I participated in my first ever swap with Kathie’s Two Frog Home “Stocking Stuffer Swap” What fun!
Swap items are rolling in, and it has been so enjoyable to see what creative things everyone has come up with. (For an overview, see Kathie’s posts on her blog.)
I decided to make re-usable produce/bulk bags from unbleached muslin. I didn’t have a pattern, but as you may know by now, that doesn’t usually slow me down. I looked at a few versions available online to help me decide what ‘features’ I wanted, and then started to sew.
Now, I am the first to admit that I am not a spatial-relations thinker. I do words, not mechanics. So, when I’d sewn my first set of french seams (to keep the crumbly bits from having access to frayed fabric edges, naturally), I had to scratch my head a bit to figure out where to put the, uh, hole, for the the drawstring.
A few ripped seams, re-tries, and words that might be considered Bad Language later, I’d figured out the speediest way to get an attractively passable french-sewn edge with a top hem that included an opening for the drawstring.
- Started with several yards of unbleached muslin yardage
- Double fabric to get a 16-inch overlap – the fold will become the bottom of the produce bag
- Trim with rotary cutter from selvage to selvage
- Cut three (approximately) 14.25 widths – or whatever is 1/3 of your bolt width
- Sew french seams up each side of bag, from bottom fold to top edge
- Hand turn scant 1/4 in. hem to outside of bag, iron in place
- Sew approx 2 in. to tack down hem over one side seam (this will be your opening for drawstring
- Hand turn (approximate) 1.5 in. hem for drawstring, sew around bag, leaving opening where previously sewn to let out drawstring
Ok – I know those instructions aren’t super clear; they’re not meant to be a tutorial, just a description of the steps I took to make the bags.
Then I printed the Wordle designs I’d created (I had two) onto Iron-on transfer paper, then applied to the bags.
It took a bit of doing to find out how to best apply heat and pressure to get a truly good image on the bags. Next I used unbleached twill tape for the drawstrings, threaded through the hem with safety pin, and tied knots at each end so they won’t fray too badly.
This swap was a blast to participate in – the creating was fun, but the receiving has been the most enjoyable. It is so exciting to get a new little something in the mail every few days. Hooray!