a certain someone around my house has been baking lots of homemade bread as of late and this has left us on the hunt for something eco-friendly in which to store our bread. we wanted something that could be re-used, preferably thrown in the washing machine when needed, and would also keep the bread fresh for as long as possible. we looked at bread boxes and various types of bags, but just weren't completely satisfied with the options. so i decided i would make a bag... the only question was what we could line it with that would keep the bread fresh but also be washable. i went with rubberized cotton and was very pleased when the inaugural bag kept a fresh loaf of rye from getting moldy or stale for over a week, way longer than either of us had hoped for, as most of the bags on the market say they keep bread fresh for 3-4 days. the only drawback of the rubberized cotton lining is that it's a little pricey ($15/yard for 36" fabric), but i think it's absolutely worth it. plus, the rubberized cotton is not only machine washable, but can also be thrown in the dryer (on low) as well. want your own yet? well, here's how:
to make your own bread bag, you'll need a cotton fabric of your choice for the exterior, rubberized cotton, a piece of ribbon about 36" long, thread, scissors (or rotary cutter), tape measure, and a sewing machine (and a cup of coffee never hurts!).
since the rubberized cotton is 36" across, i used this dimension to help determine the size of the bag (hate to waste fabric). i cut the piece for the lining 20" x 18", and this way a 20" piece of the lining material will make two bags. it's easy to adjust the size of the bag, just remember that the height of the lining (in this case the 18" side) needs to be 1" shorter than the height of the exterior cotton fabric. note: all seams are sewn with 1/2" allowance.
fold the lining material in half so that it measures 18" x 10". sew up the side and across one end, trim corners.
cut a piece of the exterior fabric 20" x 19". take the ribbon and fold in half so that right sides are facing. pin folded ribbon 3" down on 19" side of fabric (pin on right side).
fold exterior fabric in half so that it measures 19" x 10". being careful not to catch ribbon in the seam, sew up the side of the fabric. when you reach the end, turn and sew in about 2". on the other side of the end, sew in about 2" as well (this leaves a large place to turn the bag right side out). go back over where ribbon attaches 1/4" from original seam to secure the ribbon. trim corners.
turn the exterior fabric right side out and place inside the lining so that right sides face.
pin top edges and sew around. after sewing seam, do not trim.
pull exterior fabric out and pull over lining, turning bag right side out.
instead of folding the fabric back at the seam around the opening, we're going to just pull back the exterior fabric enough to where it hits the edge of the lining, which will give you 1/2" of the exterior fabric inside the lip of the bag. even out edge, pin in place and then topstitch. (this overlap is the reason why we want the exterior fabric to be 1" longer.)
now the only part left is to finish the bottom edge of the exterior. you could slipstitch, but i just pin together and topstitch across the entire edge (making sure that the lining doesn't get caught in seam).
there it is! you've got your very own bread bag. and, if you're like me, you'll just need to find someone devastatingly handsome to bake up some bread for you to put in it ;)