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Friday, June 17, 2011

Reusable Snack/Sandwich Bags

I've been really busy since summer has started and haven't been blogging much but I've got lots that I want to tell you about!  So one of the projects that I was working on a month or so ago, was making my own reusable snack/sandwich bags.  This is something that I have been wanting to do for awhile.  Typically we would reuse our plastic sandwich bags multiple times before disposing, so I figured that reusable cloth bags were the way to go.  I didn't want to buy them since they seemed so easy to make.  And guess what - they were easy to make (even for a novice sewer like me)!

I wasn't sure what the best size would be, so I made a variety of sizes.  I was also exploring my options so some have pull tabs and/or strap.  I think I have come to the conclusion that 2 pull tabs are best and straps are best for snack sized bags.

I'm sure that there are plenty of better tutorials on the web, but if my learning curve can help anyone else out - here ya go!

Fabric of your choice
Ripstop nylon
Coordinating ribbon if adding pull tabs and/or strap
Rotary cutting mat, ruler and cutter (or scissors and a measuring tape)
Serger (I used a Singer mini serger)

Fabric pieces for larger bag
Fabric pieces for smaller snack bag

1.  Cut out 2 squares/rectangles of fabric (I used 6.5" x 6.5" for a large snack/sandwich bag and 6.5" x 4"for a snack bag).  Cut 2 squares/rectangles of the same dimensions our of your ripstop nylon.  If you would like a strap, either cut a length of coordinating fabric or ribbon to twice the desired length (I will be adding a strap to the smaller bag).

Ripstop nylon serged to the fabric of the large bag
Ripstop nylon serged to the fabric of the small bag

2.  Line up the wrong side of the fabric with the ripstop nylon and serge the edge.  If you are adding a strap, fold the fabric in half lengthwise and serge the edge.

I attached two tabs to each bag.

3.  If you are adding tabs, cut your ribbon into segments of ~2".  I added two tabs to each bag, therefore I needed 4 sections of ribbon.  Fold the ribbon in half width wise and center on the ripstop side of your fabric.  Sew the tab onto the fabric.

Velcro is now attached to the top of both bags.  (Ignore the handle on the small snack bag - I had a little oppsey  since I was in a hurry to finish before Little Bear woke up.  Needless to say, hurrying is never worth it since I had to go back and fix and finish the bag later anyway!)

4.  Cut your velcro into a segment that is the same length as the top of your bag.  Pin and sew.

The strap has been attached on the small bag, the right way this time!

5.  If you are adding a strap, fold it in half width wise and pin to the outer (right) side of one fabric swatch.  Pin it at an angle that is a mirror image to the angle that you would like it to attach.  Sew.

Completed bags.

6.  Pin bags with right sides together.  Sew along side and bottom edges.  Turn bag right side out and you're done!

After trying the bags out, I decided that I loved this style for snacks but not so much for sandwiches.  I went back and found another design that I like even better for sandwiches.  I'll share that one later!

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