How to Sew a Linen Bread Bag

Make a linen bread bag to store your homemade bread in an eco-friendly way. This is an easy sewing tutorial with step-by-step instructions.

If you are someone who loves to bake bread and wants to store it in a sustainable and eco-friendly way, then a linen bread bag is the perfect way to go!

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sewer, you will love this easy DIY project. And you will love creating a beautiful and functional bread bag that will last for years to come.

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Why use linen for bread bags?

Flax linen bags are one of the best ways to store your homemade bread because of their natural moisture retention properties. In other words, linen is highly moisture-absorbing. It will move excess moisture away from the outside of the bread which makes it harder for mold to grow there. If you store your bread in plastic bags, moisture will accumulate and promote mold growth.

Furthermore, there is a lot of air circulation inside your linen bread bag which will also help to keep your bread fresh longer. While you could perfectly keep your bread in a bread box, a bread bag is a lot smaller and will fit various spaces. Did you know that I often keep my sourdough bread in a bread bag in my oven?

What I also love about a natural linen bread bag is that it is very sturdy and will last for a long time. It will hold up to frequent machine washing.

linen bread bag with drawstring on kitchen counter

Where to find the best linen fabric for bread bags?

Here are some ideas on where to source linen fabric for your reusable bread bag:

  • Ikea kitchen towels: this is my favorite! Years ago, I purchase a handful of their 100% linen tea towels and have been using them for various projects. They have the perfect size for making bread bags. The one I use seems to have been discontinued but they have similar linen kitchen towels that would work just as well.
  • Linen tea towel: if you’re not an Ikea shopper, you can still find linen towels for this project. You can either purchase them online or often find them in a thrift store. If you can find linen napkins large enough, that is another great choice.
  • Flax linen by the yard: this is another great choice if you’re looking to make a larger bag or want more color choices. You can find Belgian linen or high-quality linen online or in your favorite fabric store.

Supplies:

Here’s what you need to make these bags:

  • Fabric (whatever linen materials you can find), ideally 24″ x 32″ or bigger
  • Thread
  • Cord for the drawstring closure 33″ long (see below how to make your own)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Safety pin
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Fabric marker or pencil
  • Sewing machine (even though you can absolutely make this bread bag by hand)
linen tea towel, scissors, cord, thread, safety pin, pins, and measuring tape

How to sew the linen bread bag

These instructions are for a linen bread bag measuring 11″ x 15″. You can use this tutorial to make your own size depending on the sizes of breads you bake or your preferences.

1. Cut the fabric:

If you’re using a tea towel, I recommend folding it in half (the short way, not the long way). If you are using fabric by the yard, I also recommend folding it so that you have two layers. Mark a rectangle of 23″ x 31″. If you’re using a kitchen towel you might like to use one of the finished sides so you don’t have to secure it with a zig-zag stitch or serger.

2. Keep the cut sides from fraying:

Using a serger or zig-zag stitch, finish all cut sides.

3. Hem one short side (if using fabric by the yard):

If you’re using fabric by the yard, fold over the fabric once or twice and sew the hem.

4. Sew the open sides together:

You might like to pin your folded fabric in place to prevent shifting. Then, using a .5″ seam allowance, sew one short side and the long side together with a straight stitch. NOTE: only sew the long side to about 2.5″ from the top. Leave the rest open.

leaving a 2.25" opening at the top of the bag

5. Press the seam:

Either use your fingers or a hot iron and press the seam on the long side open.

pressing the open sides for hemming

6. Secure this seam:

Sew a few times back and forth perpendicular to the seam to secure it.

securing the seam with a back-and-forth stitch

7. Sew the remaining 2.5″ inches:

Use a straight stitch to sew the two open pieces in place.

8. Pin the tunnel for the drawstring:

Make sure you still have the right sides facing in and fold the top of the bread bag over about 1.25″ to create the tunnel. I recommend pinning it in place.

pinning the tunnel for the cord in place

9. Sew the tunnel:

I recommend using the free arm of your sewing machine for the next step: sew the tunnel in place with a straight stitch.

sewing the tunnel with the free arm of the sewing machine

10. Guide the drawstring through the tunnel:

Put a safety pin through one end of your cord and move it all the way through the tunnel. Secure the ends with a knot.

How to make your own drawstring: you can use some thick yarn and crochet a long string.

putting the cord through the tunnel with a safety pin

Watch the Video Tutorial:

YouTube player

How to use your new bread bag

Congratulations! You can now use your new bread bag!

You can either put your homemade bread or grocery store bread in it. If it is very fresh, you might like to keep the bread bag on the counter. I sometimes put the bread inside the bag and then keep the bag in my oven (obviously while it’s off! Caution: let everyone using your kitchen know that there is bread in there if they want to preheat the oven!)

Every so often you might like to shake out any bread crumbs and wash your bread bag in lukewarm water with mild detergent.

You can also read another article on my favorite ways how to keep your bread fresh!

half loaf of bread in a linen bread bag

Other easy DIY projects you might like

How to Make a Pretty Basket From Linen

DIY Produce Bag

My Easy Linen Care Guide

DIY Tea Cozy

Easy Fabric Star Ornaments

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best fabric for this DIY bread bag?

While you can use any fabric you like, I recommend at least using 100% cotton fabric. However, the best choice is a high-quality 100% flax (European flax is best).

What is the best size for this linen bread bag?

The best size is the one that works best for you! I recommend starting with a bag that is 11″ x 15″. If you find that you need a bigger or smaller size, you can easily customize this tutorial.

Is this DIY bread bag beginner-friendly?

Yes! This is a quick project that you can easily make in one afternoon. However, I recommend that you are comfortable using a sewing machine.

Do I have to have a sewing machine to make this bread bag?

Theoretically, you can sew this bread bag by hand. It might just take longer. But I do recommend using a sewing machine.

bread loaf in linen bread bag
Print Pin
4.41 from 5 votes

DIY Linen Bread Bag

Make a linen bread bag to store your homemade bread in an eco-friendly way. You will love this easy sewing tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 1 bread bag
Cost $8

Ingredients

  • 1 piece linen fabric 24" x 32" (or a linen tea towel)
  • 1 spool thread
  • 1 piece cord for the drawstring closure 33″ long (see below how to make your own)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Safety pin
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Fabric marker or pencil
  • Sewing machine 

Instructions

  • Cut the fabric: If you’re using a tea towel, I recommend folding it in half (the short way, not the long way). If you are using fabric by the yard, I also recommend folding it so that you have two layers. Mark a rectangle of 23″ x 31″. If you’re using a kitchen towel you might like to use one of the finished sides so you don’t have to secure it with a zig-zag stitch or serger.
  • Keep the cut sides from fraying: Using a serger or zig-zag stitch, finish all cut sides.
  • Hem one short side (if using fabric by the yard): If you’re using fabric by the yard, fold over the fabric once or twice and sew the hem.
  • Sew the 2 open sides together: You might like to pin your folded fabric in place to prevent shifting. Then, using a .5″ seam allowance, sew one short side and the long side together with a straight stitch. NOTE: only sew the long side to about 2.5″ from the top. Leave the rest open.
  • Press the seam: Either use your fingers or a hot iron, press the seam on the long side open.
  • Secure this seam: Sew a few times back and forth perpendicular to the seam to secure it.
  • Sew the remaining 2.5″ inches: Use a straight stitch to sew the two open pieces in place.
  • Pin the tunnel for the drawstring: Make sure you still have the right sides facing in fold the top of the bread bag over about 1.25″ to create the tunnel. I recommend pinning it in place
  • Sew the tunnel: I recommend using the free arm of your sewing machine for the next step: sew the tunnel in place with a straight stitch.
  • Guide the drawstring through the tunnel: Put a safety pin through one end of your cord and move it all the way through the tunnel. Secure the ends with a knot.
    How to make your own drawstring: you can use some thick yarn and crochet a long string.

Notes

  • 100% flax linen is the best fabric for this bread bag but you can also use 100% cotton
How to Sew a Linen Bread Bag | Easy Tutorial

14 Comments

  1. 2 stars
    This pattern makes no sense. How does 23×31 make an 11×15 linen bread bag? I was excited to learn to make these but this has proven difficult

      1. Hi! I am also confused about this – I understand that 23 inches with seam allowance will become 11 inch width, but what about the 31 inch length? It doesn’t look like that length is folded in half at any point, making the bag remain at 30 inches (after seam allowance).

        Thanks in advance. 🙂

        1. I may sometimes be a bit math-challenged. Ultimately, it’s more important that you find the size that works best for your needs and breads ~ Anja

  2. I love this idea!! This would make an adorable addition to my sourdough. May be making these for Mother’s Day this year!

  3. This is exactly what I have been needing. I just recently joined the sourdough starter world but don’t love storing it in plastic bags…

  4. 5 stars
    This is so smart! ‘ll have to get busy making these as I usually bake 3 loafs a week. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is so cute! I have a flax linen bag from etsy but making my own would have been soooo much cheaper! Thank you for the tutorial!

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