Monday, June 23, 2014

Grocery Bag

End of year teacher gift ideas never come easily to me.  I searched around for some ideas and finally decided on a grocery tote. Mainly because I had just a bit of cute teacher fabric leftover from a Handprint teacher quilt I made last year and also because I see the value in fabric grocery bags.

I used a plastic Wegmans bag as a pattern.

Bag Parts
Front, back outside and 2 lining 16.5" x 13"
2 Side Panels outside and 2 lining 4.5" x 16.5"
Handles 2 outside, 2 lining 5.5" x 13" shaped and pleated
Loop 4.5" x 3"

First I started with front and back panels that were 16.5" x 13".  These were pieced in a basic log cabin pattern with 1" to 3.5" pieces.

Next I cut two side panels 4.5" x 16.5".

These four pieces went together to form the bag.  (Red side panel, pieced front, blue side panel, pieced back)

I formed the bottom of the bag by folding in the side panels into the bottom seam.  Here is what it looked like on the lining.

On the outside, the bottom looked like this.

For the handles, I followed the basic size and shape of the plastic grocery bag.  I cut a rectangle of 5.5" by 13".  I measured 2.5" in the center of the strap and also centered lengthwise.  With the strap folded in half, I started the curve about 3.75" from the edge and curved in to the 2.5" mark.  I copied this curve on the other side mirror image.

Need two straps, each with a lining.
Handles, turned and top stitched.

Handle position ended up having the inner edges of the handles 1.25" covering the side panels.  I put in a pleat because it seemed a bit too wide after all.  The finished size with the pleat was 3.5".

Next was a loop.  Cut at 4.5" by 3", then ironed in half lengthwise, each side folded in towards fold line and then folded in half.
Pieced Grocery Bag

Handles and loop is positioned right sides together with outside of bag.  Then I made a lining using the same dimensions:  two 16.5" by 13" panels plus two 4.5" by 16.5" sewing together (with opening for turning in one side seam) then folding in the sides into the bottom seam again.

Sew bag right sides together at top edges, flip, top stitch, and blind stitch lining opening for turning.

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