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Tutorial: Make a reusable market bag

How to Make a Simple, Reusable Market Bag. DIY Tutorial

I started by getting all the dimensions and adding the seam allowances.  Let's get started.

1 Yard of main fabric

1/2 yard contrasting fabric

coordinating threads

1 piece cardboard cut to 11 1/2" x 6.5"


    Start by cutting your main fabric pieces.  These will be the front, back and side of the bag (Cherries)
Cut 2:  14.5" wide and 17.5" tall (front and back)
Cut 1:  8.5" wide by 47" tall  (side---one long piece)
For bias tape: cut and piece together enough for 2 - 3/4" x 51" finished pieces .  If you are unsure how to make your own bias tape you can go here for a great tutorial.  Or you can buy pre-made tape.

For the straps and inside cardboard bottom cover (Zebra)
Cut 2:  2.5" x 60" (Straps)
Cut 2:  12.5" x 8.5"  (Bottom Cardboard Cover)

Begin by making the straps.  Real easy step.... just iron them down, right sides together matching long edges and sew with a 1/4" seam.  Do not sew the short sides, so you can turn it!    Insert a safety pin in one end and push thru until you have your strap turned right side out


Take your front and back panels and iron down the top (14.5" side)
1/2" and then 1" over, creating a hem.  Do this on both pieces


Edge Stitch on top and bottom of hem.  Do other panel the same way


Now take your side panel (47"x8.5" piece) and do the same.  Iron down 1/2" and then 1" to make a hem, and edge stitch in place


Ther' ya go...Edge Stitched top and bottom


Now, grab a ruler or measuring tape and position the straps as shown.  make sure your raw edges match at the bottom.  Really, this fabric is very easy to work with, so no worries.  


Starting at one side of the strap at the bottom, just start edge stitching up the strap.  When you get to the top, and it's just strap, don't panic!  Just keep going (IMPORTANT:  MAKE SURE YOUR TENSION SETTING IS ON MEDIUM HERE!)  and stitch allllllll the way around to the other side.  When you get there, just turn it around and do the other side, and.....


Voila.....stitched straps!!


And...If you want, you can put an X at the top where the strap and
top intersect....for extra stability.
Now, go do the other one the exact same way and then come back


Now, take your bottom fabric, the one to cover the cardboard, and with right sides together, stitch 1/4" seam on long side and both short sides, leaving one long side open


And slip that sucker in there


Now, take the unsewn side of the cardboard cover and match it to the raw edge of one of the front panels (ya know, the one we just sewed straps on to)
and baste it in place with a 1/4" seam


Now, take one of the front panels ( I started with the non-cardboard one) and pin it to the long side panel.  That's right....WRONG SIDES TOGETHER!  How ya like me nahw?
Just pin, pin ,pin...all the way around, curving it as you make the turns.  You should end up on the other side, matching up perfectly.  Now sew a 1/2" seam this time, taking time on the curves.....just go slow and lift where you need to....no worries!


Now, clip your seams to 1/4" alllllll the way around.   Pin the other panel to the other side of the side panel.  I started this side by pinning the tops first so if there was any discrepancy.... 


I could compensate for it at the bottom.  If you do run into any gappy fabric,
just slowly ease it in at the bottom.  Also, just make sure to keep the cardboard free.  It's a little cumbersome to work with, but really totally worth it for the stability....you'll see


OK, now here is the bag stitched and lookin' good, but it's missing something right?


Now, I didn't even know if this part was gonna work, but it was sooooo simple.  This fabric makes it easy to do.  I don't know about you but I HATE pinning bias tape on...we'll we are breaking some rules here.  Just take the tape and push it up about and inch beyond the top and bend it over (sorry no pic) and sew it down


And just keep the tape close to the seam and just stitch it right on...quick and simple!  Stitch it around the entire bag, and then do the same thing on the other side  


And you are D-O-N-E !


Look how it collapses!


Take a peek inside





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