Vintage linen bread bag (F&T 2020 Q1 Contest Entry)

I wanted to enter Mistress Jennie’s contest as soon as I saw it, but I didn’t have any good ideas about what to sew to replace something wasteful or ecologically unsound in our house. We already use cloth shopping bags, beeswax wraps, etc. But then a Pinterest came to the rescue, by offering an article about how much better linen sacks were for keeping bread fresh than plastic bags. That’s certainly a some plastic I’ve been wanting to get rid of, so it was a perfect project.

Linen isn’t something lacking in my stash - fine, heavy, new, vintage, antique, I love all kinds of linen.

So I decided to use this small embroidered tablecloth. A quarter of it looks like it would be about the right size. And although it has a few little stains and tiny holes, that isn’t a problem for a utilitarian item like this.

The wide hand-stitched hem will make a perfect channel for the draw strings, so I stitched four eyelets to feed the cord in and out through.

Turning it into a bag was easy - I just sewed a French seam around the two sides and turned it right side out again. I threaded tapes through the eyelets and it’s done.

I like to make drawstring bags with two loops pulling from opposite directions.

I don’t know yet if I can believe Pinterest’s promises that the linen bag will keep my bread better than plastic, but I know it’ll be less wasteful, and it certainly feels better.


Seems that not only are you saving the use of plastic for bread storage but also a lovely vintage piece that might otherwise be discarded! What a great idea…let us know if it works, although, in my house, the bread would not be in the bag long enough to even get slightly stale!

Wonderful post!


This is such a gorgeous eco-solution. The embroidery is lovely. I love the way it looks, the reuse and the waste reduction.

Please update us on the effectiveness! I have bought some long loaf tins to start making bread when my boys become food inhalers but I haven’t figure out how I will store the bread (even if it’s only two days!)

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This is just lovely. The hand bound eyelet? You are so extra-extra!

That’s really pretty!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I really like this Wulf! Stickin it to the plastic man! I have a printed linen table cloth I’ve not been able to part with which would be prime reuse material (several holes).

:shamrock: :metal: :four_leaf_clover:

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Excellent green project. I agree - definitely report back on how it works!

This is so lovely!

Inspiring! It came out so well. I must do this myself.

What a fantastic idea. Can’t wait to hear how it works. My husband worked as a bread baker for a while when we were dating, and he swore by wrapping it in cotton or linen tea towels.

Oh, I LOVE this! I’m so glad I didn’t miss it entirely. TheMisterT has been making bread lately, so I think I will have to hop on this right away. Luckily, I have a few linen options in my own stash!

How is it working?

Good to know. So far (three days) so good. But the half-loaf in the photo is one of those heavy, moist sourdough breads that keep a long time anyway. I’ll need to test it on ciabatta to know for sure.

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Oh this is so nice. And you have really honoured the original fabric.

Hey Friends! There’s just a few more hours left to vote in this challenge. You can vote in the Fiber & Textile Spring Greening Challenge.

And while you’re at it, why not stop by and vote in the Decorative & Functional Spring Cleaning with a Twist Challenge which closes tomorrow, and the Art Miniaturize My Craft Challenge, which closes Tuesday.**

A final update on the linen bread bag: it may be more aesthetically pleasant and certainly less wasteful, but I don’t find it works as well as a plastic bag. It’s true that the bread doesn’t go mouldy as fast, but it doesn’t matter because it dries out and becomes inedible anyway. I tried it yesterday with home-baked bread (and I use a no-knead method that gives a very moist loaf) and it was already dry and crusty for breakfast this morning. :unamused: So back to plastic, I’m afraid.

Oh that’s so sad :disappointed: thanks for letting us know

Thanks for the sad update…