Shopping Bag Transformation

Ace is the place to get one of these shopping bags.

You  may be asking yourself why anybody would want one of these.

Yes, it's just a cheap reusable shopping bag that nearly every store sells for a buck or two.

Here is more information than anyone (but me) wants to know about this bag:

  • 100% recyclable polypropylene
  • 12.5"W x 14"H x 8"D
  • Handle: 19"L x 1/8"W
  • 24 lb. capacity  
  • Each bag is designed to replace 2 paper bags or up to 4 plastic bags
  • Used weekly for 2 years replaces 416 plastic bags 
I find it has some admirable qualities, though it's pretty plain--certainly not fashionable. I also hate to carry a bag with a logo.  They are not paying me to advertise for them, so why would I tote around their logo?

Right after putting the Ace bag aside, I wandered out to my garden shed and saw this roll of burlap.

I wonder when and why I bought this? It must have been during a streak of ambitious shopping. Truth be told,  I am way too lazy to cover shrubs with burlap.  So the burlap sat for multiple years in the corner of the shed.

 Hmmmmmm.....maybe I could do something with the burlap to transform the useful, but bland shopping mind soared into overdrive as I happily toted the coarsely-woven fabric into my sewing room.

I immediately took a measurement and began the restructuring of the Ace bag.

When I get done with this bag, nobody will know that it began its life in this somewhat dull/boring form.

Well, that is nobody but all of you, because I am about to  blab all the details right now.
The burlap just happened to be the perfect width after finger pleating to fit across the bag front. I cut an approximately 4-inch strip, raveled the bottom, sewed a zigzag stitch at the top of the ravels to prevent more ravelling, then  pleated it to this size.
I just eyeballed the pleat size. It does not matter one iota if one pleat is wider than the next.

I wanted to use two fabrics, so I picked out a complementary fabric to alternate with the burlap. I chose a fabric with a black background  so it would blend in with the handles and side of the bag, which won't be covered in new fabric.
Layer #1 is on.  Notice I put a hem in this fabric instead of fraying it.  All I am going to do is alternate this with the burlap and sew five strips on top of each other across the front & back...simple, simple, simple!

It was quite easy to turn the Ace bag into this handy little carrier:

It can be used for lightweight food shopping, with an heavy stress on the "lightweight".  I think the
 24-lb. capacity stated above is on the optimistic side.
Oh, but does it not look prettier than one of those awful plastic grocery bags?

It almost makes me want to take over the grocery shopping just so I can use this bag. 

Whoa--Zo--Get a handle on it--just listen to yourself--are you ill?

Whew--I was a bit lightheaded for a moment! Now that I have come to my senses,  I think I will just use it for my library books.


Did you move your machine outside to sew the burlap? I had to make some table covers for our shows and it was so dusty, I took the machine to a table set up in the driveway.
BTW, your bag is adorable. I've been using the reuse bags for almost 2 years now.
Mary-Frances said…
What a great idea Zoey - thanks for sharing!
Diana LaMarre said…
No, I did not find it all that dusty, but I only made four short pieces of it. I think the reuse bags are a good idea, but I would need something more sturdy for groceries.

Mary-Frances, So nice to see you. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.
BlueShell said…
Amazing...I would never imagine how nice it would turn.
Thank you for sharing.
That last post was amazing, and then you do this! Great bag idea!
Diana LaMarre said…
Blueshell and Marie,
Thank you for your kind comments.
Chris said…
I just embellished a few bags for a craft fair. Yours is far more festive! Too pretty for food - which could leak or spill. Perhaps you use it exclusively for fabric shopping.