Here's a fun and practical sewing project –a folded shopping bag– that you can make with Batik fabric. Frankly, you could do this project with almost any colorful fabric (or even not-so-colorful..) but I love how it looks with beautiful Batik.
I don't know if this is happening in your community, but where I live, stores are beginning to stop providing plastic and even paper shopping bags in favor of reusable bags. I've bought so many reusable bags but I never seem to have one with me when I need it so I end up buying more and more (which probably isn't too good for the environment either, although the retailers who now charge for these bags seem to like it..) My solution is this super easy folded shopping bag that will turn into a flat pouch small enough that you can put it in your handbag. Now I'll never be without a shopping bag when I need one!
The project is simple and should take you about 30 minutes to an hour and the end product is extremely versatile. It will make the perfect gift for a friend on Mother's Day or addition to your Etsy store. I purchased a small treasure of Batik fabrics on a recent trip and would like to show you a few ways to use Batik as accessories, clothing, and home decoration. You don't have to use Batik but it is always nice;)
In a recent article, we talked about the ancient art of Batik Printing Technique,
If you'd like to make this from real Batik fabric, we've found a wonderful supplier in the US that ships through Amazon called Java Batiks. These are authentic Batik fabrics from Indonesia. In future tutorials, we'll show you how to make your own Batik, but if you want to start working with the fabric, it may make sense to get a supply now.
- 1 yard of Batik fabric from Java Batiks
- 1 zipper 18″ long.
- 1 rectangle of quilting fleece, very soft 12″ x 6″
- 1 rectangle 12″x 6″ of fusible interfacing
- sewing thread to match the fabric
- loop turner (optional)
- spray fabric adhesive (optional). I used Therm O Web Spray N Bond Quilt Basting Adhesive Spray.
- sewing machine
Batik Fabric Suggestions from Amazon.com
Folded Shopping Bag Pieces
Cut one pouch piece of fabric, one of fusible interfacing, and one of fleece.
Make a rectangle that is 17 1/2″ in width and 36″ in length. Fold in half lengthwise and mark the middle.
Cut two strips of 24″ in length and 2″ wide (this will become the handles).
Assembling the Bag Handles
Take your strip of fabric, (24″ by 2″) folded in half, sew at 1/4″, turn inside out, and iron. You may find it useful to use a loop turner to do this. Then and sew a stitch in the middle. Put aside for later.
Making the Pouch
Fuse the interfacing to the fabric with the use of an iron. Then attach the fleece either by sewing or by using spray glue. Take the zipper and lay it open and upside down on the right side of the fabric. Align it to the first notch.
Pin the zipper to the fabric, use as many pins as you can to shape the zipper around the fabric.
Start sewing at the right-hand side notch. You start sewing 1 cm from the head of the zipper. This gap is important to be able to flip the zipper around. Make sure you keep sewing the zipper with your zipper foot around the bag following the edge of the fabric.
Note: please make sure you are sewing at the same distance around the zipper. Any deviation will distort the zipper and it will not look good when you zip up the bag. Start sewing the other side at the notch as well.
For a refresher on using zipper feet, please read our tutorial on the subject:
Trim the fabric with the fleece to allow the zipper to curve smoothly.
Sew the ends of the zippers.
Make sure the zipper ends lay toward the fleece side.
Lay the rectangle lengthwise and pin the pouch to the rectangle print side up. Tuck both ends of the zipper under the pouch.
Sew the pouch using your zipper foot by topstitching around the pouch make sure you follow the zipper perfectly as to not distort the shape of the pouch.
Making the Bag
You can use your serger for this step. I am using a French seam to close the sides. Sew on the right side of the fabric on both sides. For a refresher on how to make French seams, please review this tutorial:
Cut half of the seam allowance, turn your bag inside out, and iron.
Sew again 3/4″ again and iron the sides once again.
Round up the corners with the use of your zipper foot. Follow the shape of the pouch. Make sure you do not catch the zipper.
Attaching the handles
Lay the rectangle horizontally with the handles on either side.
Fold again this time 3/4″.
Make sure your handles are hanging down fold the handles upward and pin.
Sew the handles and the hem all together.
So there you have it, the perfect bag to hide your crime or another purchase from the fabric store…