Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reusable "green" sandwich bags

If you pack your lunch everyday like I do, you probably use tupperware or Ziploc bags. I hate how bulky tupperware containers are... and I hate how wasteful Ziploc bags can be.

Enter: reusable sandwich bags!

I have been eyeing these on Etsy for a while now. But, they were just a little too pricey for me. I knew I could make them myself with my own fabric choices. Plus, I love sewing, but hardly ever make anything for myself.

So, I looked a couple tutorials, and while they gave me great ideas and inspiration, none of them were exactly what I wanted. Plus, I knew that some of these tutorials were just making it more complicated than it needed to be. I ended up using techniques from two different tutorials to make the bags I wanted (from Clover Creek Baby and Crafty Staci).

I ended up with something I love -- I can't wait to use them! I decided to post a photo tutorial. Keep reading below for pictures and step-by-step directions.

1. Cut:

7" x 15" piece of cotton fabric (this is a great way to use scrap fabric!)
7" x 15" piece of PUL, nylon, or other water-resistant fabric (I used PUL)
6" piece of sew-on velcro

2. Pin the loop side of the velcro to one edge and the hook side of the velco to the other edge of the PUL fabric. -- Use the RIGHT SIDE of this fabric! -- I pinned mine about 3/4" in from the edge.

3. Sew on the velcro using matching thread.

4. Place the fabric right side down on top of the PUL/velcro. The two pieces should be right sides together. Pin on the two short edges.

5. Sew along the two short edges using a 1/4" inch seam allowance (I used the edge of my presser foot as a guide).

You will end up with two sewed sides (short edges) and two open sides (long edges).

6. Turn the fabric right-side out and iron the two sewed sides.

7. Top-stitch the two short, sewed edges with an 1/8" seam allowance (I use halfway between my needle and presser foot edge as a guide).

8. Fold the fabric in half so the right sides of the cotton fabric are facing each other. You should see the velcro on the outside (this will actually be the inside of the bag). Pin on the open sides -- leave the top unpinned.

9. Sew along the two pinned edges using a 1/4" inch seam allowance.

10. Serge, zigzag stitch, or use pinking shears to reduce the amount of fraying on these edges. 

11. Turn the bag right-side out. You're done! :)

Now... make yourself a stash so you'll always be ready to pack a sandwich or snack!
[I made snack-size bags with the same methods, but using 7" x 8.5" pieces of fabric.]

I will only put sandwiches and dry snacks inside, so I plan to simply rinse out the insides with soapy water and dry in the dish drainer. :) I'm sure they could also be machine-washed, as well... but I haven't tried. Enjoy!

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