The picture isn’t the best, but it’s what I’ve got for now…
I’ve loved the bright printed canvas at JoAnn’s for a long time, but I haven’t been able to come up with any uses for it. I found directions online for making a canvas reusable grocery bag, though, and that seems like a great use for some bright, cheery, fabric! Most of the fabric care instructions read “dry clean preferred, machine wash cold gentle/delicate cycle” but since it’s just for a grocery sack, I surged the raw ends, threw the fabric in the wash on warm, normal cycle, and wished it luck! I always preshrink my fabrics, since you never know what will happen! I chose a cotton webbing for the handles, so I put that in a garment bag and pre-shrunk that as well.
I’ve discovered the directions for the bag need a little tweaking – instead of cutting out a 4″ by 5.5″ rectangle along the fold, it looks like a 4″ by 4.75″ rectangle will work better – that way there’s no need to make “pleats” to make the fabric fit correctly as listed on the website I got my directions from.
I’ll have to confirm this later, though, (confirmed, the 4.75″ cut works perfectly!) since I discovered the problem in bag #1, and my iron died during bag #1, and so I cannot progress on bag #2 yet! I also prefer the look of off-white cotton webbing for handles rather than using some of the same fabric, so I made that adjustment as well. I really liked the directions for making a flat-felled seam, and how the finished product looks… no raw edges anywhere on my bag! I used 45″ canvas, with the selvage edges as the top of the bag. I then folded the top over enough to hide the selvage – this is printed fabric so the selvage is ugly – and then folded the top over again for a 1.5″ top hem.
When determining the handle length, I made sure that the bag wouldn’t touch the ground when carrying it with my arm fully extended and something heavy in the bottom. That really bugs me when I’m carrying heavy groceries and I have to hold my arm at a weird angle so I don’t drag my grocery bag over the ground. The strap also ended up just long enough to fit over my shoulder. I suppose a shorter bag would allow for a longer handle, but I didn’t cut the fabric down for that.
I’m bummed that my iron died. Unlike the last one that died on me, this one didn’t refuse to get hot… it got way too hot! I probably shouldn’t have been ironing directly under the smoke detector anyway, but at least now I know it works! Nothing caught fire, but it was evidently hot enough to make the smoke alarm mad. I unplugged it immediately, and now several hours later it won’t turn on at all.