Friday, July 8, 2011

Day #118 - How to: Plastic Bag Sleeve

Good morning!

I thought I would share a "How to" this morning.  I call them "plastic bag sleeves" - you know, a place to stash those bags from the grocery store that you end up with when you forget yours?  I bring a sleeve with me to market to recycle them and put peoples fabrics in.  It hangs perfectly from the side of my tent with a clip!

You'll need:
* fabric that ends up 16 1/2" x 26" (ie: if you want to sew pieces together like I did for the first one you made, you need that to work with)
*elastic (I used 1/4")
*some straight pins and a safety pin

1. If you are using scraps, or just want a look like the one I did, you need to sew together several pieces. You CAN do French seams with them. To do that, pin WRONG sides together and sew 1/4" seam. Flip the piece RIGHT sides together and PRESS! I found this KEY in doing French seams! Sew 1/2" seam, open and press again.

2. Create top and bottom casing. Fold over wrong sides together 1/4" - 3/8" and press. Fold over AGAIN, I did 1/2", press that. Do both top and bottom. Sew to create casings.

3. If your fabric has a pattern to your fabric that needs top/bottom, figure out what it is. ( Bottom will have smaller elastic.) Using safety pin attached to end of elastic, feed it through and pin on the other end. Gather the fabric and pin on the other end once you decide on the opening you want at the bottom: not too big or too small as the bags need to be able to come through. Repeat at the top. Make the opening bigger. I did about twice the size of the bottom.

4. You now need to sew the side seam. If you are doing a French seam, go WRONG sides together, pin and sew a 1/4" seam. (***Be sure to CATCH the elastic at both ends...'cause if'll be seam ripping and re-doing...and I know that because... :o)...) Flip it inside out, PRESS and get that nice neat edge! Back to the machine and sew 1/2" seam to conceal the original seam and you are ALMOST DONE!
If you are doing a regular seam, go RIGHT sides together and sew the 1/2" seam.

5. For the handle you have a couple of options. Take a 2 1/2" x 8" piece of fabric. RIGHT sides together, sew 1/2" seam and then turn RIGHT side out. I find that easier said than done!! I ended up using a pair of tweezers to pull the little bugger! Press and then sew both ends to the inside of your sleeve. The other option (which I was soooo ready for!) is to use a piece of coordinating ribbon!

6. Viola! You have a neat and tidy place to put those bags!

 Have a GREAT day, folks!
Quilty hugs from NH,

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