Sewing a fabric grocery bag : free sewing pattern and tutorial

Reusable bags sold by local shops are very convenient : perfect size, sturdy and much better than disposable plastic bags ! Yet mine are quite worn out !
So let’s see today an even more ecological option : fabric bags. Fabric bags are biodegradable, as opposed to plastic bags, which will take forever to degrade in our environment. Also, fabric bags can be washed easily, so they are more hygienic.
If you have a plastic reusable bag which you thing has a great size and format, have a go: Just like me, rip all seams to use it as a template for a brand new bag made with fabric.
For this project, you’ll need:
– 50 cm (20 inches) of fabric: use thick fabric, hessian cloth or even jeans (upcycled is even better). I used some unique vintage fabric.
– 25mm wide thick ribbon (twice 56cm (22 in) for small handles or twice 81cm (32 in) for shoulder handles). This is optional because you can also reuse the handles of your old bag, or sew handles with fabric.
– Strong sewing thread, a sewing machine and a pair of scissors.
Cut 2 main pieces (back and front), 2 sides and 2 straps (optional). I’m giving you all measurements HERE.
If you don’t have handles, cut two strips measuring 4.5cm (2 in) wide, and as long as you wish (see above). Sew along the longer side with right sides together, turn inside out and over-stitch.
Then overcast (or sew a zigzag stitch) all edges of fabric.
Join back and front along shorter side (3 marks on template) which will become bottom of bag. Over-stitch for sturdy seams.
Next, join sides. Make sure you lift the presser foot when you reach the corner (and marks).
Now, all that’s left to do is to sew hems, and sew straps (make sure to fold end of strap over 1 cm (½ in) and sew in place to prevent fraying) …
Voilà! Now you have a very practical grocery bag, which should last for years.
Now that you’ve made one, why not make more for your friends and family to get them used to good habits?
See more sewing projects over here !
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