Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

These bags are great for large shopping trips; but not so convenient when just running in to pick up a tomato & sour cream for dinner. That is where this little folded bag comes in handy. It's just the right size to fit into your purse so it's always ready when you need it.

Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

Now that I've given you the pitch - I hope your convinced that making this bag is a good idea ;) I made a little pattern  to help you follow along with the measurements.

Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

Once you've got the pattern let's gather up some supplies.

Supplies you'll need to make the tote:

1 yard of heavier weight fabric, or any good quality quilting fabric
43" single fold bias tape
Small piece (1") Velcro

Start by cutting out the 5 pieces that make up the folded tote. You'll need 1 front, 1 back, 1 pocket and 2 handles.

We will start by getting the pocket ready. Measure 3" up from the bottom and mark a line straight across and curved at the bottom corners like shown in the picture

Cut the curves out.

Next let's add the bias tape and velcro. Position the bias tape around the perimeter starting with the straight across top.

Iron into place

And stitch down the middle. Becareful at this step that the tape is getting sewn down on both front and back. See how I used the red line on a 1/4" piecing foot for a guide here, it was helpful.

Next fold the bias tape around the outside of the pocket. It actually holds in place pretty well once ironed (it was made for this kinda thing!) Iron as you go and use a couple bobby pins to hold in place. Stitch around the pocket in the same manner as before.

Next let's sew the velcro in place. Fold the bottom of the pocket up to the top. Place the loopy velcro patch on the right side of the fabric 2" below the top in the center. Place up the hooky velcro on the wrong side of the fabric in line with the loopy velcro like shown in the picture. Pin in place and sew around the edges.

Yeah! The pocket is ready to go!

Next let's get those handles ready....

Start by ironing the handles right sides together length wise. Then sew together with a 1/4" seam to create a handle tube.

Next turn the tube inside out. This is a kinda tricky thing if you've never done one before so let me give you a trick. Pin a safety pin on at the sewn edge about 1/2" down, then push the safety pin into the tube and turn down the edges like shown in the picture. This should give you a good clean start to your roll.

See how the bottom tube is half way through? Keep sliding the fabric over itself as you go and and pulling the safety pin out. Repeat for the second handle.

Once the handles are turned give then a press and top stitch down the seam edge to give another layer of stability.

Alright, pocket and handles are done now you're ready to construct this tote!

Take the 2 main body pieces of the bag and iron down a 1" seam at the top of each.

Then position the pocket on to one side lining it up in the middle as shown: 4" down from the top and 4" on either side. Pin in place around the edges and at 3" up from the bottom curve (see the pins in the photo). Remember the chalk line you drew on the back in the beginning? That's where you'll want to stitch across to make a flap for the bag to fold up into.

Stitch around the sides on the binding (but not on the top) and then cut across the bag at the 3" mark. (I took my pins out here)

Pocket is now attached to the bag!

Next we add the handles onto both pieces of the bag. Start by lining up the front and back of the bag by laying them on top of each other with the pocket side on top so you can see the stitching. Do this with a bit of overlap so you can see both sides like shown in the picture. Then line up the handles so that they are inside of the pocket and just a bit below the 1" ironed turn. The picture does a good job at showing how to make this happen. Pin the handles in place.

Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance down each side of the 1" ironed down seam. Back stitch at the handles to give more stability, you'll need it when lugging home a sack of oranges or a gallon of milk!

We are almost done with this puppy! Next we sew the bag -- line up the edges right sides together and pin in place. At the bottom be careful not to sew the pocket flap into the bag. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Clip bottom corners....

Turn inside out, iron seam down and then go back over with a top stitch to give even more security! This bag has to carry the heavy stuff too!

Top stitch around the edges....

Ta-da! You've got a folded tote you can put in the purse!

Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

Now follow along to fold it up...turn the sides to the inside.

Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

Fold the sides into the middle....

Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

Then flip up the flap and velcro together......then throw into your purse!

Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

Thanks for checking out my tutorial for this handy-dandy tote...I hope you make one and use it next time you're at the grocery store!

Fold-Up Eco-Bag Tutorial + Pattern

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