Trash on the go... | Week 21 | #52wonderfilledweeks

In our house we have a "Honey Do" list and a "Honey Sew" list.  At any given time I have a handful of projects that the hubs has asked me to sew.  At the top of the list for over a year was a trash bag/can for the new car.  Okay, it's a year old but the need is still there.  In our old car we were able to hang a grocery bag from the arm rest of our "captain" chair seats.  In our new Subaru we don't have that option.  We both despise a dirty car, and with two kiddos it can really add up.  I'm not sure how we have survived the last year but we're getting ready for a big family road trip so I knew it was time to bite the bullet and figure out how to make something that was functional and cute. 

My first thought was to make something that would straddle the "hump" in the back seat on the floor.  I kept getting stumped at how I would keep the bag from tumbling to either side when we turned.  It wasn't until I was getting some items out of the center console (between the seats) that it dawned on me that I could use a strap to attach the bag to and around the console to keep the bag in place.  Some quick measurements and I was off and running. 

I took the time to make a mock bag first for size and I am glad I did as I learned that my base measurements were off a bit. After realizing my mistake I was able to adjust the numbers and get a perfect fit. 

Squaring up my mock fabric, more of the Ikea sheet.

Measuring down from the corners to "box" the bag.

Checking that my bottom and side seams match up.

Sewing the "box" seam. If you are happy with your box then you can cut off the excess.
I left the corners on my finished product as I felt it added to the stability of the bottom of the bag.


I used a simple "box bottom bag" idea to make the can.  Using a simple formula I found HERE, I was able to quickly figure out what size pieces to cut.  I used some AWESOME waterproof Oxford from one of my favorite shops, Sahara Fabric.  This fabric sews up so nice.  I used a sharp needle and  french seams to help with any possible leaking.  Basically you sew your first seam with WRONG sides together, trim the edges and then fold your fabric right sides together and sew as usual.  This encases the edges of the fabric, which is great because Oxford can begin to fray and I wanted to keep that at a minimum. I made sure to account for the extra seam allowance in my initial cut measurements.

To assemble the bag you will place your pieces wrong sides together and sew down one side of the bag, across the bottom and back up the remaining side.  Leave the top open.  Trim the seam within an eighth of an inch to the stitching. Turn the bag so that right sides are now facing each other and sew the same side, bottom and side again.  It's helpful to mark your corners (where you will be turning) so you have perfect turning points.When you are done, with the bag still inside out (right sides together) fold the bag so that the bottom seam and one of the side seams line up.  Measure down from the corner the amount you came up with in your calculations. Draw a line across the seam and sew a straight line.  Do the same thing for the other side/corner.

Assembling the bag.  Sewing wrong sides together first.

Sewing the right sides together.  I marked the corners so I would know exactly
where to turn the corner.

Checking my "box" seam and making sure there is the same amount
of space on each side of the sewn seam.  Make sure to check from the
line of stitching not the edge of the fold!

PERFECT!!!


***When "boxing" the corners it is helpful to make sure your seams are perfectly lined up.  If they are not you will not have the same amount of space on either side of the seam.  If you are off even by an eighth of an inch check that your seams are in fact lined up.***


While oxford is a very sturdy fabric and can almost stand up on it's own I did want to make sure that the opening would in fact stay open.  At first I thought that I could make a channel or casing when I folded the edges down to finish the top and run an old hanger through but I was worried about the time involved in straightening the hanger and then getting a perfect circle...nope...I aborted and then remembered I had some sew in boning in my stash of sewing supplies.  BINGO.  I had just enough and it worked perfectly to keep the bag open.  I did strip the fabric off of the plastic boning which made it slide into the casing easier.  I popped the bag back on my machine and sewed the inch opening for the casing closed. 

Top casing for the boning.  I left about an inch opening to stuff the boning into.

Sewing the casing down near the outside edge.

Stripping the fabric from the boning.


The next step was where I had to determine how to attach it to the car.  I had already decided using some nylon webbing or strapping would be perfect and after some consideration I decided the bag would be most secure if I sewed the strapping around the bag and then left the ends to wrap around the center console and clip into place.  I dry fitted the bag with the webbing in the car and figured out how much webbing I would need.  Again I had some on hand.  It was so nice that I didn't have to buy anything for this project. I determined that the strap should be sewn about 8" up from the bottom of the bag.  This would allow the bag strap to sit parallel to the floor and wrap around the console perfectly.

***Use a flame to seal the cut ends of the nylon webbing***

Using my white marking pencil I quickly marked the line for the webbing and sewed the strapping down. 

Marking where to attach the strapping.

Sewing the strapping to the bag.  I use 1" webbing.

I love how sturdy it is with the boning and the nylon webbing.


Next up was to create a rigid bottom to the bag.  I used some scraps to make a envelope of fabric and slide three layers of some plastic pattern material into the bottom.  It keeps it just rigid enough so far. 

Using my paper rotor cutter to trim down pattern plastic to use in the base.

I made a simple envelope style pocket to slip the plastic into.  I wish I had enough scraps to
make it a touch bigger and really fit snug in the base of the bag.

Bottom is all done!

Everything put together! Time to head to the car!!


The bag fits perfectly.  I added a grocery bag liner after I took photos but it's the perfect size.  I can easily reach from the drivers seat, it's waterproof and fits like a glove.  Finally! No more trash rolling around our Subi!!! Bring on the road trip!!

From the drivers side you can barely see the strapping around the center console.  

From the front seat.  Nice and big!

From the back seat.  Everyone in the car can access the can.  I added a plastic grocery bag after
I took these photos.  I hope to make a couple of reusable liners out of PUL in the coming weeks to
make this an even greener project.

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