tutorial: printed muslin bread bag

I have an ever-growing love for Food52, in part because I love this cake recipe .  When I saw their 4th Annual Gift Swap post, I immediately signed us up.  Seemed easy enough — send a package / get a package. We engaged in some back and forth about what to send, but ultimately settled on 1 loaf of Huz-made sourdough, 1 jar of Melli-made concord grape jam,  and some candy canes, courtesy of the kid. I wanted to round it out w/ some kind of nice textile, but couldn’t find anything I liked….  You realize where this is headed.

I’m not sure if anyone actually keeps their bread in muslin bags, but it seems like hipsters and hippies could start doing it at any moment.  So here you go — a tutorial that, in my head, is ahead of the curve!

There are a few steps, but nothing too hard.

Printed Muslin Bread Bag

Printing Materials

– 1/2 yard of muslin (washed/dried, if you like)
– photocopy of image to transfer
Citra solv
– tape
– foam brush
– big metal spoon
– iron

Sewing Materials

– sewing supplies (machine, thread, etc.)
– scissors
– safety pin
– twine, ribbon, or cording

Printing Directions

1) To transfer an image onto the material, first you need to choose your image. The Graphics Fairy has tons. Print your image using a TONER (not an ink) printer.  Images printed w/ ink transfer badly / look splotchy.  Print out a few copies of your image, so you can test it out on some scrap material.

2) Cut out TWO muslin squares. Mine were 14×14, but you should use w/e size works for you.

printed muslin bread bag, by Melliroo

Note 1: protect your work surface.  Cheap frame inserts from IKEA work wonders.

Note 2: any words on the image you print out should be mirror image — see “GRAINS” below?  If not, they’ll be backwards when you transfer them.

printed muslin bread bag, by Melliroo

3) Lay out all your supplies — 1 muslin square, photocopy of your image, Citra solv, a container to pour it into, tape, foam brush (I trimmed mine into a point), a big metal spoon.

printed muslin bread bag, by Melliroo

4) Tape your image onto the muslin w/ the picture side on the fabric / the plain side facing you, as above. I centered mine on the muslin.

5) Pour a LITTLE Citra solv (a couple of tablespoons should be plenty) into your container.  Dip the brush in a little Citra solv , then lightly  brush over the design.  The image becomes immediately visible — see below. Notice that “GRAINS” is oriented correctly now. Be sure to brush over all areas of the design.

printed muslin bread bag, by Melliroo

6) BURNISH THE DESIGN. This is the part that takes some patience.  Rub the back of the spoon back and forth over all parts of the image.  Work methodically in small areas, so you don’t miss any areas.  Anything you miss will not adhere to the fabric, so will be missing from final image.  See below how the left side of the banner around “grains” is missing some lines?  Incomplete burnishing on my part. Whoops.

7) After burnishing, gently remove the taped page from the muslin.  Just peel it back slowly.  Then, TAH-DAH! Image transfer complete.

printed muslin bread bag, by Melliroo

8) To set the image, run a hot (no steam) iron over it a few times.  Iron it as though you needed to iron your shirt b/f work, but were running late.  Cover it the image w/ another piece of material before ironing,  if you’re worried about getting anything on the soleplate.

Sewing Directions

1) Place the image muslin face-down onto other (plain) muslin square, line up your edges, then pin around three sides. Remember you’re leaving the top opened for the bread. :)

printed muslin bread bag, by Melliroo

2) Sew around three sides using a short stitch and 1/4 inch seams.  Clip the bottom corners on a 45° angle, so you get nice square corner.  Trim any wayward threads.  Iron seams.  Turn right-side out.

3) To make the channel for the drawstring, fold top down 1/4 inch all the way around. Iron. Fold over another 3/4 to 1 inch, iron all the way around again.  Sew around the perimeter of the bag, staying as close to the fold as possible. Voilà — a channel for your cording.  Now to get the cording inside said-channel.

5) To open the channel, use a seam ripper. Pull out a few stitches at the top of one side-seam,  from the top layer of fabric only.  This will make an opening on the side of your bag, in the channel part only.  Poke a safety pin through one end of cording, then shimmy it through the channel.  See below.

And that, folks, is your bread bag.  Just add bread!

I made one of the below version for the gift swap, then three more for other bread we gifted during the holidays.  I may have been making them on Christmas morning…

printed muslin bread bag, by Melliroo

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