Projects so far

Saturday, 26 February 2011

8th project completed! - A woven 'chequerboard' bag

Welcome to the 8th project in the recycle4real challenge. I can't believe how fast the last 8 weeks have gone. Boo Sucks to my daughter who said I would only keep it up for 3 weeks!

This week as you know I was using plastic pet food sacks to make the project, as we have rather a lot of them with two greedy dogs in the house and they are not easily recyclable. 

So here we are:

A cute little chequerboard bag!

Materials needed:

  • 2 - 3 empty and clean pet food sacks the larger the better
  • 1m Heavy weight iron on interfacing
  • Sewing machine 
  • Thread
  • Iron, Ironing board and parchment/baking paper or Teflon sheets
  • A left over bamboo cane from the Garden
For embellishment (optional)
  • Spare piece of plastic
  • Bondaweb
  • Co-ordinating thread


1. Start by assembling your pattern and checking how much interfacing you need to cover it in one go.
2. Cut off the top and bottom of your pet food sacks and cut up one side to open them out, flatten out then cut 2 of them into 1" strips by cutting across the sack. Leave the other to one side as this may well be spare or you could use it for a lining if you want one.

3. Trace your pattern on to the wrong side of your interfacing (the sticky side)

4. Starting at the top of the pattern; Start placing your vertical 'warp'. Pin each one in place about 1" outside the cutting line. Go right across the top, butting them up next to each other (see picture above). You will now need to do this across the tops of your sides as well.

5. Now you have your 'warp' secured at the top we can start weaving through the 'weft'. Starting at the top again, I used a simple 'over 1 under 1' weave but other patterns can be obtained by doing it differently i.e. over 2 under 1 etc.

6. Once everything is pinned down and you are happy, turn your work over and iron between two pieces of parchment / baking paper or two layers of Teflon sheet. The layers should fuse together sufficiently that you don't feel that they will fall apart easily.

7. Once all is attached securely, re-draw your pattern onto the reverse and carefully cut out your bag. After cutting give it one more press especially around the edges.

8. Now turn in all edges around the tops and the sides of the tabs (not the tops of the tabs) by 5mm pin, and press gently (not forgetting to use the parchment / baking paper / Teflon sheets to protect your iron and ironing surface!
9. Stitch around very close to the edge (2-3mm)
10. If you are going to embellish your bag now is the time to do it. I fused some Bondaweb on to a spare piece of plastic, cut out a heart shape and stitched around the shape with a decorative stitch. I then removed the paper backing from the Bondaweb and fused it to the front of my bag and machine stitched it into place.
10. Back to the bag itself....Stitch together the sides, front and back to form a bag shape allowing a 5mm seam.
11. Turn your bag the right way out

To make the handles and finish the bag:

1. Cut two pieces of garden cane 1" shorter than the width of the top of your bag. These can be painted if you like.

2. Fold each tab in half to the inside of your bag and stitch 2-3mm from the end of the tab (this should correspond to the other stitching on the bag. Now you have 4 loops.
3. Insert the canes and slip stitch the ends of the loops closed (see picture above)
4. To line the bag; Omitting tabs, cut out the lining using the pattern. stitch up the sides to produce a bag shape, fold over 5mm. Place inside the bag wrong sides together and slip-stitch into place.

There we have it, a cute little woven bag made from pet food sacks and a bamboo cane!

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