Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cloth Shopping Bags.

We don't have an Ikea store near us here in Texas, but every time I visit No. 2 we go to Ikea for lunch and a look, even if we buy nothing.

For a few years in a row, Ikea offered cloth shopping bags for a ridiculous price of something like $1.34 each. I bought a few on my first trip, liked them and bought more on each trip thereafter. They were SO cheap that I could gift them to encourage others to stop using plastic bags. I gifted to No. 1, No. 2 and her roommate, Jen Z.

Before my last trip to see No. 2 and No. 3, I washed my Ikea bags in the washing machine WITH my gym shoes. They fell apart. I was on my way to visit No. 2, though, so I thought I'd just purchase more. We did our Ikea lunch and look, but there were no cloth bags to be found. A friendly store clerk said that the cloth bags were a limited-time item. Desperate, I bought 5 of the Ikea store bags for $.59/each. Em absolutely HATES them, as do grocery store check-out people. They're wider than they are tall, bulky as all get out, but made of something that looks like weaved plastic reinforced by stitching.


The first time we used them was for a canned goods sale. I told the checkout clerk to put all the cans in one of these bags. Then, Em tried to pick up the bag. Heh. "Woman, ..?"

Next time we used them for a big meat buy. Meat was what messed up our cloth bags to the point where I felt like they needed to be washed. We decided they're great for meat buys because they can simply be wiped after the meat's been removed from them, but we really preferred the cloth bags with the long handles for anything else.

Knowing Diane is handy at sewing, I hired her to fix the bags. I trusted her judgment completely on how to fix them from her scrap fabric stash, but she outdid my expectations completely.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that the bag repair would result in sturdier AND more attractive bags while still retaining their original size/shape.

You can see a photo here, and if you click on "cloth shopping bags" below the photo, you can see what she started with.

She showed me some pics of some things I asked her to make for our new granddaughter, but No. 1 reads this blog so I'll wait until after the shower to post them.

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