Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Plastic bag holder.

We're often told it isn't easy being green. Since my childhood though we've moved on a lot environmentally speaking/ We now don't use CFC's our cars are a lot more efficient   and we have curbside recycling (Yes I Rosebery when it all went into one big bag). So let us not be too hard on ourselves. Take a step back and give yourself a pat on the back for coming this  far. That said this year we will see a new environmental rule pass.  In Wales all shops must charge at least 5p for "single use carrier bags". This is to encourage people to use harder wearing bags or baskets. This rule will be spreading to the rest of the UK soon and so we thought we'd help you get ready for it. A simple plastic carrier bag holder can go a long way to saving you from buying new bags. You can store some of the lighter re-usable bags OR keep regular carrier bags in it ready to reuse a few more times (or to use to line a small bin in your study or bathroom).

You will need
Fabric -non stretchy, any weight will do.  heavy furniture weight will stay upright more when empty but lighter fabrics work fine too- aprox 40cm-65cm  
Off cut of Ribbon
 1/4 inch (aprox 7mm)  elastic 

To begin with cut your fabric into a rectangle about 65cm by 40 cm.
You could use a simple seam by sewing right sides together along the 65cm edge however this is a good opportunity to practise a French Seam. This seam encases the raw edges helping to reduce wear and tear. So fold the fabrics so the 65 cm edge rests against the other 65cm edge WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. 

Sew along the 65cm edge with a seam alowance of 1/4 inch. Press the seams and the roll the tube of fabric inside out. Now sew along the seam again with a 1/2 inch seam.  

You now have a wonderful French Seam which will protect the raw edges from wear and tear, also hand in unlined garments such as shirts.  

At each  end create a hem by folding the fabric over to the wrong side by 1 am, and rolling it again by 1 cm. sew, leaving a small gap at the bottom for threading elastic through.

 attach the elastic to a safty pin and thread it through the bottom hem pulling th elastic so the bottom cloases to about half of the original width wehn unstretched.

Loop a small amount of ribbon over and sew to the top of the container and there you have it. A custom made plastic bag holder.  

   This project encompass much that I love about sewing. It can be made with little odds and ends you may have in your sewing box/room. It's useful, decorative and unique. In fact I've often made up these handy bag holders out of scraps and sold them at festivals alongside other things I've made. It helps people be environmentally friendly whilst letting me experiment with new stitches and seams as well as embroidery. This is just a basic pattern and idea, take it and let your imagination go wild!

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