Some notes for you:
• All seam allowances are ¼ inch and included in the pattern measurements.
• All stitches are straight stitches.
• I’m using long length bag handles for this tutorial as I like to carry my bags on my shoulder but feel free to shorten them for a more traditional shopping bag style if you like.
• You will need to cut out two pattern pieces, one measuring 15x18.5 inches for the main body of your bag and one measuring 3x30 inches for your bag handles. A broadsheet newspaper is best for this.
You will need:
• Your two pattern pieces
• A duvet cover or other large piece of re-claimed fabric
• Matching thread
• Embellishments e.g. ribbons, buttons, embroidery thread, fabric scraps
• Needle / sewing machine
1) Lay your duvet cover out flat on a large enough surface and pin your pattern pieces to it through both layers. Cut around each piece, unpin and remove your pattern. You should now have 2 main bag pieces and 2 handles.
2) Pin your ribbon embellishment (if using) across one section of your bag body about 5 inches from the top, sew along its length and remove the pins.
3) With right sides together pin and stitch together your two main bag sections around 3 edges. Press the seams open and flat.
4) With your bag still inside out turn the top down ½ inch and press flat, turn down another 1 inch and press flat again. Stitch along the top and lower edge to create a tidy and secure hem.
5) To make your bag handles fold each piece of your handle fabric in half lengthways and stitch down the open edge, turn through and press flat. Turn the ends up inside themselves a little and press to neaten. Stitch closely along both long edges of each of your handles to strengthen a little. Pin your bag handles inside the top of your bag about 1 inch from the top and about 5 inches apart. Stitch them to your bag using a square and cross pattern of straight stitches to make sure it’s secure.
6) Turn your bag the right way out and use buttons, ribbons, yoyos, fabric scraps, charms or embroidery to embellish it.
7) Your bag is now finished, take it out to the shops and stock up on your craft supplies ready for your next project.
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