HowTo: Market Bag

HowTo: Market Bag

To kick off the new website I want to share a tutorial for sewing your own reusable market bag. It is such a handy item and a fairly easy sew. If you sew one up I’d love to see it! Share it with the hashtag #mommadiditmake so we all can see your lovely handiwork. Now let’s get started.

For this project you will need:

  • 1/2 yard cotton fabric
  • matching thread
  • Your sewing toolkit (sewing machine, pins, scissors, ruler, pencil, and iron)

First, we will cut our fabric. I like to take a straight edge and straighten out my fabric. The people at the cut counter at the fabric store are lovely folks, who rarely cut straight. Taking the time for this extra step will make a world of difference in your finished product.

Typical cotton measures 44″ wide, so you should have a piece (folded in half, selvage to selvage) around 22″ x 18″. Go ahead and cut off the selvage.

Next, cut a strip 3″ wide, on the side where you cut off the selvage. These are your handles. The remaining piece is your bag. Go ahead and cut down the center fold line, giving you 2 pieces measuring around 18″ x 19″ and 2 pieces measuring 18″ x 3″.

Fold each strap piece in half long ways and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Turn straps right side out and press.

Top stitch along each long edge of strap and down the middle.

Press under 1/4″ with your iron along the top edge of your bag pieces.

Then press under again, this time at 1″.

Measure 4.5″ from the outer edge of bag piece on either side and make a mark.

Slide straps under folded edge at marks and pin.

Repeat for other strap.

Sew along edge of folded down top, catching straps as you sew.

This is what you will have.

Press your straps up.

We want these straps to be very secure. You will want to sew an X, a box, or both where your straps meet your bag.

Here’s the view from the other side.

Take your bag pieces, wrong sides together. Pin and sew all the way around the sides and bottom.

Clip your corners, careful not to cut through your stitching. Trim your seam allowance all the way around to 1/4″.

Turn your bag inside out and press your edges.

Sew around both sides and bottom again. Make sure to leave enough room for your previous seam allowance. You do not want to catch it in the seam. Turn your bag right side out.

This is what you call a French Seam. It allows you to have no raw edges without making a lining.

The last step? Give yourself a pat on the back. You just made something. And doesn’t it look good?