Friday, July 9, 2010

Bag the Bags

Does anyone else have a mess like this?

No matter how hard I try to Go Green and reuse bags I still end up with more than my fair share, it's the quick trips into the store that get me. My goal is to go plastic bagless in 2011, we shall see how that pans out. In the mean time I needed some way to control the over abundance. I've seen various versions of bag control in the kitchen or storage sections at various stores. I decided that I wanted to try and make the bag bags you see at craft shows and I think they even have them at Wal-mart (my memory fails me again).

What you need:
Sewing Machine
18"x16" piece of material (I chose a heavy upholstery fabric)
2"x4" piece of material
Matching thread
Thin elastic (3/8")
Elastic grippers (see below for picture)

First you want to sew a 1/2" hem into one of the 16" ends. Usually I will sew a 1/8" hem and then fold it over to a 1/2" and sew again to finish it.

Then we move onto the elastic portion. You basically do the same thing creating a pocket for the elastic to go into. So first sew 1/8" hem then fold that over leaving enough room for your elastic to lay flat when it is inside the pocket. Sew the second hem in. Now you are ready to use the elastic grippers (this is not the technical term for these but it is what I call them). They are simple to use, simply grip one end of the elastic with the grippers. Stick the end of the grippers into the "pocket" you created and pull the elastic through being careful not to twist the elastic.

Now this is where my opinion comes in more than technical skill. I like to pull the elastic all the way through until the end of the strip is at the starting end of the "pocket" (unless your piece of elastic is way too long, then you would just have to cut it smaller). When the end of the elastic is lined up with the end of the "pocket" sew perpendicularly across the elastic to secure is on that end. Continue to pull the elastic through. Once you have pulled it through you will want to gage how big you want the opening at the bottom of the bag.  I just wrapped the material around until I got the ideal opening and then sewed perpendicularly across the elastic, securing it. Once you have the two 16" ends finished you are ready to sew it up the side. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other sew down the edge leaving about a 1/4" to a 1/2" seam.

As you can tell by now I am not too precise with measurements. Now you are almost done all that is left is sewing the hanging loop. Take the 2"x4" piece of material and fold the two long sides into the middle so they are just barely touching. I usually take a hot iron down the fold to make them stay perfect.

Then if you did it right you should be able to fold that in half again, run the iron down the fold. I like to sew down both side about a 1/8" from each side. Last step is to sew the loop into the bag. Take the 4" strip and fold it in half, place on the inside of the bag covering the last seam you sewed, and sew perpendicular across the strip. Sew in two lines to make it super secure. There you have it a simple bag bag.

Happy Bagging!

Sammy Gene

Friday, July 2, 2010

July Coupon Sammy

Ok my new goal is to post coupon updates once a month preferable in the beginning. Let's see where that takes us. Just so everyone knows I am addicted to coupons! Some may think it is a waste of time however saving $85, my last shopping trip is much more than I get pain an hour. Now that was an extreme trip (saving 50%) but it just goes to show that it is possible. I know there are people out there that do much better than that even and if so please share your tips!!!! As I mentioned in previous posts I buy the newspaper every Sunday and usually trade with a few of the girls at work. With that said and the holiday coming up I want to remind everyone that this Sunday is July 4th and from my research there will be no coupons in the paper- just an FYI. Ok so here are links to a few of my favorite coupon spots plus some direct links to coupons that I get via e-mail.

Smart Source
Red Plum

Happy Couponing!

Sammy Gene