Foldup Compact Nylon Shopper




Introduction: Foldup Compact Nylon Shopper

Inevitably the plastic grocery bag will be a thing of the past as governments are concerned with the impact of plastic on the environment.
This super compact enviro bag can be carried in your pocket or bag ready for impulse purchases.
Easy to sew from ripstop nylon on a basic straight stitch sewing machine. No overlocker / serger is required.
These bags are very strong. We have carried up to 8kg in them.

I have been using the same ones for many years.

They are washable and take no time to dry.

They are very useful for groceries, travelling and childrens items.

If you would like a smaller or larger bag it is easy to resize.

I hope you enjoy my first Instructable.

Step 1: Materials

Nylon ripstop .5m

Velcro 2cm square

Matching thread



Sewing machine

Step 2: Making Your Pattern

Essentially this is just a singlet pattern. The white pattern is just so you can see the shape.

My measurements in case you can't read them:-

From the top of the handles to the bottom of the bag - 62 cm

Width 48 cm

Handle width 7 cm

Start curving from the 17 cm mark - make sure there is at least 3 cm straight for your seams on the sides

Sides are 37 cm long.


Make a bigger or smaller bag by reducing or increasing the measurements proportionately.
I have made a little one for my Granddaughter and a huge one for a big grocery shop.

Step 3: Cuttting Out Your Pieces

Fold fabric in half with selvages edges together.

Cut out main pieces with the bottom on the fold

Cut out handle facing. you will need to manipulate it as shown to get the bag and facings from the fabric piece.

Cut 14cm long narrow strip for supermarket holder loop

Cut 22cm long wide strip for bottom strap

Step 4: Velcro Strap and Supermarket Loop

Fold both in half and sew a 1.2cm seam along the long edge

Turn to the right side press and top stitch long sides close to the edge

Step 5: Facings

"Handkerchief" hem edge of facings (a very fine hem)

Pin facings to main piece right sides together.

Pin loop between the facing and main piece in the centre of the back.

Step 6: Stitching on Facings

Stitch a 1.2cm seam around the “neckline” and “armhole” stopping at the 5cm marks (this is important to measure accurately) on top of handle shapes - Clip all curves ensuring you do not cut into stitching - do not skip this step.

Step 7: Turn Handles to the Right Side

Turn handles right side out - Press

Press seam allowances on the top of handles

Step 8: The Sides - French Seams

French Seam: - Pin sides of bag wrong sides together making sure the facing edges are level with the main edges

Stitch 4mm from edge

Trim the frayed edges - don't skip this step the "hairs" will stick out of the finished seam

Turn bag inside out – press seam and sew 1.5cm seam

Turn bag right side out – press seams

Step 9: Sewing the Right Side of the Handles

Pin right sides of handle tops together and sew 1.2cm seam following your pressed crease lines

Step 10: Sewing the Wrong Side of the Handles

This is the trickiest part of making this bag but once you get the idea it is simple.

I have constructed a sample in two different colours hoping that it might make it easier to see what is done.
The pink is the right side and the blue is the wrong side.

Twist wrong sides handle tops right sides together and sew 1.2 cm seam following your pressed crease lines

Pull the handles so the seams are on the inside – press raw edges inside and press.

Step 11: Squaring Off the Bottom

Press bottom fold

Turn bag inside out – pin seam line to press line at bottom

Sew a line across to form a triangle to make the base 3cm from the point

Fold corners up – pin – stitch in the ditch up the side.

if you intend to make a few of these its a good idea to cut a corner template as a guide.

Step 12: Edge Finishing

Edge stitch around the armhole and neckline making sure the seams are facing the same way as the bottom.

Sew across the handles 1cm from the seam - just for a bit more durability (I didn't do this for the first ones I did but I like the finish)

Step 13:

Fold over wide strap 1cm with one end one way and one end the other

Stitch velcro to both ends to form a circle

Stitch to the bottom of the bag close to the bottom edge in the centre of the middle third fold.

Step 14: Folding Your Bag

Fold in half and then in thirds, fold handles down, roll up from the handles.

Step 15: Adding the Velcro Strap

Stitch close to the bottom of the bag in the centre of the outside fold.

and we are done. Enjoy your new enviro bag :-)

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Excellent design and Ible. I hope to see more projects from you. Thank you.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much! I appreciate your comments.
    I can't really think of anything else some one hasn't already covered though :-)