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Materials to Sew a Fold Up Fabric Grocery BagThis easy to sew fabric grocery bag folds up compactly to store in your pocketbook so you actually have them when you are in the store and need your re-usable grocery bag. No more leaving them in the car!
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- 3/4 yard of lightweight fabric. I use a windbreaker weight nylon due to its washable and water resistant properties. A lightweight cotton or blend can also be used.
- One package of double fold bias tape. (You can make your own bias tape using the scraps of fabric or by purchasing a bit... extra of the fabric to have sizable lengths of bias tape.)
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Create the Pattern
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- The photo shows a 1" grid for drawing the pattern.
- You will need a piece of paper that is 26" by 11".
- Be sure to mark the one edge for "On Fold" as shown on the photo.
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Cutting out the Bag
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- Fold the length of the fabric in half twice so there is a doubled fold and four layers of fabric.
- Lay the pattern piece on the doubled fold of the fabric so you will be cutting out two of the pattern piece on the fold.
- Cut two 2" by 6" pieces for "snap strips" which will be keeping the bag folded.
- Cut bias tape from the remaining scraps or use purchased bias tape.
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Prepare the Snap StripsUsing the 2" by 6" strips:
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- Fold under one narrow end by 1/4"
- Fold the strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together.
- Fold in each long edge to meet the first, center fold.
- Stitch the folded edges in place.
- Fold over the sewn edge by 1" and stitch in place. (This provides reinforcement for the snap.)
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Continue to 6 of 10 below.
- Unpin and unfold the main bag pieces.
- Place the pieces right sides together, aligning all the edges.
- Pin the handle ends together.
- Sew the seams on the end edge using a 1/2" seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowances to one side.
- Serge or zigzag the seam allowance to prevent fraying.
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Apply the Bias Tape
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- Apply the bias tape to the circular center opening and the sides of the handles. Tuck in and over lap the end of the bias tape on the circular opening.
- Enclose the side of the handle edges, running the bias tape from side seam to side seam.
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Continue to 8 of 10 below.
- Fold the bag so right sides are together and align the edges.
- Sew the side seams using a 1/2" seam allowance.
- Apply a seam finish.
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BottomAttach the Snap Strips:
- Place the two snap strips on top of each other with the folded over ends facing the same direction.
- Place the bag inside out,on a flat surface.
- Measure in 7" from the side seam and place the snap strips perpendicular to the bottom of the bag, inside the body of the bag on right side of the fabric.
- Baste the snap strips in place.
- With right sides of the bag together (Bag inside out) align the bottom edges.
- Pin the center of the bottom.
- Measure in... 3" from each edge and fold the sides of the bag in on itself.
- Pin in place.
- Sew across the bottom using a 5/8" seam allowance.
- Sew the seam again, using a 1/2" seam allowance to reinforce the bottom seam.
- Sew a seam finish on the seam allowance.
- Press the seam as it was sewn and turn the bag right side out.
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- Lay the bag flat and allow the sides of the bag to fold the entire length of the bag, to go with the handle and bottom folds.
- Press the side folds in place.
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Finish the HandlesFinish the Handles
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- Bring the outside bias tape edge in under the strap and align the bias tape edges on top of each other, with the right sides of the fabric exposed.
- Align the handle seams and the bias tape edges.
- Sew the bias tape edges together, sewing 1" on each side of the handle seam, sewing along the bias tape edge.
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Snaps and FoldingSnaps:
- Sew or attach a side of a snap to the folded over edge on both snap strips as shown in the photo. (Both sides of the snaps will be facing up.)
- Lay the bag out flat.
- Fold the length of the bag in half so the two handles are on top of each other.
- Continuing in the same direction, fold the bag in thirds.
- Fold the handles down to the bottom of the bag.
- Fold in 2" squares or roll the folded length of the bag down to meet the snap strips.
- Bring the snap strips around the bag and... snap the strips in place to hold the bag folded.