We've all seen the new bags that every store under the sun carries now. Target, Cost Plus, Vons, even Sur La Table has them....They want you to use their re-usable bag, and why not? They don't have to pay for the paper bags to put your stuff in anymore...and you have to buy the new re-usable bag! Can you say Marketing Genius?
I love the bags by the way...depending on what type of material they've used. I have one from Sur La Table that is fabulous, and I find it is the one I reach for continually when I want to pack a day's worth of snacks for the park or crafty supplies for a trip to grandma's. It's just that it says SUR LA TABLE on it....It's not personalized to my liking.
So, when I ran across this bag fabric at Joann's a few days ago, I went to work to try to figure it out. It is a breathable fabric that is mildly stiff. And the best part, IT DOES NOT FRAY!!! They had about 10 different prints to choose from and it's priced at 2.99/yard
For the first one, I decided to pretty much replicate the Sur la Table bag, to make sure I liked it's shape and size... and oh buddy, is it ever great! We had a nice little ceremony for the Sur la Table bag and retired him to the garage to store stuff...he'll be okay out there... :)
I started by getting all the dimensions and adding the seam allowances. Let's get started
RE-USABLE MARKET BAG
1 Yard of main fabric
1/2 yard contrasting fabric
1 piece cardboard cut to 11 1/2" x 6.5"
Start by cutting your main fabric pieces. These will be the front, back and side of the bag (Cherries)
Cut 2: 14.5" wide and 17.5" tall (front and back)
Cut 1: 8.5" wide by 47" tall (side---one long piece)
For bias tape: cut and piece together enough for 2 - 3/4" x 51" finished pieces . If you are unsure how to make your own bias tape you can go here for a great tutorial. Or you can buy pre-made tape.
For the straps and inside cardboard bottom cover (Zebra)
Cut 2: 2.5" x 60" (Straps)
Cut 2: 12.5" x 8.5" (Bottom Cardboard Cover)
***Keep your iron on the polyester setting (medium)***
Begin by making the straps. Real easy step.... just iron them down, right sides together matching long edges and sew with a 1/4" seam. Do not sew the short sides, so you can turn it! Insert a safety pin in one end and push thru until you have your strap turned right side out
Take your front and back panels and iron down the top (14.5" side)
1/2" and then 1" over, creating a hem. Do this on both pieces
Edge Stitch on top and bottom of hem. Do other panel the same way
Now take your side panel (47"x8.5" piece) and do the same. Iron down 1/2" and then 1" to make a hem, and edge stitch in place
Ther' ya go...Edge Stitched top and bottom
Now, grab a ruler or measuring tape and position the straps as shown. make sure your raw edges match at the bottom. Really, this fabric is very easy to work with, so no worries.
Starting at one side of the strap at the bottom, just start edge stitching up the strap. When you get to the top, and it's just strap, don't panic! Just keep going (IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE YOUR TENSION SETTING IS ON MEDIUM HERE!) and stitch allllllll the way around to the other side. When you get there, just turn it around and do the other side, and.....
And...If you want, you can put an X at the top where the strap and
top intersect....for extra stability.
Now, go do the other one the exact same way and then come back
Now, take your bottom fabric, the one to cover the cardboard, and with right sides together, stitch 1/4" seam on long side and both short sides, leaving one long side open
And slip that sucker in there
Now, take the unsewn side of the cardboard cover and match it to the raw edge of one of the front panels (ya know, the one we just sewed straps on to)
and baste it in place with a 1/4" seam
Now, take one of the front panels ( I started with the non-cardboard one) and pin it to the long side panel. That's right....WRONG SIDES TOGETHER! How ya like me nahw?
Just pin, pin ,pin...all the way around, curving it as you make the turns. You should end up on the other side, matching up perfectly. Now sew a 1/2" seam this time, taking time on the curves.....just go slow and lift where you need to....no worries!
Now, clip your seams to 1/4" alllllll the way around. Pin the other panel to the other side of the side panel. I started this side by pinning the tops first so if there was any discrepancy....
I could compensate for it at the bottom. If you do run into any gappy fabric,
just slowly ease it in at the bottom. Also, just make sure to keep the cardboard free. It's a little cumbersome to work with, but really totally worth it for the stability....you'll see
OK, now here is the bag stitched and lookin' good, but it's missing something right?
Now, I didn't even know if this part was gonna work, but it was sooooo simple. This fabric makes it easy to do. I don't know about you but I HATE pinning bias tape on...we'll we are breaking some rules here. Just take the tape and push it up about and inch beyond the top and bend it over (sorry no pic) and sew it down
And just keep the tape close to the seam and just stitch it right on...quick and simple! Stitch it around the entire bag, and then do the same thing on the other side
And you are D-O-N-E !
Look how it collapses!
Take a peek inside
Now, go make one or two....and if you do, add it to the