I've had the reusable grocery bags sorted ages ago. There's always a supply in the car, with extras at home if needed. And I always try to have a small fold up bag in my handbag, for spur of the moment trips to the shops. But it's only in recent times that I've actually done something about the never ending supply of plastic that ends up at home as a result of putting fruit and vegetables into plastic bags.
At the beginning of this year I bought some eco mesh produce bags from Tulgeen, a group providing people with disabilities an opportunity to work in paid, meaningful employment - a win win, for the people making the bags and the environment.
Made from a fine synthetic mesh, the bags are light, yet durable, and are serving their purpose well. Sorry, no photos of the eco mesh bags.
Problem is, I never seem to have enough, so I thought I'd have a go at making my own. Finding a suitable mesh fabric is not as easy as it may seem.
By chance, I spotted some cotton muslin when out fabric shopping recently, and remembered Tea and a Sewing Machine's reusable produce bags that had also been made with cotton muslin.
Although my finished bags are quite serviceable, the project didn't go quite as smoothly as I'd anticipated.
The cotton muslin I purchased, has a very loose weave, and to top it off, was wavy - not flat - making it hard to cut. Maybe I should have ironed it first??? To be honest, I didn't even contemplate ironing - it was so fine, it looked like it would burn easily, and just like cheese cloth, I thought / think the waves are part of the look.
All of those reasons made sewing the seams pretty rough and ready. Doesn't really matter, but not what I'm used to.
Are there different types / qualities of cotton muslin?
I used my Quick and Easy Drawstring Bag tutorial, modifying the instructions so as to only have one drawstring, and omitting the boxed corners.
When sewing the second bag, I realised that I had doubled the fabric in the first bag. It's so fine, I unknowingly had sewn two layers together. In the very top photo, the closed bag on the right is the one made with double fabric. It's still very usable - just harder to see through and will weigh a little more.
I have yet to take my cotton produce bags to the shops, but just in taking the photos above, the bags don't feel as sturdy, and the drawstring cord is a little hard to close. At 12" x 15", they are perhaps a little too large. I'll let you know how they go.
What experiences to you have with trying to eliminate plastic when buying fruit and vegetables?