Tuesday

Short Tutorial on Eco Cloth Shopping Bag

OK everybody...I'm giving a short tutorial on how to make a very basic cloth shopping bag that would be the same size as a brown paper grocery bag...this is just one method to construct a tote...there are many others but this is the one I'm playing with now...very simple & quick...Blogger & I do not always see eye to eye on picture placement but I'll do the best I can here...you can email me with any ?????? ....


  1. 1...choose some very cool/funky fabrics ---I use a light weight decorator fabric...it has a bit of stability or body for this style bag...you need about 1 yard ...1/2 for outside & 1/2 for lining...you can use the same fabric for both the outside & the lining but I like to contrast the fabric for cuteness !!!! so I use two different fabrics...

  2. I cut 4 squares of fabric about 18 in. each...2 for the outside & 2 for the lining...you can use any size you want I guess if you want a larger or smaller bag...but this is the size I used here...

  3. Handles...well for my handles I used some old wide grosgrain ribbon I had on hand...48" long & cut in half...you can also make fabric handles or look around your stash & see what you have...maybe some webbing ???....to attach handles measure 5" from each side...I drew a chalk line as a guide for placing my handle straps...starting at the bottom, stitch your handle straps on the inside of the line going up towards the top to about 2" from the top edge...now do the same thing with the other side...make sure your handle is not twisted at the top...I stitched both sides of my ribbon handles & across the top (2" below top of bag)...you will do this for both sides of your outside fabric squares...now if you want an outside pocket you would cut a piece of fabric scrap to fit between your handle straps before you stitch them down...just stitch the pocket at the same time you stitch the handle straps...& stitch the pocket across the bottom...

  4. Lining...be sure & fold down your handles so they are out of the way before you start stitching the lining to the top of the bag...place one square of your lining fabric right sides together along the top of edge of bag front...stitch... repeat with the bag back piece...you now have 2 pieces...open the bag pieces out flat & press...

  5. Finshing-almost...place the 2 pieces right sides together...handles on top of each other & linings on top of each other...stitch the side seams (long sides) together on both sides...you now have a long tube...both short ends open...now fold the lining side over the main fabric...lining should be outside now...press the top edge of bag...even up the bottom edge of bag...I do a final trim cut before I sew the bottom edges together...all four layers get stitched together now to form the bottom seam...if you have a serger you can finish the edge...or you can zig-zag the edge...I have a Janome 6600p and have a nice overcast function to finish the edge...

  6. Final Finish...OK, almost done ! before you turn your bag you have one more step to do...pinch together the bottom seam & side seam to form a triangle...try and match the uper seam to the lower seam as close as you can...you can press them flat...now you will draw a line across the triangle...about 7" will do it...stitch across the line you drew...repeat on other corner...fold the triangles toward inside of bag ... you can hand stitch or glue the triangle pieces to the bottom of bag...

  7. TURN YOUR NEW CUTE CLOTH SHOPPING BAG RIGHT SIDE OUT NOW....just do a topstitch on the top edge & your FINISHED !!!!

  8. and there you have it ! a very cool eco cloth grocery bag just like the brown paper bags !!! it takes about an hour to make one of these bags...I usually make 2 at a time...one for me & one as a gift !!!

  9. I have included a series of pictures I took as I went along on this project...I hope they are helpful...& PLEASE leave a comment about this tut...feedback is important to me ...


measure 5" from each side for strap handles...


place & stitch pocket between straps...

double scrap fabric for pocket... stitch across pocket so stuff doesn't fall out !
fold handle down & stitch lining to top edge of outside fabric...
overcast stitch on bottom seam...



measure appox. 7" across to form triangle...

stitch across triangle on bottom of bag...
bottom inside of bag with stitched triangles...

another finished eco cloth shopping bag...



11 comments:

Phyl said...

Hey, SuZ!Remember me?I love your fabric bags for shopping!I used them back in the 70s and am now gonna do it again!Thanks for sharing this pattern..your fabrics/ribbons are great!
Phyl in N.C.

Maggie R said...

Hi Suz...
Love the bag. aren't they fun to make and so much nicer than the darned plastic ones.I love to make bags too but have been busy doing other things right now, This has been inspirational.
Your Pictorial Tut. was great, Thanks
((((hugs))))
Maggie

Purple Missus said...

Brilliant tutorial SuZ and I love the fabric you used for your bag.
I'm definitely going to have a go at this - they will look good in the workroom to hold some of my bits and pieces. Great stuff.

Micki said...

Thanks for the great tutorial on these bags.

Anonymous said...

Hello SuZ,
I love these eco-friendly bags of yours! What a great way to use up old fabrics too -- I plan to make more than one ...
truly, Cathy W (from our Textile Challenges group)

Anonymous said...

hmmm I like the end result a lot! I need to see the pics right next to the words though. I can't figure out how to make a lining. I guess I don't get it.

Perrin said...

Oh, I like the handles on the outside of the bag behind the pocket. Really cute bag. Thanks for the tutorial.

Deb said...

Ohhh, thanks so much for the great tutorial. I have been looking for one to make these bags, as I always use the ones you by at teh grocery, and I wanted to make my own so it would be a bit more my style.
Thanks again.

tyketto said...

This tutorial is great. Found it via SMS tutorial contest links. Just whipped one up tonight and I love it. thanks again.

kimbuktu said...

What a colorful and informative tutorial, I could totally follow your instructions. Thanks for sharing your bag.

Green Bag Lady Teresa said...

Such cute bags and great tutorial Suz!!!