If you are new or returning to sewing, bag making is a good place to start. This boxy shopping bag is designed for grocery shopping.
The continuous webbing strap, that forms the handles, reinforces the overall structure, which means it can take the weight of heavier items.
Materials required: -
A piece of medium weight cotton, canvas or denim 80cm x 60cm
225cm of webbing or similar for the handle straps and matching sewing thread.
To make: -
Cut one large rectangle 80cm x 38cm and two smaller rectangles 20cm x 31cm
Chalk the half way marks as shown in red above.
Chalk a line at the halfway point of the length of webbing.
Then stitch the two ends together using 1cm seam allowance, to make a complete loop. (A)
Place your webbing onto the main bag piece, lining up the halfway points of the strapping with halfway along the fabric. (B) The gap in the middle of the straps is 8cm - this gives a comfortable handle size on the finished bag. The fabric above (X) and below (Y) the straps needs to measure the same.
Pin the straps in place and put a pin across each strap, 10 cm from the edge of the fabric rectangle.
Attach the straps by stitching down each edge of the webbing from marker pin to marker pin - the central 60cm on the fabric. (C)
Take the two side panels of fabric, and with right sides together, line up the halfway chalk lines to the chalk lines on the main bag piece. Pin in place. Taking only 0.5cm seam allowance, stitch starting 0.5cm in and finishing 0.5cm from the end. (D)
Pin the two longer sides of each side panel to the main bag piece, and again stitch taking only 0.5cm seam allowance.
Hemming the top of the bag - turn the top of the bag over by 1cm and press, turn again by 1cm and stitch down.
Turn the bag the right way out. To strengthen the construction, pin each seam around the side panels and stitch 1cm from the edge. This also stops the fabric from fraying.
Finally stitch the loose straps to the top of the bag and you are ready to shop!