Thursday, January 20, 2011
Fabric Produce Bags
I have been planning to make these fabric produce bags (from this tutorial by Daisy Janie) since I first saw the post in December, but just got around to it this week. I have long been a big proponent of reusable shopping bags and got funny looks from grocery store cashiers for many years... I was thrilled this past year when DC instituted a 5 cent plastic bag tax, not only because it helped push more people to use reusable bags, but because I no longer got the weird looks. We even came up with a system in our household of keeping the bags in the trunk of the car so that Lawson wouldn't get to the store and realize he had forgotten to bring them. I also am a huge fan of the roll-up/stuffable lightweight grocery bags and generally have at least one if not two or three in my purse (including the ones I made from my tutorial) so that I am never caught without a bag when out and about.
But... I have never had a good solution for produce bags, short of holding on to them and reusing them (which I have done inconsistently). So I was super excited when I saw this tutorial, both because it meets that need and because it has a great design. Check it out - you loop the handle through the shorter loop as a closure, securing the fruits and veggies inside but leaving room for a cashier to peek inside and see what you have.
And the same handle and loop can be used to roll up the bag for ease of carrying - love it!
Best of all, you can loop the bags into a chain to keep them all organized and together so you aren't digging in the bottom of your purse in the produce aisle!
I have recently been going through my stash and weeding out some of the more old-fashioned fabrics that I got when I first started quilting/sewing over 10 years ago. This yellow print was one that I didn't want to just give away but that I also didn't see myself using anytime soon... although as I used it for this project I realized I actually did like it pretty well. I made coordinating blue and red bags (and actually a few other blue ones that aren't shown here) with other fabrics from my stash, so we have really a pretty good set of these bags now! I made the first 3 or 4 with squared off bottoms and then got lazy and didn't bother for the rest, but they all seem like they will work fine.
I am not sure I will use them for everything - some foods like greens I really think store better in the fridge in a plastic bag - but I will definitely use them for the bananas/apples/potatoes types of foods. Luckily I have been doing more of the shopping lately, I am not sure I could convince Lawson to go for fabric produce bags, much less yellow flowered and red polka-dotted ones. I think we may be about to start getting weird looks at checkout again, but that's OK, I can deal.