Green bags are a totally brilliant idea. But I’m an inherently forgetful sort, well intentioned as can be, but vague. So, I need something small. Something that lives in my bag. When I swing by the supermarket without planning, it’s there; when I make an unplanned trip to the library, I’ve got somewhere to put them. So something small, portable, foldable, is the way to go, in my opinion.
In order to make up for my years of consumerism and plastic bag using, I present you a tutorial for a reusable bag that folds up into its own convenient pocket. To make it even more eco and bad-behaviour-absolving, it is made from old pillowcases. Make, be happy, be good to yon ole environment!
Apologies to all and to all a good night for not having these earlier. Life’s a crazy place, y’all know I’m sure. So, this is a wee bit late for making Christmas presents, but you could give them to everyone, anyway. Have a present for New Years! The end of Hannukah! Because I like you! Because it’s Tuesday! Who needs an excuse??
WHAT YOU NEED
* One pillowcase, preferably second hand. Recycling is great!
* One sewing machine
* One overlocker, preferably (or serger, if you’re so inclined). If you don’t have one, either bind the edges with bias binding, or add a seam allowance and hem it a bit. Cut-up pillowcases often fray.
* Sewing scissors
I like to use cool retro pillow cases from op shops, or rejects from Ikea (where the green flowers came from…). You could just cut some fabric to size, I’ve done that too… but I like the patterns on pillow cases. And they’re so conveniently sized. BUT! I get all wiggly (in a bad way) about other people’s corner washing machine lint. Fortunately, all you need to combat that is to turn all the inside corners out, and to stick it in the washing machine. Easy peasy.
WHAT YOU DO
* First, you bear with me because I’ve never written a tutorial before.
* Turn your pillow case inside out and cut off the seams, as close as you can. Chuck em out, stuff em in a softie, throw them in a corner, do what you like with them. We don’t need em anymore.
* Cut your pillowcase down, so you have a long rectangle that is a pillowcase wide and 60 cm long.
* Fold it in half lengthways. At the open, non-fold end, cut a scoop out of both sides, so it looks like a singlet. The singlet shoulders should be roughly 8 cm wide, and the scoop should be about 20 cm deep.
* For yours and my sake, I hope it looks like this:
* Use the fabric you cut out of the scoops to cut two small rectangles, one measuring 16 x 15 and the other 12 x 15 cm. This will become the pocket your bag will fold into. They should look like this:
* Overlock one 15 cm edge of each rectangle, like so:
* Then, put these two small rectangles together, right sides out, lined up like the picture here, and overlock the other three sides together.
* OK. Now, open up the body of the bag. Overlock around each of the singlet scoops, and the outer edges from the top of the handles, down as far as the scoops go (that’s about 20cm down). So – just to clarify, you’ve just overlocked six different places. Right? Right. Great. It’s a bit hard to see here, but maybe a picture will help.
* Then fold the bag in half again, wrong sides out. Overlock the sides together, from the bottom up about 40 cm. This should take you to the point you overlocked in the last step. While you’re there, overlock the top of the singlet straps together.
GOOD WORK FRIENDS, you’ve done all your overlocking. Now grab yer sewing machine.
* While your bag is still inside out and outside in, grab your pocket. Position it in the centre of one of the scoops, with the smaller-sided pocket facing you. Sew it onto the bag. Try not to feel nauseous from the blurry photo.
* Check out the bottom of your bag. You need to make a fold on each side measuring about 5 cm long. Fold one forward, and the other back, like this, except hoping your bag is in focus:
* Sew along the folds.
* Turn it the right way out. Isn’t it close to looking like a bag? How exciting!
* Ok. Now, your handles are too wide. You want to fold them in half, pin them so the overlocked edges are together, and sew them shut along that edge. Make the seam run about 10 cm from the top down on each side.
* Then, my friends, you’re done. Except you still need to know how to fold it up.
* Lie it down with the pocket untucked, smaller pocket side facing you.
* Fold the handles down.
* Fold one third of the bag inward, then the other.
* Fold in half lengthways,
* then in half again.
* Then tuck it into the pocket.
AND guess what? Because it’s my 100th post and because I like you, I’m going to give away another bag. I mean, I know I just gave you instructions to make your own…. but maybe you want a pre-made one too. Comment on this post, if you want it. You can leave comments until the VERY END OF 2008. Midnight, New Years Eve.
This one, she be for you:
Hey, youse all. I’m super grateful that you want to look at my words and share in your thoughts. I appreciate you all every time I read your comments, or your blogs, or any old thing. I don’t show appreciation well, but I feel it. Thanks to you! YOU. And I hope you have a totally terrific Christmas, if you believe in that sort of thing.