This came about because I have 3 dogs and 1 cat. We go to the pet food store about every 3 weeks, and each trip sends me away with 2 big bags from a store that only uses paper, not plastic. (Bless their collective soul.) Sometimes I get all the way to the car before the bag breaks and the cans roll out. Sometimes I make it all the way home so the cans can roll down my driveway instead. Those cans get out and run free in the street more than the dogs do. Oh well, I like a good excuse to make something new!
Here is the inside, the crochet was added after the fabric bag was finished to add strength (after realizing that dog food cans are mighty, and I wasn’t 100% sure that fabric alone would keep them contained.)
Here are the details of construction of the fabric part. A sewing machine will definitely make this go quicker, though it can be done with needle and thread if that is your choice.
Here is how to make the crochet part. I made it out of Arch Mesh stitch, which is my easy go-to netting stitch (reference below). Its fast and easy, but you can do double crochet, or knit, or anything else you like for the bag.
To the get the size of the crochet bag, just hold it up to your fabric bag and keep going until its big enough. The crochet part is then sewn to the inside of the fabric bag (or outside if that was your choice), with the bottom resting on the bottom (line your markers up with the corners). If you sew around the top edge of the crochet bag, not leaving any gaps, the bag will stay attached and it should prevent items from getting between the fabric and crochet. Handles: Once I had the bags attached to each other, wanted to reinforce the fabric handle to make sure it wasn’t going to pull off of the bag. I grabbed a crochet hook and joined yarn to the crochet bag at the end of one handle, then made a chain for one handle and attached to the crochet bag at the other end. I then double crocheted back along the handle and attached again back at the beginning. I then sewed the crochet and fabric handle together along it to add strength to the handle. Repeat for the second handle.
I wasn’t sure of the sturdiness of the sides of this fabric bag, since I made mine more flat and wide, and out of a thinner material. If you make a deeper, narrower bag, or use a stronger material like canvas, your sides will certainly stay up. So I sewed fabric pieces around the outside edge of the bag so that I could run a braided piece of yarn through it as a drawstring. (Blue drawstring is visible in the first photo.)
Side note: I decided to try my hand a quilting too since I had my machine out and I’d never done that before. Time to get rid of some of that fabric scrap stash! To make a stronger bag without crochet reinforcement, I sewed a bunch of fabric scraps and squares together to make 2 pieces of fabric, then placed the 2 pieces together with seamy “insides in” and cut and sewed the bag shape as shown on the construction drawing above. (The only difference being that I pulled the corner fabric layers apart to sew the seam of both fabric pieces on the inside only so no seam showed on the inside or outside of the bag.) I did not add any quilt material between the fabric pieces, just let the 2 layers of fabric be thick enough. This was quicker to do than crocheting, and did make a very strong bag, (which is reversible since there are “outsides” even on the inside). That dog food’s not running down the street this time!
Arch Mesh Stitch can be found in: The Crochet Stitch Bible. Betty Barnden. Krause Publications, Quarto Inc. 2004. This chart was “Arch Mesh” pg. 87.