I think you can never have enough bags! I always seem to have several everywhere I go – a handbag, a laptop bag and a general bag for lunch, projects, extra papers…..the list goes on!
Now that the plastic bag law has moved south of the border from Scotland, it's going to become even more useful to carry along an extra bag with you - so why not make it a really lovely one?
For this weeks ‘Let’s Make Christmas’ project idea, I’m going to show you how to make the ultimate shopping bag. It’s simple to make and has a gusset (not the most glamorous word – but the best way to describe it!) which means the bag has great depth with lots of room and you can add optional little details to make it as extra special as you like.
Cut all the panels out
From the main fabric you will need:
From the contrast fabric:
Optional from the contrast fabric:
Mark the centre point of the outer pocket pieces and the outer front/back panels with a little snip.
I’ve used a 1cm seam allowance. As my fabric didn’t really fray that much I didn’t finish off any of my seam allowances or raw edges – they won’t be exposed anyway as the bag is lined. You may want to do this if your fabric is fraying quite a bit.
Step One – Construct the straps (optional)
If you would like the contrast panel on the straps – take the 4cm x 90cm strip. Fold and press 1cm along the two long edges towards the centre of the strip. Pin it to the cotton webbing strap wrong side down so that the raw edges are hidden. Using a blind stitch/ladder stitch hand sew the strip to the webbing so the stitching isn’t visible.
Step Two – Construct the outer pocket and join the front/back top and bottom panels
Step Three– Sew the Gusset of the Bag together
Sew the side panels to the bottom panel with a 1cm seam allowance but stop 1cm from the side as shown below.
Step Four – Sew the gusset to the front/back panels
Sew the side edge of the gusset to the side edge of the front/back panel with a 1cm seam allowance stopping 1cm from the bottom edge of the panel. Continue along the bottom edge of the panel, again stopping and starting 1cm from the edge of the panel. Then finish off by sewing the other side.
The sew the gusset to the other front/back panel to compete the outer part of the bag.
Step Five – Attach the Internal Patch pocket to the lining (optional)
Step Six – Construct the lining of the bag
Step Seven – Cut the plastic canvas to size (optional)
I used two layers of plastic canvas for the bottom panel, cut to 8cm x 40cm. Place it into the bottom of the bag. It will be sewn in place later.
Step Eight – Attach the lining to the outer bag
Fold and press 1cm towards the wrong side of the fabric along the top edge of the outer and lining sections.
Place the lining inside the outer bag, wrong sides together.
Top stitch along the top edge of the bag to attach the lining and outer sections together. I used the top stitch thread again with regular thread in the bobbin.
Step Nine – Top Stitch the side edges of the bag (optional)
I’ve marked this step as optional as its not essential but I think it frames the bag nicely and will also make the side panels stay at the side.
Press the side edges of the bag and top stitch the seam – just on the outer fabric of the bag, don’t catch the lining as well – although you will a little bit at the top edge of the bag. I use regular thread for this as I didn't want it to be a feature - just a subtle addition.
Step Ten – Attach the magnetic clasp and fix plastic canvas in place
Hand sew the magnet clasp on to the centre of the lining fabric.
Manoeuvre the plastic canvas in place and sew a few stitches in each bottom corner of the bag sewing though the lining and outer bag.
And there you have a lovely bag! Perfect as a gift for all those extra essentails and a great way to avoid paying lots of 5ps!
Are you with me on the bag front? Can never have enough?