Make your own fregie sacks from scrap material around the house.
Make your own fregie sacks from scrap material around the house.

There is a category of plastic bag that is sometimes forgotten about – the supermarket produce bag. I have received a lot of positive interest in my reusable produce bags, and rightly so because they are a simple way to reduce your reliance on single use plastic bags. They are versatile, easy to wash, so light they don’t need to be weighed, and so compact they can be carried with you all the time. You will feel good about making this easy change.

Following the buyerarchy of needs (using what I have first), I made my produce bags out of old clothing, but I found that the people at the check out didn’t like opening them to see what was inside. Then one day I found my old shade cover for the car window (if you have kids you know these are made from black mesh) and thought they’d make better produce bags because they are lighter and transparent. I also repurposed an unused body washer that I’d had for about 10 years into more produce bags. Clearly, I wasn’t going to use the washer as it was, but now the material is put to good use all the time!

Screenshot 2016-01-17 01.25.55 (2)

If you don’t want to make your own you can buy ‘fregie sacks’ online and there are handmade ones for sale at the Grow Lightly Food Hub Shop in Korumburra ($10 for 5). I use them for everything from leafy greens to lollies, grapes, medjool dates, and shelled walnuts. They scrunch up really small, so keep a bundle in your handbag so you are never caught without.

Treats don't have to come in throw-away packaging.
Treats don’t have to come in throw-away packaging.

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16 thoughts

      1. I would like a good pattern for these because the patterns I’ve read are too hard to follow or assume good sewing skills. I can sew straight lines and have material but am a beginner seamstress. Any suggestions? Many thanks.

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      2. I’m a beginner sewer too so I can’t give you a pattern unfortunately, but all I did was
        1) cut out a rectangle,
        2) fold the top edge over about an inch for the draw string to thread through and sew that down along the entire length with a straight stitch
        3) fold the rectangle in half so that the ‘right sides’ are together (so the wrong side is facing outwards.
        4) now sew a straight line along the bottom of the bag, then up the side to the top but make sure you don’t sew over the holes where you would thread the draw string.
        5) Now thread the drawstring though and work out what length works best before cutting it and knotting together.
        6) Now turn right-way-out and you are done! 🙂

        I hope that all makes sense. The good thing about this project is that you can hand sew if you don’t have a machine.

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  1. Such a brilliant idea!! I have one of these floating around my house, I was wondering what to do with. I first made my produce bags out of scrap material from the op shop. I made them for about 5 cents each, they make wonderful gifts!

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  2. Tammy, could you explain how you created the produce bag out of the body washer? Did you hand stitch or machine them? I have a washer that never gets used and I love the idea, I’m just not sure where to start!!

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    1. Well, I’m no expert at sewing. I tend to just have a crack and see what happens, so I used the sewing machine to run a straight stitch around the sides – and it worked good. Not perfect but good enough for me 😁. I’m sure a real sewer could advise about tension etc etc but I’m not much more help, I’m afraid.

      Actually, I just thought of it… maybe you could get some other fabric to fold over the edges of the mesh to create a hem and give it some extra character.

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