Picture of Sheepy Shopping Bag
This is how to make a fairly robust shopping bag.
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Step 1:

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Firstly, you need to buy a fairly thick fabric with a nice design.

Then cut out 5 pieces for the sides and the bottom.  In this instance, I cut:
a 380 x 130 mm piece for the bottom
2 450 x 380 mm pieces for the front and back
2 450 x 130 mm pieces for the two sides.  

(This left plenty of overlap as the finished bag was 400 mm high, by 350 mm wide and 100 mm deep)

Then sew together your pieces, sew the inside side of the material (so when you look at the patterned surface, the seams are on the inside).  Sew all of the sides onto the bottom first checking that the edges will be nice and straight.  Then you can sew each edge.  I sewed by hand, but you can machine-sew this (I just don't have a machine that works very well)

Step 2:

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To ensure that the seams are strong enough for your shopping, run a bead of glue along the inside of each seam with a glue gun.  
Then tidy up each seam with a blanket stitch, fold the excess material over as you stitch to produce a neater result.

Step 3:

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Then fold over twice and sew along the top of the bag to make the top edge.  If you run an iron over it to make firm creases it will be easier to sew.


Step 4:

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To make the handles, cut two long strips of fabric.  Mine were 7500mm by 75mm (this was for fairly long handles).

Fold these over and iron flat, ensuring that all of the frayed edges are folded inside, pin it until you are ready to sew..

Then sew the edges together. 
Love that fabric, makes a great bag!
paynej1 (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
For anyone in the UK, the fabric is from a great fabric shop in Lancaster called Fabrix.

Thank you x