Reusable vegetable bags

Veggie bags
Grocery bags must be purchased in Finland, which probably explains why
most people bring along their own reusable bags. There’s even the
occasional shopper sporting a wicker basket instead of the plastic
standard. But even though we dutifully arrive at the store armed with
canvas reusables, there’s still the matter of those plastic produce
bags—free, abundant, and so hard to avoid.

Recently, there’s been much talk of reusable, handmade items to replace
all sorts of disposables from plastic wrap for sandwiches to the
produce bags that this household has had such trouble evading. I’ve
seen photographs of beautiful eco designs in Sewing Green, and Made
from Scratch
features the clever idea of transforming a t-shirt into a
drawstring carryall. But I wanted something light, durable, and easy to
clean, and I certainly didn’t want to go out and purchase fabric that
was destined to carry dirty potatoes. That’s how the old burlap sac,
formerly of laundry bag fame, finally received its calling.

The reusable vegetable bag is part of an ongoing effort to eliminate
disposables from our lives as much as possible. Next up, maybe sandwich
wraps? Or snack bags? If you’ve had success replacing a disposable with
something handmade or know of a great tutorial, please share!

Here’s how to fashion the simplest of drawstring bags:

1. Cut two identically-sized pieces of fabric and lay one on top of the
other so that the right sides are together. Pin the bottom and side

2. Sew all the way down one side and across the bottom, leaving about a
¼ inch seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning. Sew up the final
side, leaving about 2 inches at the top opening. This is will be casing
for the drawstring. Backstitch to secure the seam.

3. Fold both these open side seam ends back (onto the outer part of the fabric), pin, and sew near the folded edge.


4. Until now, the bag has been inside out. Reverse it, so that the right side is facing out.

5. Fold the top drawstring casing in half (tuck the loose ends in
a second fold underneath if you want clean, finished edges) and pin.


6. Sew along the bottom folded edge, leaving the gap for the drawstrings. Now there’s just the drawstring!

7. Tie a length of lightweight rope or string to a safety pin and use
the safety pin to guide the string through the drawstring casing. Pull
it out the other end and cut the string at your desired length. Tie the
two ends together in a secure, overhand knot, and maneuver the
drawstring around so that the tied end is hidden inside the casing.
You’re ready to carry some vegetables!

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