Easy Reversible Tote/Grocery Bag

Today my quilting projects were put aside to work on some reusable bags for grocery shopping. I figured I could buy some at the store, or I could use what I have on hand and make some custom bags. We are going grocery shopping later today so I will get to try them out!

For this project you will need 1 1/2 yards of sturdy cotton fabric. I used two fabrics so that I could reverse it if I wanted.

Cut the fabric into the following:

Fabric A: (2) 19″x21″

Fabric B: (2) 19″x21″

Fabric B: (2) 3.5″x Width of Fabric

Next take the 19×21 rectangles and mark 4.5″ squares on the corners of one 21″ side.

Cut out two corner squares on each of the 19×21 pieces.

All of the cutting is done now, let’s move to the sewing machine!

Let’s start with the handles. Take the 3.5″ wide strips and fold them on the long edge, right sides together.

Stitch down the long edge with 1/2″ seam allowance. At this point I also stitched a 1/4″ seam to reinforce.

After both handles are sewing, turn them right sides out using whatever method you choose. I don’t have a loop turner so I made my own using a pen, a safety pin, and tape,

Tape the pin to the pen like so. Insert it into the fabric tube, and pin the edge of the fabric to the pen.

Close the pin and turn the loop out by working the pen towards the opposite end of the fabric.

Once you have both loops turned, press them flat.

Now back to the sewing machine. Top stitch down the handles to add stability and strength. I too stitched 4 rows, using the presser foot to space the rows apart.

Now on to the body of the bag.

Face the fabric right sides together and pin down the sides and the bottom. (The three short sides).

Stitch down the pinned sides with 1/2″ seam allowance, making sure to back stitch and the beginning and end of each seam. I reinforced each seam with a 1/4″ seam as well.

Repeat this process for the second fabric.

Next we will make the bag corners. Remember that square we cut out? Pinch it together and match the side and bottom seams.

Pin the seams together d

Stitch the opening shut. Sew the opening closed. It is very important to reinforce this seam with extra stitching because this is where the bag will take the most weight.

Repeat this seam for all 4 openings.

Now we just need to assemble the bag. Turn on of the bag layers right sides out and put it inside the other layer so that the two layers are right sides together. Pin the layers together at the seams.

Now decide where you want your handles to go. Pin the handles between the lawyers, leaving about 3″ out the top.

now stitch the layers together on the top edge, leaving about a 4″ opening.

Turn the bag right sides out through the opening. Then top stitch around the top edge to close the bag.

Let’s reinforce the handles! Find the 3″ handle end that is now tucked between the bag layers. Position it so that it lies flat between the layers and pin it in place. Top stitch it down so that it will remain secure.

Repeat this for all 4 places the handles attach.

Remove any stray threads and your bag is done!

Fill and enjoy! (Check our the cute Harry Potter fabric!)

I filled this bag to test the weight and it performed extremely well.

Let me know what you think! I will be making a few in this size and perhaps a few smaller.

Until next time,

The Quilt Police

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