Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grocery Totes...

It seems like grocery totes are the easiest thing to make. You can go simple, as I did, or complex, which I can't really see a point in doing! I wanted to make it simple, so I thought about making a pattern myself. I have a Trader Joe's tote I bought there, and I thought I would just copy it. I drew a pattern, more or less the size of the side, and then did two sizes - one of the totes is larger than the others. I used a fabric shower curtain I found at the nice resale shop here in town, and cut out three totes. Of course you need two sides and then four strap pieces for each tote. I chose to make my straps the other way on my totes, which allows more ease of carrying I think. You could put them where ever you please. You sew the straps together, and then turn to the right side. I thought using double fabric for the strap would add some strength as well. I finished all the straps first, and then attached them to the bag after I turned down the top of the bag twice to make a nice little finished edge. I sewed double seams on all the sides and the bottom and I reinforced the straps and the bottom, making faux flat felled seams. This adds a bit of strength. On the first grocery run, I found that the store baggers were familiar with people coming in with their own bags, but the cashier was amazed that I made three of mine! She seemed to think the idea was right up there with the light bulb! I didn't really think so myself, but I let her admire my skills. HA! I might make a few more, as I have enough for a couple more out of that one piece of fabric. It has sort of a plasticized backing. Not too thick, but enough to give the fabric a bit of body. They are working fine for our routine weekly grocery trips. Easier to carry than plastic bags, and more ecological. Try making your own bags, you'll like it! Your main problem with these bags will be remembering to take them with you when you leave the house.

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