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shopping bags

sewfar | Posted in General Discussion on

I know many of us sewers are making and using unique cloth bags for our shopping to help save the word from the tons of plastic bags we seem to get. There is a really great tutorial on craftster.org for a cloth copy of the traditional plastic shopping bag with gussets that we get from discount and grocery stores. It is listed under singlet style shopping bag. I made several in wild veggie prints for myself and gifts I got compliments on the comfortable handles and how nicely they fold away. I thought that they compared to the traditional European string bags but with no holes and lots of panache with an endless choice of prints.
I never would have had the ingenuity to conquer the process without the help of this very well done tutorial.


  1. zuwena | | #1

    Thanks.  I've been thinking for some time that I wanted to make a durable, reusable shopping  bag.  This may just be the ticket.  Now to find just the right print!!Z

  2. Jumala | | #2

    I've made a few bags in the past, but have found sturdy plastic shopping bags at my local supermarket for $1.49. Whole Foods chain has colorful bags for $.99.

    1. sewfar | | #7

      Thanks to stitchagain for posting the link to craftster. I cannot figure out how to put a link in a message. No matter how many times my ever patient son explains it to me. when it comes time to do it I do something wrong. I meant to add that I omitted the inside pocket to fold up the bag. I just fold the bag into thirds lengthwise, then I fold down the handle, and stick the "tail" end in the curved opening. reminds me a little of folding up socks. Keeps it compact.

      Edited 5/1/2008 4:53 pm ET by sewfar

      1. sewelegant | | #8

        I like your idea of folding the bag up like a pair of socks and omitting the pocket.  Easier and probably just as efficient.  When I want to post a link I open the page I want to send then go up to the search bar and copy the information displayed there then "paste" that info immediately into the document where I want it to be.  If I wait, I too, will lose it.  Thought I would just mention this... maybe another viewpoint will help.  There are so many ways to do things on the computer and it's nice to know things aren't written in stone.  I have not mastered the means to supply a picture into a post yet... but then I haven't really tried.

        1. sewfar | | #9

          thanks for the information on attaching. I tried it and I think I have the hang of it and I posted it on my little reminder board so I can see it. Better for me than in my notebook with the rest of my " Gee, Mom you can do it" notes.
          By the way the plastic bag that I used for a pattern was from our grocery store and they have deep gussets.... about 3 inches... which I like. I also made a pleat at the top of the finished handles. When I cut apart the plastic bag for the pattern I saw that their handles were wide and that they folded them in half. The pleat narrows the handle and at the same time adds some padding and makes them more comfortable and I suppose stronger as you are adding another layer of stitching at a stress point. Unfortunately there seems to be very little interest in the reusable bags here in our part of Northwest Florida but my daughter in law said they are really used in her college town and I see they are well used at our summer home which is also in a college town. One of the clerks here was looking inside my bag for a UPC so she could scan it and I could pay for it ! Makes them more interesting to use here !

          Edited 5/2/2008 2:53 pm ET by sewfar

  3. stitchagain | | #3

    That's cool!

    Just to make it easier I've listed the link



  4. tsuya | | #4

    That's so cool! I've been on craftster for years and saw that one but thought it was cheesy (that's before I started using the recycle bags) but now I think I might make a few. Thanks!

  5. sewelegant | | #5

    I have been thinking about making some totes for shopping ever since we have been urged to do so, but didn't get very enthused because of thinking about "packing" the bag.  I think this design is the answer!  It can fit right over the plastic bag frame all checkouts have and if I make a bunch in the same or similar fabric it will be fun.  Thanks.

    1. Lilith1951 | | #6

      I keep my bags in my car at all times, so if I make an unexpected shopping stop, I'm set.  When I bring in my groceries, I immediately place the emptied bags on my doorknob of my door, so I can't forget to take them back to the car with me next time I leave the house.  This way I always have bags available in my car.

      I simply keep all of 5 of my bags (I have 4 string ones and two really large hemp bags) inside the sixth one.  They are always together.  I don't have any problem with "packing" them. 

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