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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cooler Bag for groceries

I have purchased, used and ruined several plastic cooler bags. And I am now using my own tote bags for groceries ... so it makes some sense to have my own thermal, insulated grocery bag.  This is the story of one bag.
(I have made so many bags, one friend calls me "the Bag Lady"!)

I had an old auto window shade; I was planning to fix it!

All the edges were raggedy!

I bought 2 packs of bias tape for the fix job, so I used them for this project instead.
Looking back, now that the job is done, I probably should have used DUCT tape instead of trying to sew plastic together! Maybe next time.......

Cut the top flaps off for a clean edge to work with.

Cut the side flaps off. (save for practice stitching!)
Cut 2 sections for side panels.

Cut the side panels to match the height of the bag and finish edges with bias tape.
Panel on the left shows what will be the finished "inside".
Panel on the right shows the stitching.
Bias tape all around the large piece.

Close up of bias sewn once, the rough edge is then trimmed away.

Now that all the plastic, insulated pieces have a bias tape edge.... I stitched the bias tape together to form a box shape with a lid flap. Next time I'll just duct tape the box together!
So the size is this: 
2 sections of the shade for the front, 1 section for the bottom, 2 more for the back, and 1 section for the lid flap. 
The auto shade was already creased into these sections!

Looking inside
The lid flap fits into its own pocket; so the outer bag holds the lid open for filling up!

The outer bag is not attached to the insulated box; so either one can be cleaned as needed.
Three yards of cotton web strap support the bag all the way under the bottom and up the other side.
Upholstery weight zipper tape and a "reverse head" make a sturdy closing.
On the first trip to the store with this bag I found that it will hold:
2 half-gallon cartons of milk
2 dozen cartons of eggs
1 cottage cheese carton
3 bags frozen veggies....  with room to spare!

Pizzas had to go into the plastic "cold" bag with the broken handles!

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