Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Plastic Bag storer - Tutorial

We moved house a couple of months back.  The new place has much to recommend it, its warmer, dryer and easier to clean, but it is more compact that what we were used to and it doesn't have a dedicated sewing room.   My lil darling can run riot with Mum's craft supplies and Dad's teaching notes when she wants to, so I'm on the look out for better and safer ways to store all my bits and pieces.  I don't have all the answers yet, but as things come to me I plan to run a little tutorials here and there.

A big annoyance I had until just recently was the 'plastic bag draw'.  Honestly, I reckon they breed in there - despite me having countless reusable shoppers, and using the plastic ones to line the kitchen bin with.  Hence last weekend I reclaimed the draw and made this.  I'm pretty sure nearly every one's Grandma or Mother has one of these but they are hard to come by, and tend to be in yucky fabrics when you do find one - so here is a wee project for you, easily completed in an hour or so and using a small amount of fabric, elastic and ribbon, cord or lace.  Katrina - this may be a good starter project for you?

Plastic toggle (optional)
16cm of 8mm elastic
1m cord or ribbon (I used a remnant of red lace) about 15mm wide
25cm strip of 11cm wide fabric (quilter's cotton is perfect)

Fold your strip of fabric in half along the width and cut (so you have two sections about 25cm x 55cm).  Create a 1cm seam along one long edge, right sides together, but stop approximately 7.5cm from the end.  Use pinking shears or self bind the raw edges to tidy them up.  Press seam (including unstitched part) open.
Now edgestitch around the open end of the seam (on the right side about a presser foot's distance from the edge.  Lift the presser foot to stitch across the bottom of the opening and again to go up the other side - like this:

Now fold your fabric, right sides together into a tube.  Align one raw edge 16cm away from the other - parallel all the way down.  Cut off this excess - this can be used for a coordinating oven mitt, to edge a plain teatowel or even an apron pocket.  Seam this edge and neaten in the same way as your first - I used pinking shears.  Press seam open.
For the lower edge, fold up and press 5mm, then fold 1.5cm and press again.  Edgestitch this folded edge on the wrong side, leaving an opening of around 3cm into which you insert your elastic.

Using a safetypin, thread the elastic through and join elastic ends on your machine - backtack quite a bit to make sure this join is strong.  Finish off edgestitching so that the elastic is completely enclosed.  To finish the top edge, fold and press 5mm, then 2cm and edgestitch this into a closed channel - you will have an opening to thread the cord or ribbon through, so sew all the way around.  You can add a toggle to the cord at this stage if you're really flash but it isn't essential. 

Tie off the cord ends and your done!  Happy sewing.  If you have trouble with the instructions, just leave me a comment and I'll help :)

Hope all is well in your world


  1. hi, my sister asked me ages ago to make one of these, I might actually do it now that i've found your tutorial thanks!

  2. thanks - i totally blew this when i tried to make it up - i wrestle EVERY DAY to get a bag out of too tight elastic...


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