Friday, November 29, 2013

Hands Free Grocery Bag Part 2

How to use grocery bag

This how you will get my Hand Free Grocery bag. 

To use the bag - remove all the tags (keep the folding diagram for future reference) and you simply undo the snap and tuck it into it's loop (just above it).

If  you need to, shake the bag out, then you slide both sleeves on first.    

Then you hook the center loop around the center knob of the bag stand.

Now, fill your bag up with good stuff!

When you're done with shopping, you just reverse the process - undo the center loop firstif the bag is really full, you might have to lift from the bottom to get it off the knob. You then slide the sleeves out and off you go!

How to fold grocery bag

First off, on the front of the bag on either side of the strap loop, you will see two lines of stitching in the same color as the fabric. Remember those lines as they will come in handy in the next few steps.

After putting away your groceries, you want to shake out any debris from inside, if it's wet, hang it to dry. If it got messy, wash it. Then working on a flat surface, if you look at the bottom of the bag, you see a basic rectangle. 

You fold the rectangle in half, placing short ends together and . . .

it should look like an upside down house (to me anyways).

You fold the handles up onto the bag.

Next, remember that stitching line, well now it comes into play. That stitching line is your guide to folding the bag. You basically fold from the stitching line to just past the center (you can do any side first, it doesn't matter - you are folding the bag in thirds).

Next you fold the other side over.

Then you take the "bottom" (the side closes to you) and fold it up to where you can see the female part of the snap.

Take the center loop and tuck it into the bag somewhere.

Put on the snap and throw it into your bag or into the back seat of your car - your bag is now ready for your next shopping trip. 

Please remember to wash your bag after every few uses. The bag can go through the washer and dryer, and you can iron it to get the corner creases. It might take a few trys before you get the hang of using your new bag, but once you've mastered it, you'll see that it's a cinch to use. 

I want to thank Country Aire for their support of my bag and I want to thank all the wonderful women and men that work there. If you have not shopped there, you should go and visit, it's a really nice store. I am so glad that we have a great store like this in our town, it is a wonderful place to get some great organic foods and awesome products for our home.

Happy Shopping!!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Email is the best way to contact me, and please be sure that your email address is sited so I can write you back.Thanks!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hands Free Grocery Bag Part 1

About five or six years ago, my daughter Dawn (who lives in Hawaii), gave me this shopping bag from a local grocery store there. I really liked the print, Hawaiian quilts, and I especially loved the bags's size and shape. I used this bag a lot (can you see the duct tape?)! I modified the handle so it wasn't so long and reinforced it to keep it strong. Although this bag is functional, it doesn't stand on it's own like most reusable bags are. So in 2012, I set out to design a bag that was practical and functional. 

Most people use bags they have around the house and with those, you need to use it with two hands (sometimes three) - not very practical. Even with reusable grocery bags you buy, you need at least two hands. Well, all that has changed with my Hands Free Grocery Bag. 

This is the first bag I designed, it had just the center loop and you needed an extra hand to load your groceries, not practical and difficult to use.
 I took a look at the function of the bag stand at my grocery store and thought that what my bag needed was a sleeve to hold it open so it could be loaded hands free. 

I tried button holes, but you still needed a hand to hold the bag open.

I tried to sew a sleeve and made a flap that you could slide on to the bag stand, but that was too cumbersome to use.

I then sewed the sleeve directly to the side of the bag and voila, genius!!

Storing the bag was another issue. I wanted the bag to be self contained to where you didn't need a separate pouch to store the bag in. I saw this bag and came up with a pocket in the front. You fold the bag and basically stick your hand in the pocket and invert everything into the pocket. That worked okay, but it didn't always lie flat. 

I even made a mistake and made the pocket longer which created a flap so you could close it with a button.

Then I started thinking of people who don't have the manual dexterity to invert the bag, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with folding the bag and putting a snap closure and it worked! 

When the bag is in use, you just tuck the strap into the strap loop.

I am so jazzed about this bag. Every week, I do my grocery shopping at Country Aire Natural Foods Market. Most of the girls there know how to use my bag and love it - hands free loading for them. I always do self check out at Walmart and Safeway and use my bag and it's so nice. 

My bag can hold about $50 worth of groceries (I actually managed $70 on one trip!). It is made of all cotton fabric and can be washed and dried in your machine - pressing for the creases is optional.

What is especially nice is that Country Aire has agreed to sell my bags at their store! I have been wanting this for years and it's finally happened. If my bags sell well, then they will ask for more and who knows, maybe they will be interested in my other products too!

My love of bags and my journey into designing them and others have come full circle for me. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to design and make bags. I can only hope that things will go up from here.

Thanks for reading about my bag journey.

Read part 2 where I demo how to use and fold my Hands Free Grocery Bag.

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Email is the best way to contact me, and please be sure that your email address is sited so I can write you back.Thanks!