the older i get, the more i notice how much waste there is in this world. or maybe it’s not that i’m just now noticing the waste, but caring about it a lot more. we bring our own bags along when we go grocery shopping, and i keep thinking i need to make more bags so we can take them when we go to places like target or the hardware store. all those darn plastic bags add up. i made this bag about a year and a half ago:
it’s made of Target bags that i cut into strips and crocheted together. i wish i would’ve kept count of how many bags i used, since that’s the first question people tend to ask when they see the bag.
i’m in the midst of making more grocery bags and just completed this one yesterday:
the cotton fabric is pretty sturdy, but not quite as sturdy as a nice heavy canvas. the webbing has been sitting in my stash a lot longer than the fabric – i recall purchasing the webbing at REI back in 1991. i’m not sure how i can tell people “i’m not a packrat” with straight face. well, at least i finally found a use for the stuff!
with all this grocery-bag making, i started thinking about the plastic produce bags i use when i shop at my local Whole Foods market. i re-use them, but they tend not to hold up very well after a few uses, especially if i’m buying a lot of root vegetables. goodness knows i sure loves me some beets.
a few days ago, i finally got a round to googling directions for making reusable produce bags. i found these instructions, which are really great. i used them as a jumping-off point, since i wanted to use what i already had on hand, and i wanted to keep the weight of the bags down as much as possible. i like my Whole Foods market, but i don’t want to pay extra for my already-pricey produce by using bags that have too many bells and whistles.
i started out with some cheap-o nylon tulle.
you can find this stuff at Joann (or another similar chain store) for about $1.30 a yard (or less if you have a 40% off coupon!). it comes in loads of colors.
i experimented with sizes and decided that cutting out two 12.5″ X 12.5″ pieces for each bag would work best for my needs.
i pulled out my serger and strung some wooly nylon thread onto the upper looper. i set the machine for a narrow rolled-hem stitch. i wasn’t going for neatness with these bags, but for whatever would hold up under heavy usage. i serged each of the tops, then placed one piece atop the other and serged the sides and the bottom. easy-peasy.
i knotted the ends and secured each corner with a drop of Fray Check. i then folded the top over and sewed a drawstring through the two thicknesses of fabric using a rounded needle and single strand of crochet thread. i cut the thread, leaving a couple of inches play on each end, then knotted the ends together.
voila! the finished produce bag.
and the bag in action:
i’m glad i had some tulle in a light shade – that should make it easy for the grocery clerks to ring up my produce.
of course, i had to make a bag using some lace i’d purchased a couple of halloweens ago…
that should be fun to take to the store. i’ll fill it with all the produce a good pirate could eat… like ARRRtichokes, ARRRugula and pARRRsley.
[OK, you can stop rolling your eyes at my bad pirate joke now!]
all told, i have 5 produce bags, and i’m planning on making a few more. then i’ll be on to my next project, which also involves a reduction in landfill waste.