This is the first part of a tutorial using the burlap shopping bag pattern. You'll be able to make the complete bag in the first part, but in the second part, I will show you how to create the print for this type of fabric.
On my recent trip to Tanzania, I fell in love with the country. I will share a post about that trip and the fabrics I brought back with me. One thing I noticed is the lack of plastic bags on the roads, in fact, I was amazed to see a relatively clean country. The reason: the government has completely prohibited the importation and use of plastic bags in the country. Which means people are reusing the ones that are available and are shopping with reusable shopping bags. In fact, fabric shopping bags are everywhere.
So in the spirit of recycling, I wanted to share a bag made out of one of my favorite materials: burlap also know as hessian. I love the texture and mixing it with soft materials is my favorite thing in the world as you can see on my table runner.
- 3/4 yard of burlap hessian on natural color is best
- Thread to match
- Pair of easy handbag handles (see our tutorial on how to make easy bag handles HERE)
- 1 1/2 yards of 1″ wide cotton tape or bias cotton tape
- Jeans or size 16 needle
- Sewing machine
- Walking foot (optional)
Fabric suggestions from Fabric.com
How To Print Your Burlap Shopping Bag Pattern
The only program you will need to print the pattern is Adobe Reader. Use Actual Size and Landscape Mode.
How To Sew The Burlap Shopping Bag
Sew the sides of the bag at 3/8″. The pattern is drafted to take a seam allowance of 3/8″ but if your burlap has raveled you may have to adjust that amount so that the corners match when it's time to box the corners.
I would suggest sewing twice to reinforce the bag.Sew cotton or bias tape to the side seams to hide the edges.
Box the corners. Sew at 1/2″ using a straight stitch.
Zigzag with a medium stitch.
Trim the edge right up to the zigzag.
Apply cotton or bias tape. I like to join two strips of tape together the length needed plus the seam allowance.
Sew three sides of the tape at about 1/8″.
For the next step, you will need a pair of bag handles. You can buy them or make your own as I showed you in my last post.
Pin the handles to the top edge. The handles should hang down with the seams facing you. Allow 5″ of space in between the handles.
Sew the facing pieces together at 3/8″. Then iron or finger press the seams open. Zigzag the edges to avoid the burlap from raveling.Zigzag one of the edges. Turn the zigzag side and make a hem at 1/2″ and stitch. This side will become the hem of the facing.
Pin the facing right side down to the edge of the burlap tote shopping bag. Sew at 1/2″.
Turn the facing inside and topstitch the edge at 1/4″.
You can add velcro or a magnetic snap on the facing to close the bag.
If you want the bag to look like the one on the picture, wait for next Tuesday and I will be sharing with you a way to make a print for this bag. But if you can guess what it is please let me know in the comments below. The first one to guess will win a pattern from our Etsy shop.
Need another shopping bag? Try this folded one that packs neatly inside your bag and makes a very good present:
Until next time! Happy sewing and recycling!