Baguette bags: the perfect picnic accessory:

 

This is just the sort of thing you expect to find in the idyllic French country house that you’ve rented – along with panier basket and bicycle, or carry basket, for the essential daily trip to bakery or market.  It holds the baguette securely and neatly, keeping it warm and dry and in one piece.

A perfectly practical solution, yet even though baguettes are now a household staple –  if not for lunchtime snacks and weekend breakfast tables then certainly for picnics – they aren’t readily available outside France. So this is a good little ‘kitchen table’ make –  it’s useful, takes little fabric, little time,  and little space – it folds or rolls up neatly between bakery trips.

And timely. From this week ( in the UK ), we’ll have to pay for most of the 9 billion plastic bags we’ve been collecting from the supermarket checkouts each year, so it’s perhaps the right time to make our own. In any case most shopping bags, plastic or not, just aren’t long enough to take a proper baguette in one piece.

These look vintage, charming and lovely – always helped of course, by the fact that they are home made. The fabric needs to be natural, allowing the bread to breathe so that it keeps fresh and doesn’t sweat, and may be lined in a breathable water proof material or a light muslin, especially if the outer fabric is less tightly woven than it might be. The length of the bag calls for strips, so it’s a great way to use up any long offcuts of cotton or linen that you have lying around. Or rather than wait, buy in some jolly gingham or ticking.

Whether served with soup or cheese, al fresco or indoors, baguettes are always best enjoyed warm and crispy. We used to wrap ours in a clean warmed tea-cloth to transport them from oven to table, but our simple-to-make warming baguette bag is a great, and better, solution. It’s double skinned, filled with either cherry stones or wheat grain, so that once it’s warmed through the heat is retained for just the right amount of time.

These ones are lined with a well-woven cotton muslin, but any soft cotton or linen, especially ticking can be used, and the filling can be any of the pulses or grains that warms through easily then retains it’s heat. By this a warmed  baguette can be easily transported to the table at the bottom of the garden, or even survive a short car trip to your nearest favourite picnic spot.

It’s perfectly OK to make this by hand it you don’t feel like taking the machine out – use neat and small stitches to make the single seam, and it will look every bit as good as the real thing, and will take very little time over using the machine.

This is also the perfect project for recycling – an old shirt, skirt, pillowcase, sheet- even jumper for the body and fabric strips, laces or ribbons for the ties.

 

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For now, this project is free !

Download the project now – or one of our similar ideas as ‘soup hottie’ or ‘bread bags’ – and have a go at making your own: http://designandmake3.wpengine.com/product/baguette-bag/

 

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