Tutorial: Reusable grocery bag

I promised to write up a tutorial on how to line the Charlie bag pattern from Burdastyle for use as a reusable grocery bag – so here you go!

1. Download, print, cut out, and assemble the Charlie bag pattern. For the purposes of this tutorial, the pouch is eliminated and only the main bag piece is used.

2. Cut out your fabric. You will need 3/4 yard each of exterior fabric and lining fabric. The easiest way to cut out this pattern is to fold your fabric in half lengthwise, matching up the selvedges (finished edges) and press a crease along the fold – if your fabric doesn’t already have such a crease. Then open out the fabric so that it lies flat, with the crease running down the center. Fold one long edge in to meet the center crease, and pin your pattern piece along this new fold:

Repeat for the second pattern piece, and then repeat this step again for the lining pieces.

3. Place the two exterior pieces right sides together, matching the bottom and side edges. Pin them together along the bottom and side edges. Cut out a 1 1/2″ square from the two bottom corners.

Sew 1/2″ seams along the sides and bottom of the bag. Press these seams open.

4. To make the square bottom of the bag, pinch the pressed seams together at corners and pin together:

Stitch a 1/2″ seam along each edge, creating a corner at each side. Turn the exterior of the bag right-side out.

5. Prepare lining in the same manner, following steps 3 and 4, with one difference: leave an opening in the bottom seam so that you can turn the bag later on. Do not turn lining right-side out.

6. Press under 1/2″ at tops of the strap pieces on the lining, pressing in towards the wrong side of the bag:

7. Place bag exterior inside lining, matching up top edges, right sides together. Pin top edges together, matching up side seams. Stitch a 1/2″ seam around top edges, leaving tops of straps open. (This means you will be stitching four seams in total, two curved seams around the sides and two curved seams around the fronts of the bag). The ends of the exterior straps should extend about 1/2″ beyond the pressed edges of the strap lining:

8. Trim the seams to about 1/4″. Turn the bag right-side out by pulling exterior through the hole in the bottom of the lining, pushing out each strap individually. Sew up the opening in the lining (I do this by just pressing it flat – raw edges tucked inside – and topstitching along its length). Push the lining down inside the bag. The bag should look like this once it is turned right-side out:

Press the top edges of the bag, making sure that no lining is visible from the outside and pressing the straps flat.

9. Pin the two halves of a strap together, right sides of exterior fabric together, and lining up the pressed edges of the lining:

Stitch a 1/2″ seam close to the pressed edge of the lining, being careful not to sew on top of the pressed edge of lining underneath. Press the seam open:

Tuck the raw edges of the pressed seam underneath the finished pressed edges of the lining so that it looks nice and neat, like this:

10. Topstitch a 1/4″ rectangular seam along the pressed edges of the lining to secure:

Alternatively, you could use a wide zig-zag stitch to finish the strap, or slip-stitch the pressed edges together by hand. Any of these methods works just fine. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for the other strap, and you’re done! Now you can admire your new bag.

2 thoughts on “Tutorial: Reusable grocery bag

  1. Pingback: Earth Day Project « A Mingled Yarn

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