Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tutorial: Grocery Bag Dispenser 1

Anyone thinking about Christmas yet?! I have a good gift idea to share with you today. This is a great beginner project - quick and easy to make with very little wastage from 2 fat quarters. Over the next couple of weeks I'll show you how to make two slightly different versions.

Grocery bag dispensers are not only practical but with all the fabric options out there, make a funky addition to any kitchen.

- 1 fat quarter for main fabric
- 1 coordinating fat quarter for lining
- 2 6 inch pieces of 9mm wide elastic
- coordinating thread

Take your main fabric and cut it into an 18" x 18" square. Set aside the large strip of leftover fabric as we will use this later to make the handle.

Place your main fabric on top of your coordinating fat quarter wrong sides together. Iron both pieces and pin all around the edge of your main fabric.

Using your presser foot as a guide sew right around the edge of your main fabric.

Trim your lining fabric so that it is the same size as your main fabric. Using a zigzag stitch, sew right around the edges of your square. Press.

Decide which ends are going to be the top and the bottom. This will all depend on whether your main fabric has a directional print or not.

Fold over bottom edge about 1/4" and press. Use your original line of stitching as a guide. 

Fold over a further 1/2" and press again. Pin in place. Sew down close to the fold. Repeat for the top end.  This will form the casing for your elastic.

Take one of your 6inch pieces of elastic. Attach a safety pin to one end and begin threading it through your casing. Sew each end of the elastic securely to the opening of each end of the casing. I usually sew over it a couple of times. Repeat for other side. Distribute the fabric equally along the elastic.

Fold in half right sides together and match up the raw edges. Pin. Sew together using a 3/8" seam allowance.

Turn right side out.

Making the handle:

Take the piece of your main fabric that you set aside earlier. Cut it so it measures 10" x 2". Press.

Fold in short ends 1/4" and press. Sew to secure. 

Take your strip and fold in half lengthwise. Press. Unfold and fold each raw edge into the center line you just created. Press again. 

Fold in half again. Press and pin. 

Sew down both sides of your handle about 1/8" from the outer edge.

Attaching handle to bag:

Pin your handle in place at the top of your bag centering it on either side using the seam at the back as a guide. Sew in place. I try and stitch over my original stitching from when I sewed the casing so it’s not so visible from the other side. Sew another line across the top of the casing just catching the edge of the bag. 

Stuff with plastic bags and you're done!

Next week I'll show you how to make a more refined version (think french seams).

If you make a Grocery Bag Dispenser using this tutorial, I'd love for you to share some photos in the Monkey Makes Three Flickr group or leave me a link in the comments.


Pam @Threading My Way said...

I so need to make one of these for myself, Fay. Thanks for the tutorial.

Miriam said...

I love the fabric. I've been meaning to make one of these for ages but yours is just lovely. I love that you lined it!

Leonie said...

Great tutorial and that fabric is gorgeous! thanks for sharing Fay - have been meaning to make one for ages!

Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

Irma said...

Beautiful! I need three of them: one for standard bags, one for small bags and one for the shopping bags made from old t-shirts. But I am not good in sewing as you are, therefore I use some samples of fabric for sofas, and the inside is not very nice. But anyway I am very happy to create something with my hands!
Thanks for sharing!

Irma said...

Sorry! My comment left before writing my name and my best greetings to you and all the readers!
Irma from Italy