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Topic: Fabric bags shaped like plastic shopping bags  (Read 1650 times)
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pfirsch
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« on: May 15, 2007 08:31:16 PM »

Has anybody ever tried making something like this fabric shopping bag?  I want to try the pattern, but I was wondering if those with more experience sewing could give me some tips on making the execution a bit better.  It seems easy enough, but I have a couple questions:
  • Is there a better way to make the handles?  Just cutting them out makes them seem a bit unfinished to me; and
  • Would putting a binding on the bottom seam make the bag less likely to fray?  I don't have a serger and I would rather the stitching was either nicer looking or not visible at all.  What about using either French or flat felled seams?  Would they work?
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Deirdre
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2007 09:37:30 AM »

I made a shopping bag for a friend. I lined mine.  Handles get tucked between the lining and the bag, and all edges are hidden.

Deirdre
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pfirsch
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2007 12:26:43 PM »

I'm trying to figure out a better way to make this bag.

I've already got a few ideas, but I was hoping that people with more sewing experience could give me some pointers.
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crafting in my cave
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2007 01:29:23 PM »

French or felled seams would definitely work and be very strong. That's what I would use; I don't have a serger, either, but I use felled seams whenever I want reinforced seams.

wrt the handles: the instructions suggest finishing the seams. Maybe you didn't see that  and that's why cutting them out seems unfinished.

Good luck!
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Jatoha
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2007 01:41:18 PM »

pfirsch-

I know you are trying to make "that bag", however, maybe this tutorial will help you.  You could change the dimensions to match "that bag". (i.e. make it deeper with shorter handles)

http://tinyhappy.typepad.com/tiny_happy/2006/06/shoulder_bag_tu.html
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pfirsch
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2007 04:57:19 PM »

pfirsch-

I know you are trying to make "that bag", however, maybe this tutorial will help you.  You could change the dimensions to match "that bag". (i.e. make it deeper with shorter handles)

http://tinyhappy.typepad.com/tiny_happy/2006/06/shoulder_bag_tu.html
Funny thing is that the idea I tried out looked like the template at tiny happy except I folded the fabric like an accordian to get two straps instead of one.  So, I guess I was heading in the right direction Smiley  It worked out, but I'll keep fiddling with it.

wrt the handles: the instructions suggest finishing the seams. Maybe you didn't see that  and that's why cutting them out seems unfinished.
I saw about the part about using a serger or zigzag stitch on the handles.  The idea of having the stitching be on the outside didn't appeal to me and I've never done binding--that's why I was asking about other ways to finish the edges.

Thanks to everyone who responded.  I was really afraid that I wouldn't be able to figure this out by myself.
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2007 02:23:49 PM »

why don't you make it like a tote bag, they are easy to make, they don't cost a lot to make, and the money that you save making the bag, you could use on the decorations
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utemama
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2007 01:03:49 AM »

my great aunt use to make her shopping bags out of rubberbacked curtain,and they have lasted for years,she had been doing this well before recycling came into action,she just used a basic tote,as for me i got given a green bag from a supermarket and just copied pattern using french seams and it has held up well.
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pfirsch
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2007 05:21:38 AM »

why don't you make it like a tote bag...
I wanted to try something different.
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crafting in my cave
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2007 10:29:40 PM »

Binding isn't too hard to sew. The curves can be tricky, especially if it's a tight curve. I just made an apron with a lot of binding on curves. The first couple times, I did rip and resew a few places, but it looked nice when finished.

You could choose to either purchase binding or make your own to match your fabric. If you use purchased binding and have never sewn binding, just make sure to put the larger side on the inside of your bag and sew on the shorter side.

If your machine does some decorative stitching, you could sew on the binding and then decorative stitch on top in a contrasting thread and hide any of the sewing from attaching the binding.

I hope you're already cutting and sewing your new grocery bags!

Cheers!
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