The benefits of these bags is that they can go from the supermarket to the vegetable crisper without being unpacked. There is no sweating, and less bruising of fruit and vegetables so they will last longer.
Whilst I make my bags from Polyester Netting ($3 a metre at Spotlight) you can make these bags from practically anything – even net curtains. They are super simple to make and can even be made fairly quickly by hand (without the use of a sewing machine)
Before you begin give some thought to what you want to use the bags for. You will need a large bag for example to hold a cabbage or a lettuce. Smaller bags would be suitable if you have a steady diet of two carrots a week.
Maths: A supermarket produce plastic bag weighs 1.6 grams. Tulle bag of same size 7-7.5 grams. What does this mean: On an item that is $5 per kg…you are paying 1 cent for the plastic bag. Using tulle you’ll be paying 3-4 cents. However – you now have less bruising and more breathing. And if 3 cents is too much, then 1 cent is too…. insist the supermarkets take things out of the bag to weigh them!
- Fabric (Tulle OR Polyester Netting OR Muslin – anything that is light weight and breathable)
- Sewing Needle or machine
- Ribbon (String OR Bias binding would work equally well)
As stated above sizes will depend on what you plan to use them for and how much you want to hold.
Some suggested sizes would be:
- 20cm x 20cm for small items
- 36cm x 36cm for medium items
- 42cm x 42cm for larger items
These sizes are completely arbitrary, work with what you have and what you need. The method of making them does not change 🙂
When stitching the bags – ZIG ZAG stitch works best.
- Cut your fabric allowing for side seams and the top (For example if you plan to make a bag that is 36cm x 36 cm – cut a rectangle of fabric 38cm wide and 78cm long). I use pinking shears so i do not need to worry about finishing seams)
- Fold the short ends (top) over 3cm and stitch – this creates the gap for the ribbon.
- Now fold the fabric in half so that the two top edges are together and stitch both sides about 1cm in from the edge. DO NOT stitch over the top turned down area.
- Finish your seams by zigzagging between your stitch line and the raw edge. (If you used pinking shears to cut your fabric out you can skip this step).
- Thread your ribbon through the gap you created at the top. The easiest way to do this is to attach a safety pin to the ribbon and push the safety pin through. Once you have threaded both halves knot the ribbon ends together.
- Go shopping!