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A cut-and-sew template for making a reversibly lined, box-shaped, grocery bag with handles. Currently displaying a version for printing on a 42 inch width fabric - featuring tessellations representing earth, sea and air. The assembled bag should be 15 inches high (not including handles), 13 inches wide and 5 inches thick.
Other colours, stylings, sizes and orientations are available on request. Eg a bag template to fit the linen canvas or the twill (rather than just having extra pieces for pockets and the second bag's handles). Or a wider but less thick bag for carrying paperwork.
0. Refer to the layout diagram
(and possibly the comment thread
with someone else's pictorial make of the same general layout).
1. Cut out the 2 bag pieces, keeping the seam allowance, and the 2 handle pieces (there's a white guide line half way along the strip to divide these equally).
2. Fold up the handle strips like bias binding, ie both edges to the centre and then in half with right sides out, and stitch down the length on both
sides to make them stay flat.
3. Fold each bag piece over onto itself, top to top with right sides together, and sew up both side edges using the coloured seam allowance. That's 2 bag pieces and 2 side seams on each.
4. For each corner (2 per bag piece), shift the fabric around (still right sides together) to line up the newly joined side gusset with the base panel and stitch along the seam allowance to seal up the hole. You should now have 2 open box shapes.
5. Turn one of the bag pieces right side out (it's irrelevant which one) and slip it inside the other one (so the differing right sides are now together). If your sewing machine can handle 6 thicknesses of fabric, now is the time to insert the handles on front and back panels. Measure and pin to align them carefully, curving the strips around on the inside
of the top seam but with plenty of end sticking out for later reinforcement stitching. Sew around the top seam allowance - leaving one side gusset open for turning everything right-sides-out again.
6. Perform the standard extraction manouevre to get the handles and printed fabric surface onto the outside. Insert any base reinforcement you might want and add a few stitches (or glue?) to keep that in place before hand-sewing the remaining portion of the top seam from the outside. You might want to add a few stitches at suitable corners to keep the inner and outer faces of the bag neatly together anyway.
7. If you couldn't add the handles before, attach them now. Even if they were fitted into the seam, add a couple of extra lines of stitching lower down anyway to catch the dangling ends of the handles and make sure they're not going to pull out of the seam.
8. Turn your bag whichever way out best suits your mood or your shopping.
• horizontal layout = taller and thinner
• more cut and sew designs
• design index