Free Pattern to Sew a Compact, Fold Up Grocery Bag to Carry in Your Purse

  • 01 of 10

    Materials to Sew a Fold Up Fabric Grocery Bag

    Materials you will need to sew your own r-usable, fold up, compact grocery bag.
    Materials to Sew a Fold Up Fabric Grocery Bag. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    This 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!

    Materials:

    • 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...MORE extra of the fabric to have sizable lengths of bias tape.)
    • Thread
    • Snap
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  • 02 of 10

    Create the Pattern

    Create the Pattern on a re-usable, fold up, compact grocery bag.
    Create the Pattern. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • 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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  • 03 of 10

    Cutting out the Bag

    Cutting out the Bag on a re-usable, fold up, compact grocery bag.
    Cutting out the Bag. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • 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.
    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Prepare the Snap Strips

    Prepare the Snap Strips on a re-usable, fold up, compact grocery bag.
    Prepare the Snap Strips. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Using the 2" by 6" strips:
    • 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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  • 05 of 10

    Handle Seams

    Handle Seams on a re-usable, fold up, compact grocery bag.
    Handle Seams. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • 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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  • 06 of 10

    Apply the Bias Tape

    Apply the Bias Tape on a re-usable, fold up, compact grocery bag.
    Apply the Bias Tape. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • 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.
    • Press
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  • 07 of 10

    Side Seams

    Sewing the side seam on a re-usable, fold up, compact grocery bag.
    Side Seams. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • 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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  • 08 of 10

    Bottom

    Sewing the Bottom of the Bag with The Snap Strips of a fold up compact re-usable grocery bag.
    Sewing the Bottom of the Bag with The Snap Strips. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Attach 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.
    The Bottom of the Bag
    • With right sides of the bag together (Bag inside out) align the bottom edges.
    • Pin the center of the bottom.
    • Measure in...MORE 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.
    Pressing the Bag
    • 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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  • 09 of 10

    Finish the Handles

    Finish the Handles on a compact re-usable grocery bag.
    Finish the Handles. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Finish the Handles
    • 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.
    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Snaps and Folding

    Snaps and folding the fold up, compact re-usable grocery bag.
    Snaps and Folding. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    Snaps:
    • 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.)
    Folding the Bag:
    • 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...MORE snap the strips in place to hold the bag folded.