Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baggin it

I did it! The other day (in my vernacular that could mean last week, a couple months ago, sometime last year, or anytime that is not today) I decided to belt out some reusable baggies and mats with my new fabric stash from Jo-Anns (thanks to a patient spouse and fun shopping trip in Pittsburgh) and the PUL I ordered from Very Baby. I actually made my first one as a gift and used snaps to close it. It'll work well enough, but I was disappointed with the way the snaps puckered the PUL (sorry Henrik)!

So this time, this other day, I thought I'd try velcro. I wanted to try a couple different prototypes. The trick is that it is waterproof with the PUL except if you sew through the PUL (to sew the velcro on) then you put little holes in it and no more waterproofing. Also, without some kind of fold-down flap or zip-loc closure, the bag can leak. So my idea was to make a lunch bag/sandwich bag size with a closure similar to a dry bag. Here is the result of that, which I think worked pretty well:

I also have seen some cool bags by Snack Taxi and ReUsies, so I thought I'd try one with just a flap:

Then I wanted some different sizes and out came these guys:

I also wanted a placemat for Oliver kind of like Mimi the Sardine's. So I just serged the PUL to some cotton and viola! But I thought it would be cool if I could close it and make it like a sandwich wrap (kind of like Wrap-n-Mat or Betz White's). So my next one will have to have some kind of velcro or closure.

I also got some raincoats from the thrift and thought I could make lunch bags with those. In the meantime I did a little internetting to see the eco-grooviness of all of this. I mean, right now BPA in plastics is a big deal, so how safe is PUL or raincoat vinyl? Probably not, eh? Turns out lots of folks had the same questions and it was pretty easy to find information. Some good links are Here and Here. But the end result is this: if you are currently using disposable plastic bags for sandwiches or snacks, the PUL will be no different. If you are avoiding plastic containers for your food, maybe try making them with oilcloth (or making your own!). PUL and vinyl (like all plastics, really) should not be microwaved or heated if you plan to have them in contact with food. But I don't cook my sandwich bags and I feel pretty good about it. I do however wash my PUL (and all cloth diaper fabric) on hot. I think it's okay. Not scary, but that's my choice.
One downside that I have noticed with the resuable snack bags: they aren't airtight. Waterproof, breathable is great when hiking, but not for leaving your Goldfish in your lunch pail overnight. Staleness. A minor issue.

Speaking of PUL and not eating off of it, I made a new diaper pail liner with a big piece of PUL and some fold-over-elastic. Came out a little larger than I hoped (should have used a smaller piece of elastic) but it's working great. Next up: some wet bags with thrift store zippers.


  1. I love your crafiness and choice of fabrics!

  2. Okay, so I signed up to follow twice. I'm not sure how I crated the "karbar" account. I'm a dork!