This instructable shows you how to make a simple reusable shopping bag.

It is aimed more at someone who is new to sewing, the concepts and such are fairly simple and can lead to more advanced work.

I made it at TechShop (http://www.techshop.ws) using the standard sewing machines.  The bag was started at Menlo Park, and finished at San Jose.

You will need for this bag:-

- A quantity of fabric (I have used Ripstop nylon), if purchased, a single yard should be sufficient for a single bag (and give you extra material at the end).
- A small amount of nylon webbing, or other heavy duty fabric for the handle.
- Thread to suit your material (I used cotton thread of different colours for my bag, but I should have used nylon for material matching).
- A round needle for the machine, sized for your fabric and cotton (I used a Ball-Point 100/16 needle).
- Free time (the most expensive item in the list).

Now, the bag you make will not be cheaper than just buying one of the cheap bags at the supermarket, but you can make it any reasonable size, and it won't have a corporate logo unless you want to put one on it :)

An important note: Sewing tools should not be used for anything else, no cutting of paper with your sewing scissors, or pins used for unclogging glue tubes.  If you use sewing tools that way, never re-use them for sewing, as they will cause you problems.

NOTE: At the moment this instructable is a work in progress.  Please request any clarifications in the notes, and I'll update as necessary.

Step 1: Dimension and Measure

First off you will need to figure out the size of the shopping bag you are making.  In my example photo's, I sized the bag to fit larger standard frozen pizza boxes, as those are fairly much the largest single item you might want to put in a shopping bag.  Given the dimensions of one of those boxes, it was decided that a bag with an internal volume of 16"x16"x7" (approx 40cm x 40cm x 18)  would be appropriate.  Given that, the fabric needed to be cut to fit those internal dimensions, with extra space for hems and sewing the parts together (about an inch is good, but as you get better smaller uses less material, and if you have problems larger is better to cover for mistakes).

Given the above, the dimensions of my sample bag fabric cuts was:-

Main Panel   : 41" x 18"
Side Panels : 7" x 18"

Now a typical bolt of cloth is 60" wide in the US (other countries might vary, but the bolt width is fairly stable country-wide), as such, I needed 55" total "length", so given that, I just cut a 18" wide section off my bolt.  The bolt was then put away, and the rest of the fabric here was cut off that 60" piece.

Next, I measured 20.5" up the folded over bolt piece, measuring from the edge to the end of the bolt (see the second photo).

Then, I remeasured the off cut piece to validate I could get both of the sidewall panels out, which I could, so those where cut out (The final picture for this step shows both end pieces on top of each other, you will notice they are different widths, this is corrected later when they are hemmed, you can cheat a lot this way with the fabric if you don't mind using a little too much.  And while you are getting used to sewing, I recommend overcutting a little and hemming it to the correct size, you then have space to fix other mistakes as appropriate).
Nice job! And those straps really look like they are going to stay on which is really good for shopping bags!
That's the idea :) <br> <br>I'm working on some extras for some testing, and once that's done I'll be trying to figure out exactly how much weight one of these bags can hold before starting to show problems, I know it can hold over 20lbs (given other stuff I had to pack in the first one I made).

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