Sustainability and low or zero waste lifestyles have become increasingly popular in recent years in response to helping our planet out a little bit more. Leading up to earth day on the 22nd, we’re going to be releasing sustainable sewing projects to help you decrease your footprint, and save a few bucks by making them instead of buying them! First stop – the grocery store!
Today we’re going to be making a slouch tote for you to take grocery shopping with you! In many places single use plastics are becoming less common, but in grocery stores where there are still lots of single use options, it’s easy to cut down on plastic use with this simple swap. Let’s make your tote bag.
Start with 4 rectangles of fabric measured at 18 in x 31.5 in or 46cm x 80cm.
Along one of the short ends, measure 8 in or 20cm in from either side, and mark the fabric with tailor’s chalk or a fabric marker.
From those points, measure 2 in or 4.5 cm to cut a notch in the fabric. To make sure the notches are lined up perfectly you can cut the notch with the fabric right sides together.
For this project, we’re going to be using our 50wt 100% Egyptian cotton thread called Konfetti™. Konfetti™ is the perfect thread for this project because the cotton thread is not only durable and able to handle the largest of grocery runs, it’s also easily biodegradable at the end of its life! For this project, we’re using Konfetti™ as out top thread, and our bobbin thread.
You can find Konfetti™ in a store near you, or in our online shop here: https://shopwonderfil.ca/product-category/konfetti
If you don’t want to wind your own bobbin, you can also use these bobbins that come pre-wound with DecoBob™, an 80wt cottonized polyester thread.
These fantastic pre-wound bobbins last forever because they come factory wound with more thread than your home sewing machine can do, and the plastic bobbins can also be reused so you can keep them in your sewing room for future projects. The bobbins are also made from recyclable plastic, so you can toss them in your recycling bin after you’re done with them.
You can find DecoBob™ prewound bobbins in a store near you, or in our online shop at: https://shopwonderfil.ca/bobbins
Mark the middle point of these two rectangles along the edge of the fabric, and stitch halfway up the long edge of the fabric, right sides together, starting at the end with the notches. Backstitch and snip your thread once you’ve reached the halfway point.
Fold the bag so the two side seams are on top of each other and line up the top edges of the bag.
Stitch across the bottom, avoiding the notches on either side.
Fold the notches so that they create a flat edge and stitch across. This will give the bag a more structured bottom.
Repeat these steps with the lining fabric, and once both sides of the bag are finished put the lining inside of the outer fabric, wrong sides together and pin the seams of the strap and fold a small portion under to create a clean edge, and pin in place.
Stitch around the seam of the strap using a ¼” seam allowance. If you’d like to reinforce the seam a bit where the strap meets the body of the bag, you can run some zigzag stitching across that point.
Fold the outermost edges of the arm strap to meet in the middle underneath. Press so that they stay in place, and pin in place if you’d like. Run a line of stitching across the top of the strap to create a tapered look, or use a ladder stitch to create an invisible stitch at the top of the strap.
And there you have it, your new grocery bag is finished, and ready to hold all of your fresh food! You’ll be surprised how easy these small swatches are, and they’re compact so you can keep a set in all of your modes of transportation, or a set in your most commonly used bags when going out!
And if you’d like to make produce bags to further reduce your single use plastic use you can check out this super useful tutorial: https://wellnessmama.com/119222/diy-produce-bags/
If you’re going to be making this slouch tote, don’t forget to tag us on social media by using #wonderfil so that we can see, and share your wonderful creations! If you’d like to see what this tutorial was inspired by, you can check out this blog for more tutorials like this: https://www.greeniedressesforless.com/2018/04/fabric-bag-free-sewing-pattern.html
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