Thursday, October 09, 2008

Eco Cloth Shopping Bag Tutorial by SuZ of SuZ Stuff Blog

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...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...



  • 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...



  • 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...



  • 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...



  • Finishing-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...



  • 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...



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



  • 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 !!!



  • 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...


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