This week I made some lightweight cotton bags to use when buying bread and veggies. I previously bought some lightweight cotton veggie bags when I was living in the USA and needed a couple of extra.
When we make our own sourdough bread we wrap the baked bread in a tea towel for storage. Lately, we haven’t had time to make our own bread so I made cotton bread bags to take to the shop up the road that sells the most amazing bread! I made two bags so that one could be washed and taken to the shop while the other was in use
This DIY project is super easy.
You will need:
- Lightweight cloth – I used cotton muslin
- Ribbon for drawstring – I just used whatever I had hoarded from receiving gifts
Steps for making your own washable veggie and bread bags
1. Choose some cloth. I chose some cute, printed, cotton muslin (yes, I know un-printed would have been greener…..but definitely less cute and maybe I would be less likely to use them). You could use tulle (the stuff tutu’s are made from) if you’re really worried about weight. However, I’m trying to avoid plastic where I can. All up my cotton bread bags weigh 20 g each and my cotton veggie bags weigh 10 g each so I’m not worried about them adding to my overall produce cost.
2. Cut your cloth to size. I used a 105 m x 85 cm piece for each of my bread bags (final size of 50 x 40 cm) and a 75 x 75 cm piece for each of my veggie bags (final size 35 x 35 cm). I cut (and sewed) them pretty roughly, maximising my cloth use. I was not too worried about the finish because I don’t plan to wear them and they shouldn’t have too much rough treatment.
3. Fold you material with the right sides together (if you have right/printed sides). Pin 2 edges ready for stitching. Leave the end that will be the opening un-pinned.
4. Stitch (using a machine or by hand) along the two pinned edges and you will end up with the basic structure of your bag.
5. Next you need to make a small channel at the top of the bag for the drawstring. Keeping the bag inside-out, fold ~3 cm of the opening edge and pin to what will be the inside (currently the outside) of the bag. Pin then stitch leaving a small opening to feed a ribbon through – I’ve left mine near one of the seams. You may need to remove part of your machine to do this if your bags are small.
6. Use a safety-pin to guide your ribbon/tie/string through the channel and tie off when the ends meet
7. Success! Turn the right way out and your bag is ready to be used
8. Compost the scraps. Any natural fibres (e.g. cotton, bamboo, wool – probably a bit heavy!) will break down in your compost heap.
9. Now for me to remember to take these every time I go to buy bread and veggies!