Sewing: more grocery bags

This county project to make grocery bags for members of the community (who might not otherwise be able to afford reusable grocery bags), has got be a bit bogged down. It’s dismaying to think that I’ve produced only 20 of the 18,000 or so that are needed. Twenty is the right number to produce, of course — if there are 900 people sewing them. I don’t think there are 900 people sewing them.

But maybe this post will convince other people to try to produce grocery bags, too. They’re not hard — four 18″x18″ squares, and some additional strips for the handles — you can make a bag with a yard of fabric, or two half-yards if you want a different interior than exterior.

That’s the beauty and elegance of this design, really. It’s eight parts, all of them square or rectangular. One yard of fabric is good enough to complete the project. That’s about ten bucks, including tax on the fabric (and you’re not usually taxed on fabric, because it’s a ‘raw material’ that gets turned into something else. The only really tricky bit is figuring out how to assemble the thing, and even that doesn’t take a genius. It’s mostly a matter of sewing same-to-same for the body of the bag, and opposite-to-opposite for the handles.

The second diagram may not make a lot of sense to non-sewists (but the third diagram is going to be really hard if this one doesn’t make sense). Basically, you’re sewing each of the parts to one of its matches, in one long, three-sided seam. These seams on the handles are going to be one piece of shell and one of lining, and the result is the handle — one color on one side and another color on the other side. The bag’s sides are the result of sewing same-to-same, though. A blue shell, and an orange lining (or vice-versa).

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