Introduction: Sew or Serge an Easy Market Tote

As our awareness of the impact of plastic shopping bags on our environment increases, so has the popularity of reusable bags. The cloth Market Tote is a great option if you'd like to make your own -- it's very easy to construct, and because it requires only about 1/2 yard of fabric to make one about the same size as those plastic bags you get at the market, it's fairly inexpensive as well. You can use your serger, or your sewing machine -- I used both for bag shown in this tutorial. So here we go!

Step 1: Step 1

I started by creating a tissue pattern from a plastic bag I got from the market. For more information on how to make the pattern go to Screaming Mimi's Sewing Room.

Place your pattern tissue with the handles on the fold of your fabric so that when you cut, you will end up with one fabric piece. That fold you see at the side of the fabric is just where I folded a 1 yard piece of fabric so that I could cut 2 bags at once.

Step 2: Step 2

Hem the outer, and inner edges of the handles. There are several options for finishing the handles -- see all the options at Screaming Mimi's Sewing Room

Step 3: Step 3

With the bag folded over at the handles, and the right sides of the fabric together, sew the body of the bag together.

Step 4: The Finished Market Tote

Here's what mine looks like. Go to Screaming Mimi's Sewing Room for more detailed instructions, and more sewing tutorials.

Note: I added the screen printed design after I cut the tote, but before I sewed it up. Would you like to see a tutorial on simple screen printing, or sourcing less expensive supplies for your Yudu that's gathering dust? Let me know...if there's enough interest, I'll create one!
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