Re-useable shopping bags are becoming more popular everyday, and even mandatory in some states. The bags offered in commerce aren't all that attractive; why not sew your own very distinctive bags?

Recently I've been designing fabrics for SPOONFLOWER (click here to take a look at all those fabrics!), a print-on-demand fabric maker. They offer several amazing fabrics including a high-quality faux-suede used in the very detailed instructions below. There are a lot of pictures to help even a novice seamstress, but have no fear, this is really easy.

These handy cut-and-sew shopping bags are really easy to make since the pieces come printed on the fabric. Click here to view all the fashionable bag models at your disposal! You can see the Protozoa shopping bag for the instructions.

You can can peruse the instructions online (below) or download a printable PDF version: Re-useable CUT AND SEW shopping bag instructions



CUT THE FABRIC

Cut the six pieces that will form the bag. You will have one large main piece and its matching inside lining piece of the same size, two side pieces and their matching inside lining, and two handles.

PREPARE THE HANDLES

Using an iron on medium heat (the faux-suede doesn't like that highest setting), fold over about 1/4" lengthwise off each side of the handle pieces.

Continuing with the iron, fold the handle in half, and press the fold.

Sew lengthwise close to the edge, on the side where your folded the 1/4" over.

Sew down the edge on the opposite side.

ASSEMBLE THE MAIN PIECE


Graphical overview

Center the handles and pin each handle on opposite sides of the large outer piece as shown.

Cover the large piece and handles with the matching large inside lining piece.

Sew down one of the the top seams with the handles from edge to edge.

From the top seam that you have just sewn, sew down the long edges.

Sew the fourth side. Stop sewing after you have sewn across the handle. Leave that open!

Turn that piece inside out through the opening. Do not close this opening yet.

ASSEMBLE THE SIDE PIECES


Graphical overview

Take one outside piece and its matching lining and lay face to face. Sew down the bottom of the piece first.

Sew down lenghtwise from the sewn bottom, to the top edge, on both sides. Do these steps for both side pieces and their matching lining.

Turn each assembled side pieces inside out as shown.

If using heavy-duty fabric, press down the edges. Remember not to use a really hot iron on the faux-suede.

Showing your finished side pieces.

FINAL ASSEMBLY


Graphical overview



Pin down the side pieces to the main piece. Start by matching all top stripe patterns together as shown, and pin those down.

Pin down the rest of the side pieces. Note that the side pieces are still open at the top.

Beginning from the top of the side pieces, top stitch close to the edge down to the bottom. Do not sew the bottom until you've sewn down the side piece down both their lenghts.

Top stitch the bottom of the side piece together with the main piece.

Fold over the open top of the side pieces, the leftover open part of the main piece and pin shut.

Top stitch around the bag as shown.

OPTIONAL: if you want your bag to have a straight-cornered bottom, top stitch this desired fold from edge to edge.

Finish up the corners by hand.

Your bag is finished...

...and ready to load up with groceries!




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copyright of Chantal Paré.

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