Shopping for Fabric Tote

Incase you didn’t know, I love to make totes and bags.  I’ve made many from small to large, square to round, with pockets and without pockets, lined and unlined, for kids and adults alike.  I just like to create new and different bags.  Anyway, I had some leftover material that I purchased as a remnant and that I originally used to make a sewing machine cover.  I rediscovered this piece of fabric when I was cleaning up my sewing room and organizing my material.  I decided what better way to shop for material than to bring a bag with a sewing room on it!  So that’s what I did.  I made a bag specifically for the purpose of shopping for my craft items.

For this bag I used scraps of leftover material from other projects.  I made pockets on each side to hold my flyers and coupons on the way to the store.  The pockets are also a nice place to put the little notion items you purchase; such as thread, needles, elastic etc.  My finished bag measures 13″H x 6″D x 15″L. 

I cut:  Bottom – 7″W x 16″L  (cut 2 – 1 for lining).  Handles – 5″W x 21″L (cut 2).  Sides 7″W x 16″L (need 4 total, 2 for outside & 2 for lining).  Front & back panels – 14″H x 16″L (need 4 total, 2 for outside & 2 for lining).  Side Pockets – 7″W x 14″L (cut 2, 1 for each side & fold in half with fold at the top).  I also cut 2 – 7″W x 7″H pieces of medium weight stiffener to place inside the folded pocket material.  I used a lightweight fabric stiffener inside the handles for body.  It seems to work out nicer in the long run than not having it in there.

I tested out the bag last night and it works just fine!  I’ve been using my own bags for shopping for a long time, long before it was popular.  I can remember all the funny looks I’d get when telling the sales clerk that I have my own bags.  Now, bringing your own bags is becoming more accepted – although, not always appreciated!  Last night while at JoAnn’s, the store manager waited on me.  I told him I had my own bag and placed it on the counter and started emptying my cart.  He rang me up, took my coupons and my money and handed me my purchase in his bag!  I smiled, opened my bag, still on the counter, and transferred my items from his plastic bag to my nice new cloth bag.  I handed him back his bag with a big smile and said “there you go, now you can recycle!”.   Happy Sewing!


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