Friday, December 31, 2010


The Friskies Brand has the cutest cat on it!

These are the bags that I recycled out of the cat food bags they have now.  I seen the idea in a quilt magazine but they were using Old Roy Dog Food bags.  Well, our dog is so spoiled he wouldn't think of eating that, I had to resort to using cat food bags.  They are the same woven plastic and very durable.  I thought it would be a great bag for taking toys and towels to the beach (some else besides me!) or carrying things for a picnic. It is water resistant and can be wiped clean.

Materials Needed:
1 used Cat Food Bag
1/2 yard of Paw Print or other fun fabric
Scissors or Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
Sewing Machine and Thread.

I first washed out the bag very well.  I washed the inside and the outside using antibacterial soap.  Come on, you never know where it's been!  I use the bathtub for this.  I would not stick that in my kitchen sink by any means...again, I don't know where it's been!  BUT...that's just me.

I cut off a bit of the top and a bit of the bottom using a straight edge ruler and rotary cutter but use what you can and make sure it is straight.  You might want to watch the pattern of the bag so you leave the best part of the picture intact.  I try to end up with about a 20 inch tube of the bag to work with. 

Cutting and preparing your fabric

Iron your fabric so it is nice and flat then match the selvages on one side and cut the following pieces.
One 5 inch strip the width of the fabric for the top binding of bag
Two - 4 inch strips the width of the fabric for handles
Cut off the selvages on all strips and discard

Set aside the two 4 inch pieces for the handles.  We will do that later.

Taking the 5 inch strip, fold over about 1//2 inch on one short end and press.  It should look like the photo below:

Next fold the 5 inch strip in half length wise, matching raw edges together.  It will now be about 2.5 inches by 42 inches or whatever the width your fabric was. 

Putting on the Top Binding
The 5 inch strip you just prepared will be sewed onto the TOP edge of the bag.  Place the folded strip flush with the raw edges to the top of the bag making sure you are starting with the end that is folded over.  Use a 3/4 inch seam allowance.  Yes, 3/4 will need that for strength when you fold over the top.  Start sewing about 2 inches in from the folded short end.  Sew around until you are about 5 inches away from the beginning. 

Tuck the end INSIDE the beginning piece so you know where to cut it off so there is about 1 1/2 inches of the binding fabric inside the starting part.  That is why we left the first 2 inches not sewn.  You will stick the final edge into the folded edge and then go back to sewing the 3/4 inch seam allowance through all layers together.  The folded edge will now be on the outside and it will look nice and neat and one continuous piece.  You can hand stitch together if you want...I didn't.

Next fold the folded edge of the strip up and over the top of the bag to the inside of the bag.  It should be a little bit longer than the inside stitching you just did.  I pin it in place.  Make sure it is nicely pulled over the top edge and flat.  That is why you need a 3/4 inch seam allowance, you have a nice edge to pull the fabric over.  I top stitch in place from the outside of the bag using about 1/4 stitching from the bottom edge of the binding.

Now for the handles 

There are many way to do this and if you have a special way to do it, fine. 

First fold over the 4 inch strips in half lengthwise and press.  Now open the strip back up and now bring the raw edges to the middle fold you just formed by pressing.  Do one side at a time and press.  Now fold those two sides together and top stitch it all together.  These should be about 1 inch wide now.  Cut these pieces to 28 inches or less if you wish.  Now top stitch on each side to hold it all together.  You can get creative and also sew on rickrack or use a decorative stitch. 
Flatten out the bag and measure in 5 inches from each side.  I place a pin there on both sides of the bag.  You should have 4 pins marking where the handles will go.  You can either place the handle on one side or the other of the pin or eyeball it to be in the middle of that pin.  Be consistent with whatever way you choose.  Also make sure you have the best side be the outside of the handles.  Be sure also not to twist them as you sew them on.   The end of the handle should line up with the bottom of the top fabric binding on the inside of the bag..  I sew a nice square and stitch across the edge like the photo below:

Now for the bottom of the bag 

Turn the bag inside out.  The flattened out bag should have the side creases to the outside of the bag and the handles should line up.  I sew a 1/2 inch seam across the bottom of the bag.  Now flatten out the sewn corners so that the bottom seam lines up with the sides seams forming a triangle.  I measure in about 3 -4 inches across that and mark it with a permanent marker.  See photo below:

Fabric from some other project used here.
Using that marker line as your sewing line, sew across this triangular piece.  You can cut off the excess to about 1/2 inch but check it out first by turning it right out and making sure it is right.

That is about it.  Now don't get "catty" about your special bag...there are plenty more to recycle!


  1. Really cute! Are you lining it with that orange fabric? I didn't see any reference to lining although using a rip stop would be nice for the dog beach. Thanks :)