Earlier this summer I whipped up a quick produce bag for my friend SoMany out of a dishtowel. I was planning on adding them to the shop using vintage towels and tablecloths and wanted to make a tester. We had cucumbers and rosemary to share so I went for it. She loved the idea so much that she took it to another level by adding her delightful art. They are quite nifty and I now have my very own made by her. Not wanting to ease in on her parade (a delightful parade!). I thought I would once again try to make some produce bags out of something I had at home. The two things I played with were tulle and doilies. I liked the idea of something somewhat see-thru so that a grocery store clerk could read the code if you were at a supermarket. Since tulle is not my friend I leaned more towards the vintage doilies. After a few tries and takes and takes and tries, here is what I have come up with. I'm not sure if I got pics of every step but here ya go.. Have fun!All ya need is one fun and nifty doily, a smidge of fabric (a fat quarter may work), sewing machine, scissors, pins, thread and ribbon, oooh, and a safety pin.Let's talk about doilies. They come in so many shapes and sizes so there are many ways one could approach this.** I'm going to share with you the easiest way but feel free to play with your supplies. The doily I used was somewhat rectangular with circles appearing twice in the design. I folded it in half to see how it would look and was pleased so carried on.
Lay out your doily and trim your fabric so that its width matched that of the doily. Trim as much as you want off the top for your bag depth preference.
Fold over a hem on the top of your fabric and press with a hot iron. For newbies, make sure your fold goes towards the "wrong" side of the fabric. This will be the casing for your ribbon/drawstring. Stitch it flat and get back to that doily!Place your fabric down on a flat surface with the "right" side facing up and your sewn edge at the top. Place your doily over the fabric at the bottom. Allow for a one to two inch overlap.Pin into place.Make sure your machine is on a zigzag stitch. Not too big and not too small. I had my machine turnedd to stitch size 3.Place your pinned pieces into the machine and stitch away. The doily is slippery, tricky and a little deceitful, so even if you pin there will be some slippage. Make adjustments as you go. If you are brave and feeling it, go for the contour of the doily. If not, stitch straight across. Admire your work!Remove pins and fold the whole she-bang in half with your hemmed casing at the top and rights sides together. Pin into place.Stitch the bottom of the bag first using your zigzag and then curve to the side or use a right angle if ya want. As long as you are stitching on the doily, use a zigzag stitch. Once you get to your fabric, switch to a running stitch. Make sure your needle is in the up position before you do so. Stop stitching just before you reach your casing, back up your stitches so they remain. Remove from machine.
Remove your pins, trim your edges if you need to and turn the whole thing right side out. All you need to do now is find yourself a safety pin to help guide your ribbon through the casing. I cut three times the length as one side of the bag. Knot the ends or add beads and admire your work! Don't forget to take it with you when you hit the grocery store or farmer's market!
**The bag with the yellow bottom was trimmed of its curves on the sides then fold in half like a taco. I then stitched a panel at the top of each side, folded that into a bag shape and stitched up the two sides. Another one, not pictured (but take a peek just below this.) was simply folded in half, taco-wise with a front and back panel added before stitching up the sides. For that one, I stitched along the curves of the doily. It made for a larger bag that sits a bit wonky but looks lovely when full of fruity fun. So go ahead, play!