Reusable produce bags

EEA87258-75BF-47CC-A310-2E1E395663C7Decades ago, I made fabric gift bags for my children’s birthday party favors.  We still use the versions I made in rip stop nylon for vacation packing and pool visits today.   There is a collection of bags we pull out at holiday time to wrap gifts in.  I enjoy sewing a few every year to add to the collection or give away.

This batch of bags is made from a thrifted cotton sheer curtain.  Nylon would also work nicely, perhaps a cooler iron setting would prevent mishaps?  I washed the curtain and cut it into rectangles roughly 13 inches by 36 inches.

I pressed the short edges after folding them over about a half inch.  Spray Starch is super helpful here.


Then I folded the short edges over another inch and pressed again.


To create the casing for the ties, I opened up the second fold, imagined a 2 inch square box on each of the corners.  I folded each corner down diagonally across this box.



Pressed again, then refolded that one inch back down across the short end. 1F8D3328-ACFF-4283-94BF-211FE2A1ACC1

It was simple to sew across this edge to form the casing.  I made sure to back tack the beginning of each seam and the end  of the casing.


with the sheer fabric it is hard to see the layers.  Here is another photo. Seam ripper shows casing opening.

With the wrong sides together, I stitched each side seam with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Trimmed this down to 1/4 inch.

Turned the bag wrong side out and stitched a 3/8 inch seam on both side seams.


When opened up that seam looks like this (without drawstrings).


The two draw strings pictured are nylon cording cut about 5” longer than the full Circumference of the bag.  This gives room for tying knots at the end.  If your cords fray, you can carefully melt the ends over a candle before running through the casings.  This time I used a bodkin, but a safety pin, hair pin or crochet hook have all been handy.  The two drawstring method makes it fun to pull on each end to cinch up the bag!
I thread both through at once, tie off ends and pull one cord to have one knot at each opening.

2 thoughts on “Reusable produce bags

  1. Thank you for this, Joan! Your instructions are so easy to follow and I love how sturdy the bag is. The way you folded the casing edge in is particularly clever. And your source of fabric is one to be remembered! Happy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

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