cut the fabric in half so that you end up with (2) ~22"x36" pieces. I was able to use the pattern on this fabric to cut relatively straight down the middle.|
|Cut the lining fabric to the same dimensions. Since this fabric didn't have a pattern, I folded it in half....|
|...held it down with one hand so it wouldn't move, and then cut along the fold.|
|Pin every so often around the edges so the fabric doesn't shift when you move it.|
NOTE: If you are not using the finished edges of the fabric for the top of your bag, you will want to serge or ziz-zag the two pieces together right now.
|You are going to cut the straps ~30" long, 4" wide. I like to use a yardstick for this part.|
|Iron the strip.|
|Fold the strip in half the long way and iron again.|
|Open the strip and notice the line you ironed in.|
|Fold the top down to the middle line. Fold the bottom up to the middle line. Iron again.|
|Fold the strip in half so that all of the unfinished edges are on the inside and iron again.|
|Pin the strap so it doesn't come unfolded.|
Next up: Part 2, the Sewing (and more ironing and pinning)