Friday, January 8, 2010

fabric shopping bags

So I'm sure everyone has a few fabric or some sort of reusable shopping bags on hand by now. If you don't, you really need to. There are plenty of cheap ones at most stores now and they are also so easy to make. I made quite a few this past summer and let me tell you, they have gotten a lot of use. I am gearing up to make a few more because library books and crocheting projects have been known to steal them and not return them promptly. It surprised me to see a third world country like Nicaragua charging for plastic bags and here in most cities in CA they are still handing them out like candy. You do get 5 cents off at many stores if you use a reusable bag, but for the most part plastic bags are still a favorite for most. Let's all do our share. Here is a simple tutorial on a very simple bag that can seriously fit more than you think.

Here it goes...simple simple.

This is a large bag finishing at approximately 13 X 8 in and 16 in deep.

This bag takes up less than a yard. You can probably make 3 bags with 2 yards. I suggest a heavier weight fabric for durability. I always ask the bagger to load them up.

There are 5 pieces to this pattern.

1 large piece which will be the front, bottom and back of the bag - 13 in X 45 in

2 side panels - 9 in X 18 in

2 straps - 4 in X 24 in
Sorry you are straining your neck right now to read this, but I don't know why it keeps rotating my pic.

Straps : Fold strap in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing and iron. Unfold and turn both edges lengthwise 1/2 in and iron. Refold in half and sew along both edges. Strap should finish at about 1.5 inches Body of Bag : 4 seams total

Pin length of large piece (13 in X 45in ) to one of the side panel going along the length (18 in) across the width (9 inches ) and back up the length. Sew. Repeat with other side panel. The large panel is now the front, bottom and back side of the bag like a big U.

Hem top a double fold hem. Turn under 1/2 in and turn again 1.5 inches and sew along bottom of hem. Top stitch around top of bag 3/8 in from top.

Attaching handles : last step. Pin handles in place approx. 1.5 inches from side seam. Again sorry about diagram. You can either sew handles to inside or outside of bag. It is just a matter of preference. Make sure to box stitch and X through for support. These babies are going to have to put up with a lot of abuse.

I also came across this crocheted bag pattern at the purl bee and I think I may give it a shot. I've got to try at least one, it is so cute.

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