I've been planning to make a grocery bag holder for ages, to store all the plastic grocery bags I seem to accumulate. When one of my girlfriends bought a really pretty one at a craft fair I got bag envy and I knew I had to make one just like it! (Yes - very sad I know)
I know I'm supposed to be some
kind of super organised wonder woman who always has a reusable bag or a
tote bag with her for impromptu shopping moments. I admit it now -
sometimes (er - quite often!) I fall off the green wagon and need to buy a single use
carrier bag! Storing them all in a grocery bag holder is my way of being green and making sure the bags
get used again (and again).
I had a good root through my craft stash for pretty fat quarters I'd bought on a whim but not used yet, hoping to find fabrics that worked together. I've made a couple now - they're perfect for storing the heavier duty re-usuable shoping bags too.
Cut the larger piece of fabric into 4 pieces:
Cut the smaller piece of fabric into 4 strips, each one measuring 3 1/2" x 21".
If your fabric has a 'right way up' as mine does here (the owls all
need to be the same way up) take care when joining your fabric strips,
to ensure they all face the right way up.
Iron one of the end strips in half along the long edge, then turn under and iron a 3/8" seam allowance. Fold the strip, to form a channel all the way along the seam joing it to the next strip, pinning the raw edge inside the channel. Top stitch the channel, leaving a small gap for the elastic to be inserted into.
Repeat this process for the other end of the bag, without leaving any gap in the topstitching.
Pin and stitch the long edges of the bag together (right sides together). Press and neaten the seams.
To form the hanging strap, fold the strip in half along the long length and make a crease in the fabric. Open out the fabric and fold the fabric up to the crease (wrong sides together). Press along the fold.
Iron a 3/8" seam allowance along the other long edge of the fabric
strip, then fold this long edge over the first fold that you created. It's a bit fiddly at first, but easy once you get the hang of it (as above)
Stitch in place as above.
I added a second row of stitching as I thought this looked pretty!
Attach the strip to the top of the bag, turning the raw ends under before securing in place.
Using a safety pin, attach one end of the elastic close the the open section in the elastic channel. Attach the other end to another safety pin or large blunt needle and thread all the way through the channel. Stitch the 2 ends of the elastic together, then stitch the channel closed.
All you need to do now is pop your grocery bags into the opening at the top
of the holder and pull one out from the elasticated opening at the
bottom when you need to use one.
These grocery bag holders sell really well at fundraising events and they're a brilliant way to use up scraps of pretty fabric from your stash!
There's a fighting chance I'll always have a bag with me now for those imromptu shopping missions!
If you're short on time, this fabulously easy pattern from Jess takes just 20 minutes to make (I've tested it!) and you only need one fat quarter of fabric. You'll find the full tutorial here.