I live on Long Island’s North Fork, a lovely area known for its sweeping farmland, lush vineyards, sandy beaches, and small-town charm. Growing up, this skinny stretch was a sleepy secret, especially compared to its flashier South Fork neighbor. But word’s gotten out in recent years, and now it’s a bit of a destination—year-round, but particularly in the fall. Drawn by locally grown goods, visitors flock east for food, wine, and autumn bounty’s best.
This includes pumpkins, of course—lots and lots of pumpkins, which practically spill out of the countless farm stands lining the fork’s two main roads. And while nothing dresses up a fall front porch better, personally, I’m an even bigger fan of a smaller farm-stand staple: apples! I always look forward to this time of year, when I get to forgo store-bought varieties for North Fork honeycrisp, gala, fuji, jonagold and more. They’re so sweet and juicy, you don’t even need to add sugar and flaky crusts. (Though that’s delicious, too!)
There’s only one thing better than grabbing a pre-packed bag of locally grown honeycrisps, and that’s spending an afternoon beneath the boughs of a sun-dappled orchard, picking your own. To make the experience even more memorable, you can tote these juicy gems home in a pretty handmade bag! Which is why I’m very happy to share a sewing tutorial for:
The Burlap Apple Sack!
Can’t decide between a bushel and a peck? No problem! At 10″ x 12″, the sizable Apple Sack is larger than your standard paper apple bag, and with its burlap exterior and fleece interfacing, it’s more durable, too. Thanks to its pretty cotton lining and strap accent, it’s also super cute! Fill it with apples (or small pumpkins, gourds, or even mums) at the orchard, then display it as fresh fall décor at home.
To make your own Burlap Apple Sack, you’ll need:
Burlap for the bag’s exterior
Cotton or linen for bag lining and handle accent
From burlap AND cotton/linen AND fusible fleece:
(2) 11” x 13” for bag front and back
(2) 13.5” x 6.5” for bag sides
(1) 12” x 6.5” for bag bottom
From burlap only:
(1) 12” x 13”
From cotton/linen only:
(1) 2.5” x 13”
A Few Notes
On fabric: I used burlap and cotton, but this Apple Sack would look great in canvas, duck, and other heavier fabrics. Feel free to experiment!
On seams: I used ½” unless otherwise stated.
On stitch length: I used 3.5” for topstitching and 2.5” for all other sewing.
Let’s Start Stitching!
1. Following package instructions, press fusible fleece to your cotton/linen lining pieces. Set aside.
2. Optional but recommended: As burlap’s a bit finicky, baste ¼” around all edges of your burlap pieces. This keeps them from shedding fibers as you work.
3. Make Handle
a. Find your 12” x 13” burlap piece. Fold in half length-wise, press. Unfold, then fold outside edges in toward center line. Press. Fold again along the center line. Press. This piece will now be 6” x 13”. Topstitch ¼” on both long sides.
b. Find your 2.5” x 13” cotton/linen strip. Fold the long outside edges toward the back of the fabric. Press. Center and pin this strip along the burlap handle. Topstitch 1/8” on both long sides.
c. Set handle aside.
4. Make Bag Exterior
Find your burlap pieces. Working with right sides together, sew sides to bottom panel along short edges. Then attach to main panels. Sew sides to front panel first, then bottom panel. Next sew sides to back panel, then bottom panel. Be careful to match up bag corners. Press seams.
5. Make Bag Lining
Repeat the previous step with your cotton/lining pieces.
6. Assemble Bag
a. Place bag exterior inside bag lining, right sides together. Pin/clip along top of bag, then sew. Leave a 4-5” opening for turning.
b. Turn bag right side out through opening. Press top seam, then topstitch to secure. This step will close your opening.
7. Attach Handle
a. Center and pin one end of strap to front of bag, right sides together. The placement is up to you, but I measured approximately 1” down from the top of bag. Sew. Lift strap up and sew ¼” above first seam to secure in place.
b. Repeat with the strap’s other end on the back of the bag.
8. Enjoy your Burlap Apple Sack!