Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Super Easy to Make Reusable Fabric Shopping Bags



Making reusable fabric grocery bags has been a project on my personal to do list for way to long. I'm proud to share that this weekend I finally got my rear in gear and made some bags. Now that I have the hang of the pattern, I'm going to get more creative with the next ones I make - maybe some applique or pretty fabrics.

Last year Salome at Seven Veils Studios told me about Morsbags. They have a super easy, and free pattern for reusable totes. They can really be used for anything, but I'm going to use mine for shopping bags.

My mom gave me reusable Target bag - the kind they sell in the store for $0.99. I ended up using it to hold sand toys for when they kids and I go to the playground. I was always tempted to buy the reusable bags they sell at the grocery store too, but I knew I would feel to strange about using a bag printed with a specific store logo to shop in another store. I use about three different grocery stores depending on which one I'm closest to and didn't want to collect bags from them all. Then there's my paranoia that if I bring my bag back into the store later on, I can't prove I'd already paid for it the last time, and I'll have to pay for it again (I know - not likely - but I never claimed to be rational.)

Making my own bags solves all these problems. I just had to get working!

I also asked my daughter if I made her a bag, would she help me carry in the groceries? She said sure, if I made her a 'kid sized' tote bag. Her reusable bag also had to be yellow. The little yellow Dragon Tales bag in the photo is what I made for her.

I did make one modification to The Morsbag Free Pattern that my mom recommended. I added a pleat into the bottom of the bag so it has more of a flat bottom. It should be a little easier for wide items to sit in the bag. It's very easy to modify the bag.

With the bag inside out, just pull out one of the bottom corners and measure however big a bottom you want to make. I made mine about 4 inches. You could use pins or chalk to mark the fabric, but I just held the sides in the right place with my fingers. Worked fine, and it's fast.



Do the same thing on the other bottom corner of the bag, then go ahead and cut off the excess fabric at the corner.



When you turn your grocery bag right side out again, you'll see the seam that adds the bottom. I hope this is understandable. If I'm not clear enough, or you have questions just leave a comment and I'll do better.



I also didn't always use the exact measurements that the Morsbag pattern gave. The yellow bag is the closest. Obviously the kid tote is much smaller, and I for the pink bag, I just wanted to use up the last bit of that fabric that I had, so it turned out a little taller. It's all good - and I know no one will have reusable shopping bags that are just like mine!