Much inspired by the lovely Victoria, I’ve been doing most of my shopping at the market for almost a year now. It’s become something of a ritual… on a Wednesday morning, I grab my basket and my produce bags and head on over to fill up on all sorts of local and seasonal goodies for the week. It means that I’ve become more creative with my meals and have reduced plastic waste considerably.

Initially, I had a look on Amazon for some simple produce bags but I quickly realised that I had everything I needed to make them myself. I used scrap fabric that I had bought for a previous project, and thought I’d share how to make these in case you too want to make your own. Aside from avoiding extra fabric waste if you have scrap fabric, making produce bags yourself also means that you can make the bags exactly the size that you want.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these drawstring produce bags:

  • Scrap fabric (I used cotton and linen scraps)
  • An iron
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • A sewing machine
  • Cotton machine thread
  • Cord or string for the drawstring
  • Safety pins

*The iron and sewing machine are not essential. You can sew by hand, too.

Step 1: Cut your fabric to size and iron. I used approximately H60cm x W26cm.

Step 2: Fold fabric over right sides together, pin down left and right sides.

Step 3: Sew up from folded edge leaving about two-fingers of space from the top of the cloth.

Step 4: Fold over the top edge creating a loop that your cord will go through, iron and pin.

Step 5: Sew the top edge on both sides making sure to leave the edges left and right unsewn as your cord will need to pass through these holes.

Step 6: With a safety pin, pierce the cord and pass through the hole until you reach the end, continue through the other side and tie a knot.

Step 7: Repeat step 6 but coming from the opposite direction.

Step 8: Turn the bag the right way around and poke out the corners.

Step 9: Pull the strings together to check it all works nicely. Repeat for however many produce bags you need in whatever size you need them to be.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use any leftover fabric you have lying around. You could also use old bed sheets, tea towels or cotton clothes.
  • Think about what you want your bags for: fruit, vegetables, nuts or grains. This will determine the size of the fabric when cutting.
  • Insert pins horizontally, this secures fabric better, makes it easier to take out the pins as you go and reduces risk of your needle breaking if you’re using a sewing machine.
  • If you want to dye your fabric naturally, you might like this tutorial on how to dye using avocado stones.

I’ve been using these bags for all sorts of things recently and find them to be really useful. I’ve been using them to put my keys and wallet in when carrying a basket bag and for things that don’t fit in my packing cubes when travelling. They would also make great re-usable gift bags if you used a more exciting fabric.

Thanks so much for reading. Do let me know if you make these! I’d love to know :)

Happy sewing big bisous from London. xS

Photos by Nicole Hertel