We buy rice in bulk; the rice comes in charming cotton bags adorned with tigers or maps of Afghanistan. I can’t bear to throw them away, so I have a nice stack of them. Last September, I made a very cleverly engineered Betty Shopper from some of those bags, lined with an old tablecloth.
In fact, like many of my projects from that month or two, it’s rather over-engineered. I don’t use it. It’s heavy and hard to carry when full. I carried it for a while on principle, but had to admit defeat. It’s completely impractical.
I’ve been carrying my shopping in this dirty old thing. It’s not actually dirty; it mildewed last December in the unrelenting rains although it wasn’t actually wet. I can’t bleach out the mildew stains. Yuck. I decided to make a new shopping bag as simple as this one from my stock of rice bags.
Very simple. Two hemmed rectangles of canvas with webbing handles.
Always looking to “Make Do,” I harvested the webbing handles from this bag, also mildewed in the damp weather we had.
I trimmed the seams from two bags, leaving the zippered edge at the top. No need to hem.
I finished the ends of the webbing and stitched it on over the former carrying handles. Later, I decided to trim the little handles from the bag.
Then I serged the three remaining sides, re-enforcing the top edge with a bar-tack.
I folded down the bottom corner to make a gusset.
I serged the corner.
Viola, a mildew-free shopping bag from rice bags, with a minimum outlay of effort. I think this one will definitely see more use, especially as I threw out my old mildewed shopping bag. The whole project took less than 20 minutes, and would work well with any medium-to-heavy fabric.
Do you ever let your sewing get too complicated, only to realize later that your creation is not practical? How do you keep things simple?