With chickens comes feed and with feed comes really nice bags that I can’t seem to throw away. (The plan is to soon be producing our own chicken feed but for now a little free range and a little store bought is what we have.) I have a vast collection of reusable grocery bags but over time they get worn and need replacing. I would look rather ridiculous going through the line at the market asking to have my groceries put in a 50lb. feed bag, so a little “nip-tuck” is in order.
I adapted the pattern for the tote from the one that I used years ago to make canvas totes. (I have a bag problem, I know. They’re just so handy!) The whole project takes an hour or so. It’s a great way to use up the feed bag stock pile and it’s easy enough that the kids can make them too!
First things first, I give the bag a good wipe down. I don’t want dirt and feed dust in the sewing room.
Then I cut the bottom of the bag off (about 9 inches or so). Turn the bag inside out and sew the bottom closed. Use two seam allowances so the bottom is good and sturdy. (1/2 inch and 1/4 inch)
Next fold the centers of the top of the bag together. (you will end up with a “home plate” shape. Open the triangles and measure 10 inches across and mark. Sew the same double seam on the mark. Do the same to the other side. This is your square bottom.
Then for the handles. Use the piece you cut from the bottom of the bag and cut 2 strips 3 inches wide. Cut these in half so you have 4 pieces 3 inches wide. Sew 2 together lengthwise. (Again, right sides together) Fold the edges in about a 1/2 inch on both sides. Securing with paper clips. Unlike fabric, pin holes don’t go away in the feed bag. To minimize the holes I use paper clips or binder clips instead. Fold the strap in half and sew both sides. (This will be done right sides out).
Once both handles are sewn, it’s time to attach them to the bag. With the bag still inside out fold the top edge down about an inch and a half. Fold the top down another inch and a half so the rough edge is hidden. Secure this with paper clips again. Measure and place the handles where you like. This bag is pretty close to square so just make sure the handles are opposite each other.
Hold the handles in place with a binder clip. They will be pointing down for now. Sew around the bottom of the hem on the top of the bag first. Then position the handles up (so they are coming out of the bag) and sew around the top. Both of these seams will be 1/4 inch allowances. I like to reinforce the handles by sewing an “X” on each.
At this point the bag is complete. You can cut the extra triangle from making the square bottom. I leave it in tack for a little extra bottom support.
Step by Step Pictures:
Feed Bag Tote
Cut the bottom 10 inches off.
“Home plate” shape. To make a square bottom.
Open the triangles.
Mark 10 inches across and sew.
Cut 3 inch strips for handles.
Cut the strips in half.
Sew together. Fold edges in about a half inch.
Fold in Half and sew both sides.
Fold the top down an inch and a half.
Then again to hide the rough edges.
Measure and place handles. Sew bottom edge of the top.
Sew the top with handles up and sew “x” for reinforcement.
The extra triangles that can be cut or left for extra support.