Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial

For a while, I have been meaning to make one of these for our home.  We have bags....lots of them...and they have been piled up in my utility closet to be reused as doggy clean up bags on our daily walks.  But, the bags have been getting out of control so today we are making a plastic bag holder.  The fabric is actually a reproduction of a vintage print that I found at a local quilt shop in Stallings, Quilt Patch Fabrics.  I love reproduction prints so don't be surprised if you see it again in the future.

So let's begin......

Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial

Supplies You Will Need:

3/4 yard of a cotton print fabric (quilter's cottons work great)
1/4 yard of a coordinating cotton print
2 - 10" lengths of 1/2" wide elastic
5" of ribbon or cotton twill tape

Seam Allowances are 1/2" 

Sewing Your Plastic Bag Holder:

1.  Out of your larger piece of fabric, cut a 20" x 20" square of fabric (main fabric).  

2.  From your coordinating fabric, cut a 6" x 20" piece of fabric (band fabric).  My fabric was a bit wrinkled from being folded so I went ahead and ironed each piece at this step.


3.  First, take your band fabric and lay it on top of
 the bottom of the main fabric with the pretty sides facing each other.  Match up the raw edges (cut edges) of your fabric and pin the two fabrics together.

4.  Sew along the edges where you have pinned using a 1/2" seam allowance.  Remember to take your pins out before you run them over! 

5.   Iron this seam open and flat.

6.  Fold your fabric piece in half length and match up the long edges.  Pin.

Be sure to match up your bottom seam so that it lays on top of itself.  

Sew down this long edge using your seam allowance.  Remember to backstitch at the beginning and the end of your seams.  When you are done, you can turn it right side out and look at your tube of fabric!  You can iron the seam flat that you just sewed.

7.  Making the elastic casings for the top and bottom of the bag holder.  Turn your tube of fabric wrong side out again.  Let's first work on the band part of the holder.  Take your tube over to the iron and using your seam gauge, fold and iron the band fabric under 1/2".

Now fold it again at approx. 3/4" (be a little generous when you get near the long seam as casings tend to shrink up and then it will be too tight for the elastic).

8.  You will need the free arm of your sewing machine to do this next step.  Take this piece off from your machine so that you can sew in a circle.

 Slide your tube of fabric onto this free arm.

Sew close to the inner folded edge of the fabric and leave a 1" opening so that you can insert the elastic.

9.  Inserting the elastic.  Take one of your elastic pieces (a 10" length of elastic that is 1/2" wide).  I like to use a little tool call a bodkin to insert my elastic in casing (if you don't have a bodkin, you can use a large safety pin).  You can find bodkins where sewing notions are sold.  Here is what a bodkin looks like:

Open one end of the bodkin and attach the elastic.  Next run it through the casing so that you end up with two elastic ends sticking out of the opening you left when you sewed around the tube.

Sew the two ends of your elastic 1/2" in from the ends.  I backstitch a couple of times to make sure that it holds.

Tuck the ends of your elastic back inside of the casing and now sew the opening closed the same way you sewed around it.  You may have to stretch the elastic/fabric to flatten it out so that you can sew it.

10.  Sewing the Top Casing and Adding a Bag Hanger.  Now, you will make another casing at the top of your bag and insert/sew the elastic.  When you sew around the casing (before you insert the elastic), fold your ribbon or twill tape in half and sew the two ends into the casing as shown in the picture below.

Flip up your ribbon and sew it to the very top of your bag holder to hold it in place so that you can hang your bag holder.

You are all done!  Now you have a very useful and pretty sewing project to hold all of those plastic bags from stores. 

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