I’m home with the kids for spring vacation this week, so we decided to head to the craft store. While there, I saw an idea for easy-to-make grocery shopping bags using tea towels. Since it’s pretty dreary outside, it seemed like a fun indoor project. The project shown at the store is a bit simpler than what I did (I added sides and a bottom to the bag), but the overall idea is easy enough for a beginner.
The first part is always the most fun – picking out fabrics! Instead of just making a plain bag, I decided to adorn the turquoise tea towel fabric with a flower-patterned stripe and some pink rick rack. To do this project, you’ll need two (or three tea towels) depending on the size you want, a fat quarter pattern for the stripe, rick rack, and bag strapping. I used my quilting supplies for easy measuring and cutting.
First, I cut the tea towels to size. I chose to cut the two main tea towels into clothes 15″ X 20″ because I wanted to make a fairly large bag.
Next up, cutting stripes. I chose to cut 6″ stripes. Make sure the fabric is wide enough to completely cover your bag width. If you are using patterned fabric such as I did, do think about how you want the pattern centered.
Next, pin the stripe and the rick rack to the front face of the bag. Sew the pieces into place. I did this for the front and the back side of the bag, but you could just do one stripe.
Cut the side and bottom pieces. For my bag, this meant two 6″ X 20″ pieces for the sides and one 6″ X 15″ for the bottom.
Begin the process of sewing the sides and bottom together. Remember you are sewing everything together inside-out.
Once all the sides and bottom are sewn together, it’s time for the straps. I chose to do a “puckered” strap. I don’t like it when the top of my bag gapes open, and the way I chose to put the straps on makes the top look neater in my opinion. It’s a lot of fabric bunched together, though, so I had to hand-sew the straps on.
Voila! All done. A custom grocery shopping bag for about $10 in materials.
Thanks to Lily for taking the “action” sewing shots.