Sunday, March 15, 2009

Felt Shopping Bag Tutorial

My kids love their play kitchen. It's stocked full of play food, appliances, a cash register and even a shopping cart. The only thing they were missing were some shopping bags. At first I was set on making some that looked like brown paper bags, but I didn't have any brown felt on hand. Then I got to thinking that the days of paper sacks (and hopefully plastic bags) were numbered so it made more sense to pattern them after today's re-usable fabric shopping bags.

Their construction is incredibly simple. I've thrown together a tutorial in case you want to make some of your own.

Materials:

Felt, sewing machine and general sewing supplies, Printable fabric sheets (optional)

Step 1 - Cut the felt

I cut three rectangles at 7" by 11", two 11" squares and four 11" by 2" strips for the handles.

I found some grocery related clipart online and printed them onto printable fabric sheets. These are available at most craft stores. I used the sew-on ones but they also come in iron-on as well which might make their application a little quicker.



Step 2 - Sew the bag together

Seam the square and 2 rectangle pieces together at the sides. Then pin to the bottom rectangle and sew.

Fold the top down approximately and inch and a half and sew.

Step 3 - Handles

Place two handle strips together and seam on both sides.

Pin the handles to the top of the bag. I measured in 2 inches from the side seams so that their location was consistent on both sides.

Sew on.

Step 4 - Finishing

Turn the bag right side out.

The bag will be pretty floppy at this point (like the photo on the left) so in order to give it some strength and allow it to stand open better fold the seams together and sew a small seam on the outside of the bag.
Add your fabric transfer image if you desire, or you could also easily do a quick applique or simply leave the bag as-is.
This little bag is very sturdy and will last for many years of play and is strong enough to be used at the real grocery store as well!

Alternative method:

After I made my first bag I wondered how I could speed up the process so I decided to make one a little bit quicker by foregoing some of the steps. I cut and seamed the bag just like steps 1 and 2. However, I didn't bother turning down the top and seaming it nor did I double the layers of felt for the handles.

I left the bag "inside out" with exposed seams and quickly sewed the handles on the outside and it was done. It doesn't look quite as finished and fancy as my other one but it certainly does the trick and is really reminiscent of those re-usable store brand grocery bags.

3 comments:

Rachelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is AWESOME! I am a huge felt food fan and I just love it! Thanks so much for sharing this, I'll be linking.

Jennifer said...

As Rachel said , this IS awesome! I am totally using this to make some grocery bags for my nieces for christmas!