This tutorial is for a linen bread bag (but of course you can choose another fabric) with a drawstring closure and french seams on the inside. It keeps my bread in the dark and hung away from any possible little critters (my block was built around the 1850s, guys). The bread is local and fresh from When Pigs Fly - I've talked about them before but I will again because they're great! What follows is a photo-heavy tutorial on making the bag, complete with the smell of fresh bread while you read (the last half is a lie). There is also an enormous opportunity here to add some fantastic embroidery, perhaps a monogram or sashiko.
What you'll need:
- 2 pieces of fabric 12" x 16.5"
- thread, scissors, sewing machine, disappearing ink pen, iron & board
- yard of 1" twill tape
- embroidery floss (for an optional detail) and needle
To get started, cut your fabric. Two pieces 12" x 16.5". Along one short end of each piece mark half an in from each side. Fold your fabric in at this line and press. You don't need to press the entire length of the piece, just about 3 inches or so. You're creating the edge of your drawstring tubing here, you want it to end up flush with your two quarter inch seams and I think you should always air on the larger than half inch mark rather than the shorter when making your fold.
Next, make another mark on each of these folds 1.5" down from the top (where the fold begins). Fold you the raw edge in about a quarter of an inch and press. Next, fold that edge in at the 1.5" mark you've made and again, press. Pin in place and stitch along the bottom side of your tube.
Use your scissors to snip the folded fabric just under the tubing so that it will lay back flat and press. Align your two pieces wrong sides together (right side facing you) (key move in making French seams, I'm so use to putting right sides together, this is where I often trip up) and pin.
Stitch the three raw edge sides of the bag a quarter inch in from the raw edge. Trim off half of the seam allowance.
Flip the bag inside out and press, then pin. Now your bag is inside out. Stitch again the three sides at a quarter of an inch from the outside.
Flip the bag right side out again and press. You now have nice non-raw edges on the inside of your bag and your outside edge should be flush with the ends of your tubing.
Using embroidery floss or in my case, crochet thread, pull the needle from the inside of the bag to the outside from just under the bottom of the tubing. I did this to create a stronger intersection at this point of the bag. Go around the edge a few times, tie off on the inside and hide the end of the thread within the seam. Repeat on the other side.
Mark your bag from the bottom up to either 3 or 4 inches, depending on how tall you want your back and how wide you want the bottom (you know your bread best!). Thread the needle again and pull the thread out from the inside at each bottom corner of the bag. Bring the needle back through at the point you marked. Do this a couple of times and you can choose to keep this thread hidden or exposed and treat it like the detail you just created at the top. I kept it hidden. When done, tie off on the inside and hide the tail of the thread.
To finish, attach a safety pin to one end of your twill tape and feed it through your tubing.