Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Saving the planet

Morning ladies, I hope you all had a nice break.  I went to see my lovely little nephew.  He's gorgeous.  Before I went, I got started on a new project.  Now, I hate plastic bags.  I don't know what the situation is in other countries, but over here in the UK the supermarkets give out flimsy plastic bags for your shopping for free.  You can buy a sturdier one for about 10p.  I've got a load of those "sturdier" ones as I can't bear the throw away ones, it's such a waste.  The problem is, even the sturdier ones rip and I've been meaning to replace them with fabric ones for a while.  This weekend, I did. 

I won a Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway Day prize last year from The Green Bag Lady who sent me a fabric shopping bag and the fabric to make another one to pass on to a friend, which I did.  I used her tutorial for all the bags below, I didn't really need a tutorial but it was handy to have the measurements to hand.  First, I made three bags using an old sheet I'd bought from a charity shop.  The scalloped edge meant I didn't have to hem the top.


3 bags isn't enough.  For our large shop, I generally use about 10 as I can't carry them if they're too heavy.  My mum had given me an old double duvet cover and I set to work cutting it up.  Ever wondered what 15 cut out shopping bags looks like?  This:

I got 14 bags from the duvet cover (handles from the pillow case), and also I made one more from the sheet.  I chain sewed.  I sewed fast and sloppily and it really doesn't matter as it's a shopping bag.  Or rather it's 18 shopping bags.  (I'm not allowed to left-align this paragraph, don't know why - sorry, I know centred paragraphs are hard to read).

The duvet cover was spotty on one side and stripy on the other so some bags are spotty...

Some are stripy:

And some were cut from the edge so are both:

I'm going to have the funkiest shopping in Nottingham!  These are just supermarket shopping bags, I have a fancy pants shopping bag that I keep in my handbag for craft shopping, or clothes shopping trips.  These are purely for the supermarket.

If you currently use plastic bags, I beg you to make some of these.  All 18 took me a total of about 5 hours I think, so they're quick and you probably don't need 18!  We went shopping yesterday (nope, not with the bags, they weren't finished) and I was shocked, as I always am, by the amount of people who still use the flimsy, disposable bags.  I'm no eco-warrier, but it's about time the government banned them.  Make people pay for their plastic bags and it might encourage them to take them with them when they shop.

Eco-rant over, normal service will now be resumed.


OhioMomPatriot said...

I love the spots! I use my cloth bags all the time. I keep them in both cars and a couple in my handbag, just in case. I gave a couple away to a woman at the store last week and she was so happy, you would think it was the first nice thing anyone had done for her. I am going to have to look for edged sheets, those bags are adorable! Thanks for sharing!

susan (moonthirty) said...

I love your bags! And I agree completely, the disposable ones should be banned outright or at least should cost money.

Sandra :) said...

Good for you being so green - your bags are adorable!! Here a few years ago the stores started charging 5 cents for plastic bags to encourage people to bring reusable bags - the campaign was very successful and lots (or most?) of us use reusable bags regularly. We have about a dozen we keep in the car for groceries, and very rarely get plastic :) Sometimes, though, you definitely need plastic bags, especially on garbage day, lol!

Fiona said...

Love your bags... I use quite a few made ones.. but I do need more... besides being enviro friendly I think they are much more fun... and if we can improve the grocery shop I'm all for it!!

Beth said...

Great idea. I also like how they are machine washable.

Threeundertwo said...

I love your bags! I made some a while back too, but I think I'm going to make some more to give away. What a great idea.

ClaraBelle said...

What a wonderful blog, I've seen a lot of great ideas!!! I'm a follower by now!

Rosa said...

I totally agree. Here in DK you pay about 33 cents pr plasticbag but it is not considered okay to use them although a lot of people still do.
Your idea to use sheets from charity shops is just great! Banging my head that I did not get that idea first *lol* I visit charity shops regularly.
And sewing a lot of them is actually a good idea - 8-10 would be sufficient for my use.
Such a great idea !

Rosa said...

I'm just banging my head that I did not come up with this idea using sheets from charity shops - I go there regularly and have bought sheets for quiltbacking.
Its a great idea!

The Dotty One said...

Wow - I can't believe you made all those bags in just a few hours - amazing. And they look fab too. Do you find them strong enough for heavy shopping?

I've vowed not to buy any more of the 10p type bags and I never get the disposable ones so I am just using up the supply I have...then I might have to join you in making some of my own!

Stitchin' time said...

Love the scalloped edge ones! The funky spots and stripes will mean you'll always know which shopping is yours :). I have blue and white striped and blue with red hearts recycled sheet grocery bags and people give me the strangest looks when they see them. I figure they are just jealous :).

Alicia said...

So funny! I just posted on my blog about my first time actually using my fabric bags. it is amazing how much easier it is without those flimsy plastic bags!

Shiloh said...

I LOVE the scalloped edge ones. The fact that you didn't have to hem those is a huge bonus as well.:)