Wednesday, November 18, 2009

bag dispenser - yet another tutorial

I'm probably the last person in blogland to make a grocery bag dispenser. Actually, mine will be used to hold old newspaper bags (re-used for walking the dog), but same diff. I've had this on my list of things to do forever, and I finally whipped one up last night. It took me an hour, max. It's nothing fancy, but it'll be tucked away in a closet, so who cares. I loosely based this on the Make It and Love It tutorial, but added lining and made it more quick-and-dirty (just how I like my projects!). Here's how I did it:

  • Two pieces of fabric, about 20" x 25". (It turned out pretty big, so I bet even two FQs would work fine).
  • Two pieces of 1/4" wide elastic, one about 12", one about 7".
  • One piece of 1" wide ribbon.
I used a vintage bee fabric, which is a little heavier weight than normal quilting cotton. For the lining, I used some random light pink oxford cloth I had in my "yucky fabric" bin. :-)

Put right sides together and sew both short sides with a 1/4 " seam.

Turn it right side out, and iron the seam.

On both edges, edge stitch close to the seam, and then again about 3/8" away from the edge-stitching, to make a casing for the elastic. On each end, insert the elastic into the casing, and sew down the elastic at both openings. If you have directional fabric, the longer piece of elastic goes at the top, and the shorter piece goes at the bottom.

Next I did a french seam for the sides. Pin the side edges together, right sides out, and stitch a 1/4" seam.

If I was smart, I would have trimmed the loose threads hanging off the edges before I did the next step. But no, I was lazy, as usual. Turn the thing inside-out, finger press the seam, and sew again about 1/2" away from the edge to make your french seam.

Turn right side out. Since was lazy, I had a bunch of loose threads caught in the seam that I had to clip away. Oh well.

Fold over the edges of the ribbon by about 1/2", and stitch to the side of the bag near the top (where the larger piece of elastic is).

And there you go! Stuff with bags and hang in the closet. Enjoy a ever-so-slightly more organized house!


  1. Yay! I've just been thinking the last few days how much I need one of these. Then, when I leave the kitchen, I promptly forget. Adding this to my to do list, thanks!