Monday, November 7, 2011

Ace is the Place

to get one of these shopping bags.

You  may be asking yourself why anybody would want one of these.

Yes, it's just a cheap reusable shopping bag that nearly every store sells for a buck or two.

Here is more information than anyone (but me) wants to know about this bag:

  • 100% recyclable polypropylene
  • 12.5"W x 14"H x 8"D
  • Handle: 19"L x 1/8"W
  • 24 lb. capacity  
  • Each bag is designed to replace 2 paper bags or up to 4 plastic bags
  • Used weekly for 2 years replaces 416 plastic bags 
I find it has some admirable qualities, though it's pretty plain--certainly not fashionable. I also hate to carry a bag with a logo.  They are not paying me to advertise for them, so why would I tote around their logo?

Right after putting the Ace bag aside, I wandered out to my garden shed and saw this roll of burlap.

I wonder when and why I bought this? It must have been during a streak of ambitious shopping. Truth be told,  I am way too lazy to cover shrubs with burlap.  So the burlap sat for multiple years in the corner of the shed.

 Hmmmmmm.....maybe I could do something with the burlap to transform the useful, but bland shopping mind soared into overdrive as I happily toted the coarsely-woven fabric into my sewing room.

I immediately took a measurement and began the restructuring of the Ace bag.

When I get done with this bag, nobody will know that it began its life in this somewhat dull/boring form.

Well, that is nobody but all of you, because I am about to  blab all the details right now.
The burlap just happened to be the perfect width after finger pleating to fit across the bag front. I cut an approximately 4-inch strip, raveled the bottom, sewed a zigzag stitch at the top of the ravels to prevent more ravelling, then  pleated it to this size.
I just eyeballed the pleat size. It does not matter one iota if one pleat is wider than the next.

I wanted to use two fabrics, so I picked out a complementary fabric to alternate with the burlap. I chose a fabric with a black background  so it would blend in with the handles and side of the bag, which won't be covered in new fabric.
Layer #1 is on.  Notice I put a hem in this fabric instead of fraying it.  All I am going to do is alternate this with the burlap and sew five strips on top of each other across the front & back...simple, simple, simple!

It was quite easy to turn the Ace bag into this handy little carrier:

It can be used for lightweight food shopping, with an heavy stress on the "lightweight".  I think the
 24-lb. capacity stated above is on the optimistic side.
Oh, but does it not look prettier than one of those awful plastic grocery bags? 

It almost makes me want to take over the grocery shopping just so I can use this bag. 

Whoa--Zo--Get a handle on it--just listen to yourself--are you ill?

Whew--I was a bit lightheaded for a moment! Now that I have come to my senses,  I think I will just use it for my library books.

I would normally post this on my sewing/quilting blog, but since my garden is done, I have little to post here, so I decided to post it on both.  My apologizes if you follow both of them.


  1. That's great Zoey. I have a few of these free bags and I do use them for volunteering with my tools, for classes with my books, for trade shows to collect goodies and on and on. Yours certainly looks a lot better than mine.


  2. That looks GREAT, Zoey! You did a really nice job and no one would ever recognize it now! I think I might have a roll of that burlap myself! xo Daan

  3. Ok that's it, I'm sending you all of my reusable bags so that you can transform them like you did yours! lol Leave it to you to think of doing something like that, it looks gorgeous. xoxo

  4. I sure love that bag Zoey, that's a big wow!! I'm with can have all my bags and transform them:)

  5. Those bags would make a PERFECT library bag---why didn't I ever think of that. Well, I think a LOT of gals will be sending you their bags for transformation. Maybe you have a good sideline business on your hands now??? Beautiful transformation. You'll be getting my hideous blue Meijer bags soon!-LOL!!

  6. Thank you all for the kind comments. It was so easy. I know any of you could do it!

  7. Only you, creative lady, could do something like this. What an eye you have for creativity. Neat idea.

  8. You recycled a green bag-wow! It's really nice and fashionable! I do love the 'store' bags and many aren't too bad-I should know, I have a collection of them now. Good job!

  9. Zoey, you are showing your creativity as usual!! very stylish.

  10. Good job, Zoey! Yours is so creative, I just turn mine inside out. I cannot stand being used as an advertisement.

  11. Zoey, I wish I had your creativity! That is a fantastic makeover, and no one would know it started out as a hardware bag!


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