Visit the market or the mall in style when you make your own personalized fabric tote bag! This shopping bag pattern is pretty, functional and easy to use and comes together in no time! Great project for beginner sewists or someone who needs a quick fabric shopping bag!
Reusable shopping bag pattern
Tote bags have become a necessary accessories due to their versatility and ease of use. They’re also a great way to make a statement while being mindful of the environment. This pretty shopping bag pattern is crazy easy to construct and sew and easy to personalize to represent your style!
If you’re anything like me, you have a bag in your closet to serve every purpose. So naturally you need to make a shopping bag too and this casual, practical and pretty good-looking! The simple but groovy design of this one handle tote bag is also pretty impressive, making your shopping bag pattern quite unique! This bag is roomy enough and such an easy carryall, particularly useful on those busy days spent shopping or running errands!
Other bags you will love:
- Rounded top canvas tote bag
- Evening purse form a place mat
- Rope tote bag
- Reusable grocery bag
- Color block tote bag
I designed my bag to mainly carry light stuff like bread, greens and flowers so I didn’t use heavy interfacing to make my shopping bag pattern. But if you estimate you’ll need to use your fabric tote bag for heavier items when shopping, add interfacing to both the outer fabric and the lining.
This tote bag is also pretty easy to personalize in other ways too, like adding double bias tape and lace trim as I did, so that your pretty bias and the lace show on both the front and the back of the bag. Or you can print a design to the fabric (use this tutorial to print on fabric if you need to learn how to or if you don’t have iron-on vinyl).
Other options are adding pom pom trim to the handle, an applique design to the front and making the bottom of the bag square and boxed or egg-shaped. Pretty versatile bag, right? And you know the best part? You can make this funky bag from two pillow covers! That’s right! If you don’t have any spare fabric to make this shopping bag pattern, you can grab two pillowcases and use them to draw the pattern on. Oh, and the bag is reversible, can be worn either side. Isn’t that a nice bonus?
The pattern for this lovely one handled tote bag is free for my sewing newsletter subscribers but it’s available to purchase here, if you don’t want to join the newsletter.
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Shopping bag pattern
- shopping bag pattern
- canvas fabric or medium weight cotton fabric
- fabric marker
- medium weight interfacing (optional)
- lace trim
- double fold bias tape
- quilting clips
- matching thread
- sewing machine
- pressing iron
Preparing the fabrics
- Print the pattern and assemble the pieces as indicated in the pattern.
- Get the fabric for the outer bag and fold it in half, right sides together.
- Place the pattern over the fabric, on the fold, keep in place with pattern weights (you can make your own with this super simple and cute chicken weights tutorial).
- Trace around the pattern using a fabric marker then cut out.
- Repeat for the lining (inner fabric).
- If you like to make your bag sturdier, cut out some interfacing using the above method. You can interface only the outer fabric or both outer an dinner, if your fabric is not thick enough to make the bag sturdy. Although I used canvas fabric, I found that my bag wasn’t as thick and sturdy as I wanted and added interfacing to one set of fabrics.
Sewing the bag pieces
- Take one of the outer fabrics and gather the bottom until is 1/3 shorter than the original. You might find this gathering method very useful. Use a seam allowance just a little smaller than 1/4″. In addition to being decorative, the ruffles will give body to the bag.
- Repeat for the second outer fabric piece.
- Place outer fabrics right sides together, pin the sides, the bottom and the handle. Please ignore the drawings on the fabric, I used it to create the pattern.
- Sew the pinned areas using 1/4″ allowance.
- Repeat the above steps for the inner fabric.
- Clip the seam at corners as indicated here.
- With your iron on steam, open the seam at the handles and sides. If possible, open the entire side and bottom seam. It’s hard to press with a regular iron so if you can’t open the whole seam, make sure the sides and the handle are pressed open perfectly. This way you can sew the lace trim and the bias tape easier.
- With the outer bag right side out and the inner bag wrong side out, slide the inner bag inside the outer bag.
- Clip together around the handle holes, matching the side seams and the handles perfectly.
- Sew with 1/8″ allowance. This seam’s purpose is keeping the bags together and help you sew easier through the next steps.
Attaching the trim and bias
- Attach lace trim around the handle holes, using 1/8″ allowance.
- You may find that the lace trim tends to roll. If this is the case, run an additional seam, close to the edge of the lace trim but in an inconspicuous area.
- Repeat for the inside of the bag.
- Apply double folded bias tape to the handle holes as indicated in this tutorial. I made my own bias using this tutorial.
- I just realized I haven’t highlighted the start and end of sewing bias tape in the mentioned tutorial. When starting sewing your bias tape, leave about 1″ before starting to sew. When you get to the end, push the bias tail until it reaches the initial stitches. Trim the bias tape then fold the tail inside or at an angle. Enclose the loose tail at the start into the folded tail then continue sewing until you reach the initial stitches. Fold the bias tape and continue sewing as indicated in the tutorial. I hope this makes sense until I find the chance to do a video on these steps.
- And that’s pretty much it! Your shopping bag pattern is ready! Now take a step back and admire your beautiful work!
If you enjoyed this pattern and tutorial, please let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to rate it! Thanks!
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