HOW TO make a shopping bag

Goodbye plastic bags!

Victoria will soon ban single use plastic bags so for your weekly shopping you could make a WEEKEND TOTE BAG...or maybe do this.

1. Take a plastic bag in the size you want, cut across the bottom and the top of both handles.

2. Cut down both sides and flatten out your plastic and then fold in half.

I've transferred the shape directly onto my fabric because I'm lazy but feel free to make a paper pattern.  Add 1cm seam allowance around the handles.  The bag is cut all in one piece with 1cm seam allowance on the outside side seam.

Start with the first 1/2 of one side, mark the pattern to the center fold.  Cut to the fold line of the plastic, stop and then flip the piece over and cut to the other side of the handle less the seam allowance on the side.

Flip the whole thing over and cut the entire shape from the centre fold making sure to include the 1cm seam allowance at the other end.  Use this fabric piece as a pattern to cut the lining.

3. With right sides together stitch the outer fabric together down the side to form a sausage.  Repeat for the lining.

4. With the right side of the outer fabric facing the right side of the lining and with the side seams and handle shapes matching stitch around the handles only.  The top and bottom should be left open.  Clip seams around curves and then turn right side out.  Press.

5. Make the folds in the sides to replicate the handles on the original plastic bag.  Finish across the bottom and the tops of the handles through all layers with bias binding tucking in the ends and hand stitching in place.  Sorry people but I love hand sewing.  All done.

Plastic bags to go the way of the Dodo, now there's an extinction story we can all cheer on to fruition.

My plastic bag replacement combines a green gingham bias binding found at Luccello with a heavy weight printed canvas and a soft silk cotton voile which both came from Tessuti...all left overs from other projects so even better.  I chose printed fabrics that come from opposite sides of the colour wheel.  I love combining clashing colours and when done well they can add a wonderful pop to your piece. 

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