Sewing a Fabulous Fold-up Shopping Bag

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Sewing a Fabulous Fold Up Shopping BagFor free pattern go here. 

Environmentally every knows that plastic shopping bags are not the best thing but many of the reusable bags you can buy are made from gaudy cheap materials, have a brand name plastered all over them or  just look juvenile. 

Using this pattern you can sew yourself a stylish fold-up shopping bag that will easily fit into your purse when not in use.  

Since you will be choosing the material you make it from you can be sure that it 
Folded Up Shopping Bag
will be something that will match your style. These are also wonderful to make as gifts for your stylish friends and family.

Make several for yourself so you will always have one handy!
Making a Fold Up Shopping Bag 1
You need to make a pattern for the bag. Take a large piece of paper, like brown paper or tape two pieces of newspaper together so you have a piece 36 inches by 24 inches. Fold the paper in half length wise. 
You are going to draw the pattern against the fold of the paper. On the bottom of the paper draw a line 10.5 inches. Measure up 16.5 inches and draw a line from the fold 9.5 inches. Draw a line from the edge of the bottom 10.5 inches to the edge of the top 9.5 inches.You will now have a type of trapezoid shape.

Making a Fold Up Shopping Bag 2
On the top 9.5 inch line find the center at 4-3/4 inches. Draw a line up 11 inches. Using this line as your center, on the top draw a 3 inch line (1-1/2 inches on each side of the line) and at the bottom draw a line 4 inches (2 inches on each side of the line).  Connect these two measurements. This will be a handle.

Making a Fold Up Shopping Bag 3Use the bottom of a glass to trace a curve at the base of the handle.

Making a Fold Up Shopping Bag 4
Cut out the pattern and open it up. This is the pattern for the body of the bag and from this you will  make the pattern for the lining for the bag.

Making a Fold Up Shopping Bag 5
Measure down 4 inches from the top of the bag pattern and copy the pattern on another piece of paper. This is the lining.

The fabric that you chose should be very strong, especially if you are planning to carry heavy groceries in it. I used a piece of sturdy but light weight upholstery fabric 58 inches wide (the minimum width of the fabric you choose should be 42 inches).It was a 3/4 yard of remnant material that cost $2.25. The remnant was actually a tiny bit short for the pattern as I would have need a piece 27.5 inches and my piece was 27 inches so I took 1/2 an inch from the bottom. Cut out two body pieces. Cut two strap pieces, that will go on the bottom of the bag, 10 inches by 3 inches.

Cut fabricIf you have enough material you can cut out the lining material from the same material as your body  but I used another fabric in red as the lining fabric. As each lining piece is 20 by 15 inches you would need either a piece of fabric more than 40 inches wide and buy half a yard (18 inches) or a piece of fabric over 20 inches wide and buy 1 yard (36 inches).

Sewing bag

Fold over the bottom edge of the lining, press, fold over again, press  and sew for a nice finished edge. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other put one lining piece on the body of the bag and sew along all edges that meet together. Do the same with the other two pieces. Turn the lining and body piece inside out and press with an iron.

TiesTake the ties that go on the bottom of the bag and fold over one short end then fold each side to the middle and press with a iron.

Finishing tieFold the tie together, press with an iron and sew all along the edge.

Placing tiesSew the sides of the bags together. Put the two  ties together and place the raw edge against the raw edge of the bag with the ties inside the bag. They should be place directly down from one of the handles. Sew the bottom of the bag and double sew over the ties.

Sewing togetherTurn the bag right side out. Overlap the two handles that are on the same side and sew them together. 

Folding up bag 1To fold up the bag lay it flat and fold it over once.

Folding up bag 2Bring both sides in so you will have a  section about the same width as the handle.

Folding up bag 3Fold it half way down from the top.

Folded bagRoll it up from the fold into a nice tight roll and use the two ties to tie it together.

Sewing a Fabulous Fold Up Shopping Bag
This is a quick little project and while we made it in a bold print it would look equally as nice in almost any other fabric. If you choose a washable fabric if it gets dirty it will be easy to put into the washing machine. If you are planning to make several of these then make the pattern out of a more durable paper. 

This is a great frugal project that can use up all sorts of fabric ends, you could have different fabric on each side of the bag with a contrasting lining, the options are limitless.

Have your Read:
Hot Dog hand warmers to make

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Photography and Content
Copyright Ingrid Talpak 2010

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