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Monday, February 20, 2012

Mixed-up Monday

Switch-a-roo--book today and project on Wednesday

Plastic grocery bags are horrible.  I feel that everyone should take the time and make the effort to take reusable bags with them when they shop.  I'm not saying that I always remember, but I do make a conscious effort to do so.

There are TONS of books, patterns, and tutorials on the web on how to make bags of every size, shape, and style.  One that I've been leafing through is called BAGS: THE MODERN CLASSICS by Sue Kim.
 The book has directions three general types of bags: Small Bags, Clutches, and Large Bags.  The book also has each project rated by difficulty; this is always nice if you aren't super confident about your sewing abilities.  The front says "19 projects & 75+ bags" meaning that each bag is shown in a variety of materials. 
I really like that in addition to written instructions, there are pictures of each step of the sewing.  It is always nice to have that extra clarification.

For Wednesday's post, I will show you how to assemble a no-sew bag.  I will also give links to several free patterns on the web.  The best thing about these reusable bags is, of course, that fewer plastic bags go into landfills.  I also love that the bags don't have to be fancy...just functional.  You can use WHATEVER works...they don't have to be expensive or purchased from the store.  You probably have material in your house at this very moment that would make an excellent bag.

1)  If you have multiple vehicles, put a few in each vehicle so they are always there if you make a surprise trip to the store.
2)  I bike a lot, so I put a few in my purse...just in case.
3)  I have a lot of them!  That way I always seem to have them around. 
4)  If you make your own bags, don't make them too big.  It seems that stores will only put 2-3 items in a plastic bag, but they will try to stuff a whole cart in a reusable bag!  Also, don't be afraid to "help" the folks pack the bags by telling them when to stop stuffing the bag.
5)  Don't be embarrassed!  Some stores in our area give a $0.05 discount for each bag used, so I've heard people say that they don't want to be "cheap."  It isn't about the discount!  It's about the environment!
6)  I prefer to make my own bags out of materials that can be easily washed (denim, bed sheets, cotton) because the bags will get dirty.  I've found that purchased bags tend to shrink or fall apart when washed.  I don't know about you, but I prefer to put my groceries in clean bags...just sayin'!
7)  If you make your own bags, take the time to put a little loop on one of the edges of the bag.  Cashiers really appreciate that little loop that will hold the bag for them on the stand for the plastic bags.  Bags without the little loop don't stay open for loading.  It's just a little "kindness" to help the make the cashier's job easier.

Have a super Presidents' Day, and take care of you!

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