It's not very often I'm inspired by my local newspaper to make something. There's an occasional recipe I want to try or new store to visit, but whoever is running for office or the crime statics for the west side of town don't make me think "To the sewing room, Batman!" Imagine my surprise when I read an article about a local business and HAD to give it a try. If I were not a crafty person I would have already placed an order with them, and if you're not I would encourage you to pay them a visit.
The business is called Hope Bags and they make reusable sandwich and snack bags. It was born out of a desire to cut down on the number of plastic bags piling up in our landfills and oceans. They supply some of our local natural foods markets and also sell through their website.
My daughter likes to take her lunch to school, so I made her one bag in each of the sizes we tend to have around: quart, sandwich and snack size.
To make these, you'll need cotton fabric, ripstop nylon and Velcro. Cut for the size you want to make as follows:
Quart: cotton and nylon - 18 1/2 by 7 12"
Velcro - 5/8 by 7"
Sandwich: cotton and nylon - 14 1/2 by 7"
Velcro - 5/8 by 6 1/2"
Snack: cotton and nylon - 8 1/2 by 7"
Velcro - 5/8 by 6 1/2"
The sewing instructions are the same for each size. Sew one Velcro piece to the right side of the nylon, 1/2" from the top edge and centered. Repeat on the opposite edge with the other side of the Velcro.
With right sides together, sew the lining down each side, 1/4" from the edge, leaving a 2" opening on one side for turning.
Sew the bag, right sides together, the same way without leaving an opening.
Turn the lining right side out. Put it inside the bag, lining up the top edges and seams. Stitch 1/4" from the edge.
Turn the entire thing right side out through the opening in the lining. Press the bag, but not the lining.
Stitch the hole in the lining closed. If you're picky, you can hand stitch. I zigzaged over it, close to the edge. Cheerios don't care.
Push the lining into the bag. Top stitch on the outside, close to the upper edge.
Keep in mind, the nylon is not waterproof. These will work for a sandwich or crackers, but not spaghetti.
Now we have a matching, washable, environmentally friendly set of Ziploc-replacements!