Why pay 5 pence for a plastic carrier bag when you could be helping the environment and looking stylish with this lovely oilcloth shopper? Torie Jayne has designed a shopping bag that is both pretty and practical - perfect for your weekly supermarket visit or for a day high street shopping with your girl friends. Follow these simple sewing instructions to make your own stylish shopper and no doubt your friends will want one too!
How to sew an oilcloth shopper bag by Torie Jayne
You can never have too many shopping bags! For this shopper, I used a softer cotton vinyl (PVC) fabric that has a wipe-clean finish. Because the front, base, and back are cut as one piece, you’ll need to choose a fabric that looks good upside down. The long straps are made from herringbone tape adorned with grosgrain ribbon.
You will need
One 78 x 42cm rectangle of vinyl- (PVC-) coated cotton fabric, for main piece
Two 35 x 12cm rectangles of vinyl-coated cotton fabric, for side pieces
Teflon foot for sewing machine
Matching sewing thread
One 102 x 4cm strip of vinyl-coated cotton fabric, for facing
Two 48cm lengths of 15mm- wide fusible bonding web
Two 48cm lengths of 15mm- wide grosgrain ribbon (with decorative stitching along edges, if desired)
Two 48cm lengths of 25mm- wide cotton herringbone tape
Two 40 x 10cm rectangles of vinyl-coated cotton fabric, for base insert
One 40 x 10cm rectangle of stiff interfacing, for base insert dimensions
The finished bag measures 40cm wide x 10cm deep x 33cm tall.
To make the bag
- With right sides together and raw edges even, paperclip the top 34cm of the left-hand long edge of the main piece to the right-hand long edge of one of the side pieces. Stitch a 1cm seam, stopping 1cm before the lower edge of the side piece. At the point where the stitching ends, snip into the seam allowance of the main piece at right angles to the stitching.
- Pivoting the fabric around the corner, paperclip the middle 10cm of the left edge of the main piece to the bottom edge of the side piece, with right sides together and raw edges even. Stitch a 1cm seam, starting and stopping 1cm from the edges of the side piece. Snip into the seam allowance of the main piece, as in step 1.
- Again pivoting the fabric around the corner, paperclip the remainder of the left edge of the main piece to the other long edge of the side piece, with right sides together and raw edges even. Starting at the top edge, stitch a 1cm seam, stopping 1cm from the bottom.
- Repeat steps 1–3 to attach the other long edge of the main piece to the other side piece. Snip off the corners of the seam allowances, and turn right side out. Using a blunt-ended tool such as the rounded end of a chopstick, carefully push out the corners.
- With right sides together and raw edges even, paperclip the short edges of the facing together, and stitch a 1cm seam, forming a ring. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron one side of the fusible bonding web to one grosgrain ribbon, and then the other side to one length of herringbone tape, to bond the ribbon down the center of the tape. Repeat for the other ribbon and tape.
- With raw edges even, paperclip the ends of one handle to the front of the bag at the top edge, 11cm from the side seams, with the ribbon side of the handle facing the right side of the bag. Paperclip the second handle to the back of the bag in the same way. Place the bag facing on top, right side down, with raw edges even, and with the seam even with one of the seams on the bag. The handles will be sandwiched between the facing and the bag. Stitch a 1cm seam around the top.
- Turn the facing to the inside of the bag along the seam line, finger press, and paperclip in place. Topstitch 1cm from the edge, and again 1cm below this stitching.
- For the base insert, sandwich the rectangle of stiff interfacing between the two vinyl rectangles with wrong sides together and raw edges even; paperclip in place. Stitch them together 5mm seam from the edges. Place inside the base of the bag.
This project is taken from Torie Jayne's Stylish Home Sewing.
If you make this oilcloth shopper bag, then be sure to share it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using tag #MAKEetc - we'd love to see how you get on!