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Large hessian sack
Hessian strip - 2.5m
(5-6cm width)

Choosing the right hessian bag is very important for this project. You can easily get a second hand hessian sack from your local recycling/upcycling store, but make sure the smell isn’t too strong as that won’t fade. Some hessian sacks hold a very strong smell or keep the smell of the contents that were once inside them so be careful when choosing. Another thing to look out for is the size of the weaving. Do not get a hessian sack that has a large weaving pattern as you will not be able to sew it together it will just fall apart when cut. Look for a hessian sack that has a small weaving pattern to be on the safe side. 

Taking a large piece of paper, draw a circle that is 45cm diametre all around. This is your pattern for the bag. Cut out this pattern and pin it onto your sack, making sure you pin through all the layers as you will cut everything at once. Cut out your circle shape and now you have the basis to your bag!

1) Now, lay out your two circles and fold the edge in about 1cm, and then again another 1cm. This seam will ensure your bag will not fray and the hessian will hold its shape. You will need a lot of pins for this as you need to pin fairly close together, to ensure you don’t create any folds of creases; being a circle shape. Sew along the middle of this seam using a straight stitch on your sewing machine.

2) Measure the circumference (outer rim) of your circle in centimetres, minus 25cm and then add 4cm. Take your hessian strip and cut it to this length. On one of the ends, fold in 1cm and then again 1cm to create a seam. Sew using a straight stitch. Start pinning your hessian strip around your circles as shown in the photo on the left. Make sure you line it perfectly with the edge of the circle as you wont be able to hide any mistakes. It’s ok if the unpinned side starts to crease as this will go away once you attach the other side. 

3) On the straight stitch setting, sew as close to the edge of the bag as possible. Repeat these steps with the other circle. This side can be a little tricky as you have to sew with the rest of the bag attached, but just be sure that you are only sewing the very edge. On the left is a photo of how the side of your bag should look once sewn. 

4) Now to make the straps. Using a measureing tape, measure your preferable strap length. Then cut your hessian strap to this measurement.  Fold one side (the long side) into the middle, then the opposite side on top and pin. Sew down the middle using a straight stitch. 

5) Taking the remainder of your hessian strip, cut a 4x6 cm rectangle. Fold the top corners inward to meet, like the photo on the left. Then fold the opposite end inwards 1cm. Using a straight stitch and a matching thread, sew around the perimeter of the entire shape. Repeat this step 4 times, making 4 identical shapes. 

6) Pin the straps about 15 -20 cm apart, making sure the bag sits straight with the opening of the bag. On the zig zag stitch, sew along the very bottom edge of the straps. Do this for both straps on both sides of the bag. Next, pin the patches (from step 5) evenly on top of the bottom edge of the straps. Then on the straight stitch, sew around the entire edge of the patches. Voila, your bag is done!