I have come to the realization that although I have several reusable shopping bags, most of them are being used to store things around the house. Therefore I need more for shopping. Since I am going with a patriotic theme lately, why not make some patriotic bags. I have only finished one so far, but I have 5 more almost finished. I also have 7 others that are almost done in two other summer fabrics. With 13 new shopping bags, I'll be all set for the grocery store.
First what I did was fold the fabric in half. I cut it 16" wide along the length of the fabric. The width of most fabrics are between 40" to 44" which I use as the length of the bags. While it is still folded in half, I cut 3.5" off of the top for the handles. Then fold the handle fabric right sides together and sew along one side. Put a safety pen through one of the open ends, and then use it to turn the handle right sides out. I like to iron the handles flat to make it easier to top stitch them. I also fold the bag in half, right sides together. Then I sew the two sides together.
Next I top stitch on both sides of the handles. This helps secure your first stitches as well as add a finishing touch to your handles.
Then fold the stitched sides of the bag, and stitch them down. You could skip the sewing and iron or pin them down instead.
Next fold that stitched side again so that the raw edge it hidden and sew. You could use a straight stitch, but I like to use the kind of stitch used on t-shirts/jeans.
To make your bag have a flat bottom (when filled), take the bottom and make this corner. You can see the stitched side here. I like to line up the stitched side with the folded crease from the bottom. Then I draw a 2" line across it. I do this on both sides of the bag.
Then sew it using a straight stitch.
You can cut the corner off and sew the raw edge down, but I left mine attached (less work).
Next fold over the top of the bag and sew it.
Then fold it over one more time to hide the raw edge and pin it. Three inches in from each side I pinned the handles. I folded the raw edge of the handles inside of the folded top edge of the bag.
Then you sew the top of the bag catching the handles as you sew. I sewed in two different places to make sure that the raw edge stayed hidden and to really lock the handles into place. Next time I will use that t-shirt stitch from earlier for this part.
Voila! You have a reusable fabric shopping bag that does not need a lining. I made some a year ago, and they hold up great. I made smaller versions of these for my son's birthday goodie bags. You can also watch episode 5 of my t.v. show where my guest made these bags. There are 3 videos in total.