Sunday, February 19, 2012


With the first hints of spring (some sunny and slightly warmer days), we've been spending more time outside...playing for the kids and yard work for me. Although the previous owners didn't do much with the yard, thankfully, in the past someone had, and I've just had to re-dig flower beds that once existed. I don't feel like I've had to invest tons of time - but, oh, the rewards! It still lacks the cheeriness of flowers (soon, hopefully!), but at least it is starting to look cared for rather than neglected!

How to Make a Bread Bag

A fabric bread bag is super simple and quick to make! Here's how:

You'll Need:
Two pieces of fabric, about 2/5 yard each
Ribbon or string, about 28 inches
Basic sewing supplies

1. Decide how big you want to make it. Mine has a finished size of 12 x 17 inches, which I have found to be a great size, as it fits several different kinds of bread that I make. You may want to measure your bread to be sure it will fit, and adjust the size if need be.

2. Cut your fabric. You'll need two pieces, for the outer fabric and the lining. Choose a natural fabric, like linen or cotton, preferably something tightly woven, and be sure to pre-wash. I cut my fabric 13 x 35 inches (for a finished size of 12 x 17 inches), but adjust as needed.

Note: If you need to use up smaller pieces of fabric (as I did for my outer fabric) you can cut two pieces 13 x 18 inches, and sew them together, right sides together, with a 1/2 in. seam allowance, on one of the shorter sides, which will give you one long piece measuring 13 x 35 in. You'll want to press the seam allowance open.

3. Take your outside fabric and fold in half, short ends and right sides together. With a 1/2 in. seam allowance, sew up one side. On the other side, start at the top (raw edges) and sew down about 1 1/4 inches. End seam and cut threads, leave about a 1/2 inch gap, then begin the seam again and go all the way down to the bottom. Press seam allowances open (clip the fold to the seam to help with this) and turn right side out.

4. Take your lining fabric and fold in half, short ends and right sides together. With a 1/2 in. seam allowance, sew up both sides. Press seam allowances open (again, clip the fold to the seam).

5. On both outside and lining fabrics, fold the top edge over about 1/2 inch, to the wrong side, and press.

6. Insert the lining bag into the outside bag, wrong sides together, matching up side seams and top edges. Pin. Sew close to the top edge, attaching the bags together.

7. Remember the gap you left in one of the side seams of the outside fabric? That will give you a little hole to insert the tie in the casing. Locate that hole before making the casing. To make the casing, sew another topstitch seam about 1/2 inch away from the one you just made, keeping both layers of the bag smooth. Then sew another one about 1/2 inch away from that. You'll end up with three parallel lines of stitching along the top of the bag. You want your hole to be in the middle of the bottom two; adjust where your seams need to be if necessary.

8. Attach a small safety pin to one end of your ribbon and thread it through the hole and the casing. It can be a bit tricky to get it through the seam allowances, so go slow there and finnagle it as necessary. When all the way through the casing, tie the ends together.

You're done! Enjoy your bread bag and take satisfaction in the fact that you're saving your family from chemicals every time you use it!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bread in a Bread Bag

I recently started making this bread for sandwiches. I have a hard time eating 100% whole wheat bread, which is often so dense, but since this is half whole wheat, I feel that is a good compromise. And it is delicious! I recently made this bread bag, as well. I have been trying to stay away from plastic in my kitchen, so making one of these has been on my to-do list for a while. I am pleased with how well it has been working. Mostly I've used it with this bread, which stays soft and fresh for about 2 days in there. By the third day (which is usually when we finish it), it has started getting slightly hard, but it still works great for toast or eggs-in-a-frame. I made a simple two-layer drawstring bag, with both layers being a tightly woven cotton.