Friday, 10 September 2010

Fabric Supermarket Shopping Bag - Tutorial!

Working in a supermarket means that I see first hand just how many plastic bags are used every day - and it's pretty shocking! Thats why I wanted to make a re-usable version for myself, as I feel so bad thinking of all of the plastic bags being buried in the ground after just one use.

I'm sure I've seen a how-to for these fabric shopping bags elsewhere on the internet - it's certainly not an original idea - but I thought I'd make my own version, along with a tutorial. With university looming, along with the inevitable weekly supermarket shop, I think it will get a lot of use! And of course, it'll help save the environment, which is always a plus. So without further ado... a how to guide, so you can try making one yourself!

You will need:
  • A plastic supermarket bag
  • Some fabric
  • 2m of Bias Binding
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine/Thread/Pins

1. Find yourself a nice bit of pretty fabric - I've used an old duvet cover (you may recognise it from here!). Then cut along the seams of a supermarket shopping bag, and open it out flat.
2) Trace around the bag with a biro. Make sure you leave a 1cm margin all the way around (except for the right hand edge) to allow for seams.
3) Flip the bag over (along its right hand edge), and do the same.
4. Cut along your biro lines (remembering to leave a 1cm margin all the way around).
5. Using the original bag as a guide, iron along the edges, so that your material ressembles a supermarket bag.
6. You should end up with something that looks like this...
7. Turn the whole thing inside out and sew up the side join. Then hem around the inner handles. (Doesn't really need to be neat, its just to stop it fraying).
8. Then turn it back around the right way and sew along the bottom edge, as well as the tops of the handles (like on a plastic supermarket bag).
9. Finally, just to make it look nice and neat, fold your bias binding around the bottom seam and the handle seams, as well as around the 'neckline' of the bag. I've chosen to use a contrasting bias binding :).
10. Go shopping!

I hope I've explained it well enough! If you have any problems, leave me a comment and I'll try to help. If not, just keep referring back to the original plastic bag, and it should turn out ok. The whole thing takes about 1hr to make!

Good luck! If any of you decide to make one, let me know - I'd love to see how yours turns out :D.

Sadie xxx


Iris. said...

Such a great idea! Now I wish I had a sewing machine, and that I knew how to use it :D

xxx Iris

Sugar said...

This is super cute ! your blog is beautiful, so orginial and personal i like it...and i love your style ^^

crazy pig said...

Such an awesome bag! Cute fabric :)
And really useful tutorial! ♥

Kat said...

hahaha, this is so cool XD

Sarah with an "h" said...

This is great! Cute, cheap, and helping the environment at the same time. :P


Velvet said...

I really like that shopping bag! I'm becoming fond of the idea of doing little things like this myself. The only problem is that I haven't got a sewing machine and don't dare to do it just with needle and thread.

Have a nice weekend!

Paige Tanya said...


Chloe, Butterfly Cupcakes said...

Plastic bags have actually been banned here where I live in Australia. I work in a supermarket too and before bags were banned, I also was quite disgusted by how many plastic bags were used.

This is a really great idea, all my bags are green atm, so maybe I need to make a nice pretty one.

Carina said...

What a wonderful idea. I love to sew, just havent made myself the time to do it recently which is sad. The fabric is very nice:)

xx Carina

Ilaria said...

Just read the whole blog..I love it!

Katie said...

Thats such a good idea! And with ready made templates available, makes me wonder why i've never thought of this before. Might give it a go when I'm back at uni and have too much spare time on my hands!

Marloes said...

What a good ideaa!

I like your blog:)

Xx Marloes

Prad Savania said...

Hello, how’s it going? Wow, great post and BlogSpot indeed!

Love Heels??

You should definitely check out my shoe design BlogSpot! All my designs are hand-drawn too! I am hoping that my illustrations will help me get a foot into the footwear designing industry! Take care x

Anonymous said...

Great idea! And cute fabric!

Anonymous said...

i stumbled onto your blog a few days ago, and wow! you've given me so much new inspiration! i love it!!! :)

lisette said...

What a lovely lovely idea!

Steph said...

I love this idea! So cute! I work in a supermarket too, except where I live (South Australia) plastic bags have been banned, so everyone has to either bring their own bags or buy their own. I see so many ripped, messy, yucky bags so a few like these would totally make my day!

Love Steph

tartangirl said...

That's just a wonderful idea and so easy to do. Love it. Bye. Tartangirl.