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Topic: Reusable Grocery or Shopping Bags/Totes OPINIONS WANTED  (Read 885 times)
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Krissy.me
« on: February 07, 2014 12:52:45 PM »

I am tired of the plastic bags from grocery stores and super stores (target, k-mart, walmart) and I want to make myself some fabric ones.   I live in a rural community and I have never seen anyone use them anywhere local to me before, although I have seen them for sale in stores.

But I want to sew myself some pretty ones.... Although I buy most of my meat in the butcher shop, I plan on using animal print fabric for bags that will be used with meat exclusively.  Most of the meat bought at the grocery store is for my dogs, (two eat a raw diet) so I want separate bags just for meat.  That way I can make sure I don't have cross contamination with meat and non-meat items and they are washed more frequently.  


But my question is this, does anyone have a style or size they like the best?  I have seen various styles posted on sites like pinterest and blogs.  But I thought I would get some feedback from those that already use them.

I don't want them too big so they aren't overfilled and get too heavy.  I have bad fibromyalgia and often my hands hurt badly so I don't want to encourage store staff to overfill them.  But also so my kids can lift them when I get home to bring the shopping in as well.  

I'm thinking they need to be lined so there are two layers of fabric to make them more durable, as I can imagine a single layer of fabric ripping easily.   Because I want pretty bags I plan on using quilters fabric on the outside but keeping costs down a tad by using a regular solid fabric on the inside.  

I've made simple bags before that are rectangles and added matching fabric straps or is the single cut better that is shaped more like store plastic bags?

I googled these images and put them side by side in one pict in case you weren't sure what I was talking about.  I've made plenty of simple bags like #2 with cutting out rectangles for the sides and sewing them all together and adding handles.  (they make great trick-or-treat bags)
  

Thoughts?
Other Options?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014 12:54:23 PM by Krissy.me » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I make soap and other "cosmetics" as defined by the FDA and in my spare time I sew.... Sewing is therapy for me in dealing with life stresses and my chronic pain.  When I hurt and can't sew, I plan what I want to sew.  I also have a great husband, three kids and three fur kids.....
wendiek
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2014 01:26:09 PM »

How about a Morsbag? No lining, but with French seams so very durable. Stronger than you might think.
Easy to sew and I just love them! Made a few and will sew more in the future.

Here's the link to the Morsbag website with a free pattern and tutorial, even a video if needed.

And here is the gallery of the 'craft this tote-swap" filled with lots fantastic Morsbags!

They are fun and as pretty as you want them to be!  Cheesy
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CraftyChef
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2014 04:35:34 PM »

Why not make a variety of bags? I personally need big, boxy bags with longish handles so I and my offspring The Precioussss can swing 'em around our big winter coat shoulders and carry the whole lot of suckers up 3 flights of stairs to the apartment in one go!
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Jinjeet Phoenix
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014 03:20:15 AM »

I love the bag that ScrappySue made. It is perfect for my needs. I can make it as wide or deep as I like and it has a straight bottom. Great for anything square you put in it. You can find it here:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=228521.0#axzz2sjClZDDl
There are lots of tutes here that I'm sure you'll find one close to what you want. Hope this helps.
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Krissy.me
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2014 08:13:46 AM »

@ wendiek ~ Thanks for the links I hadn't seen those bags before!   Looks quick and easy which is something I like when I think that I am going to need quite a number of these bags.   I live in a very small town and actually do a very small amount of shopping here.   So most of my shopping is done on either or both of the nights my son as taekwondo class in a larger town with much better shopping choices and prices. 


@ CraftyChef ~ What an excellent point about needing different sized bags.  That would be very handy with different grocery items as some things are big/bulky but lightweight.   I also had thought about making ones with longer handles that can be put on the shoulder as well.  Many times when my hands/arms are hurting I would most definitely take advantage of that option.   But also it's easier to open doors with your hands free.   But I also live in a cold climate so longer handles are needed because of bulky warm coats......   


@ Jinjeet Phoenix ~ OMG I Love those little loops on the sides to make it easy to hang up on the commercial made thingy that hold the plastic bags to make bagging easier!!!  I never thought of that!!!  What a brilliant idea!!!   That was one thing I struggled with when thinking of this on how to fill them easily as it's not a common thing for people to use them around here so I want to make them user friendly.   But I also hope to inspire more people to use them as well.  Even if they are the .99 cent bags that so many stores offer that are commercially made.


Plus sewing these bags isn't rocket science, and my 10 year old loves to sew so it's a project I want to have her help me with.   And if they aren't perfect its not a big deal at all. 


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I make soap and other "cosmetics" as defined by the FDA and in my spare time I sew.... Sewing is therapy for me in dealing with life stresses and my chronic pain.  When I hurt and can't sew, I plan what I want to sew.  I also have a great husband, three kids and three fur kids.....
kaz814
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014 12:25:16 PM »

I like the square bottomed bags because they fit boxes and such more easily - especially when the bottom is reinforced.  Smiley
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Krissy.me
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014 10:24:39 AM »

Life has been so busy lately.... Ugggg don't you hate how life sometimes gets in the way.   So I haven't sat at my sewing machine to do anything yet. 

But hubby has weekend plans with a hunting buddy of his (coyote tournament) so he will be out of the house for pretty much the weekend except to sleep.  So I'm going to take that as some personal time to do what I want, so this is going to be a weekend project for me.   So I hope to get some made up this weekend and I'll get some pictures of what I accomplish. 

Kaz, I like square bottomed bags for the same reason.   Even if boxes aren't put in there I think they might stand a bit better as well. 
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I make soap and other "cosmetics" as defined by the FDA and in my spare time I sew.... Sewing is therapy for me in dealing with life stresses and my chronic pain.  When I hurt and can't sew, I plan what I want to sew.  I also have a great husband, three kids and three fur kids.....
Krissy.me
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2014 07:11:17 AM »

Well I did get one made.... I took a wild stab a the size, as I didn't want it to be too big, nor to small.  But I am really happy with it.  I cut squares for the outer and lining and cut out a square corner out of the bottom corners to make a square and flat bottom.  I used a bit of "extra" fabric that I had in my stash leftover from another project.  So I didn't have enough for the handles but that's fine, it still looks nice.   I'll get a photo of it shortly.

Rather than deal with leaving the bottom seam open at the bottom and dealing with turning it inside out and flattening that seam out at the top I opted to just sew the outer fabric and the lining together at the top they way they should be in place, leaving the raw edges exposed.  But covering those raw edges up with a strip of bias tape (that I made) before sewing on the straps.   I also used heavy pellon in the straps to give them some shape and strength, although I didn't add anything to the bag part other than the fabric.  It does fold up nice if you tuck in the the sides before folding.  I haven't decided if I will add a button or just hold them closed with a rubber band before opening them at the store.

But so far I have just made the one, so I do need to make several more, plus a few that are dedicated to be used with just meat when I go to the butcher.  That way they can be laundered more often and reduce cross contamination.   But it's a start and I'm very pleased with the results.   They will wash up nice and will also be pretty to use.   So many of those .99 cent ones sold in stores aren't exactly washable and I want to launder them often as needed.  But pretty, darn it I want them to be pretty.   I know I could use sheets or recycle fabric to make my shopping bags, but I want MY bags to use cool nifty fabric....  each different and unique.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I make soap and other "cosmetics" as defined by the FDA and in my spare time I sew.... Sewing is therapy for me in dealing with life stresses and my chronic pain.  When I hurt and can't sew, I plan what I want to sew.  I also have a great husband, three kids and three fur kids.....
kaz814
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2014 03:17:46 PM »

Woo hoo!  It sounds great.  Have you posted it yet?  (I'm a bit behind in keeping up with new posts. Ooops.)
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laurakam
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014 04:01:51 AM »

I have made lots ofwww.lazygirldesigns .com one yard tote bags (free pattern). They are a great size and a great way to use up a lot of my "what was I thinking" fabric !  I started boxing the bottoms for a 4" width . Very quick to sew , sturdy and they fit on the prongs for bags at the store.
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