Monday, April 16, 2007

Using your stash challenge

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

~~ William Morris ~~

I love this quote and so admire the work of William Morris. His fabrics are still being produced by Rose and Hubble and are very beautiful still to this day. I decided to make a stash challenge for myself lately and use up some of the many beautiful fabrics sitting in my stash cupboard. I have a tendancy to never use fabrics that I find are too beautiful to cut up. This fabric above was one of them. It is one of the William Morris fabrics from my collection. I made a quilt using many of his fabrics. Now I think it is time to use more of them and creating this plastic bag holder was a quick and easy thing to use up a half yard cut of fabric. What prettier way to store something that is an eye sore than in this. I have seen these in shops but they are rather small and not in fabric I liked. It is so easy to make one yourself, that I hope you too will take on the challenge with fabric you may have sitting around. Use it up and have a useful object in the process.....

Cut a piece of fabric 18 inch x 27 inch. I cut two as I decided to line this bag and then it also becomes reversible. Lining the holder is optional.

Note that this bag can be any length you choose. I liked the idea of it being long as we use plastic bags for our kitty litter. Adjust the length if you would like.

Sew the long side(s) shut using a wide 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Now press the seams open. Pressing seams as we go will give you a much neater result in the finished project.

Place the fabric tunnels inside each other right sides together if you are lining the holder. Line up the seams and sew the two tunnels together. If you choose not to line the holder, simply roll down the end twice to create a hem for the top of the bag. Do use a wide hem in order to create a strong base to hang the handle from later.

Now the holder will look like the photo above. Fold the lining side into the outer fabric of the bag and press this seam nicely flat.

Stitch this seam using a wider stitch length twice ~ along the edge and once again at a presser foot's width. This will give the holder a well finished look.

Pin the bottom sides of the tunnels together turning in a seam as you go. You will now need to sew two seams to create a tunnel for the elastic. Sew the first seam along the edge of the fabric not forgetting to leave a one inch opening to insert the elastic.

Sew the second seam at 5/8 inch distance from the edge or whatever distance works for your size elastic. I used 1/4 inch elastic which is what I had leftover here at home. Any size will do. Part of the fun is using what you have!

Feed the elastic through the tunnel and sew shut.

The sleeve for the plastic bags is now finished.

Cut two 2 inch x 12 1/2 inch lengths of fabrics to make the handle. Sew them together starting on a long edge and leaving an opening of an inch to allow for turning the tunnel.

Clip the four corners and turn the tunnel right side out, press and sew along the edge once again for a finished look.

For fun, I attached the handle with buttons which I also already had. This also gives it a more old~fashioned look. Now fill with your plastic bags and enjoy!
If you too take the half yard challenge and create this plastic bag holder, please let us see your photos of the finished project.


Solstitches said...

I just love this bag Heidi! I do already have one but, as you say, the purchased ones don't hold many bags and are nowhere near as pretty as this one.
I will definitely be looking though my stash for some suitable fabric. Thanks for your no fail instructions :)

Joanne said...

I love this fabric! As you know, I'm planning on making a quilt using a few different William Morris fabrics. I'd love to see the quilt you made!!