What I Learned from a Plastic Bag

finishedI needed a quick project for a class I was teaching.

But not just any quick project, it had to be a lesson, too.

Sew, I copied a plastic shopping bag, complete with the folded handle and bottom.  (It looks a bit like a short top, lol)

Here’s how I made it:

Fabric requirements are 2 pieces 18” x 22” or 2 fat quarters.

patternBegin by drawing your pattern on a piece of paper 9 inches by 22 inches.

Those curves were drawn in free hand after the main pattern is drawn.

Cut 2 pieces, each on the fold.

Set up your serger for a 3 thread rolled edge and with the right side of the fabric up, finish the curved edges of each piece .

Set serger for 4 thread overlock, then with right sides together join the side seams beginning at side seamsthe top. The top of the seam needs to be very strong. Either start with a long tail to darn in, or use the method described below.

Fold the sides in toward the middle, so that the 4 inch wide handles arehandles folded in half to 2 inches.

Serge across the top of each handle, making sure to re-inforce the seam at the end where the 4 layers of rolled edge meet.  Either begin serging at that end with a long serger tail, or use the method outlined below.  The “outer” edge of that seam is not as important.

To box the bottom corners, mark 4 inches in from the side seam along the bottom.

Fold the mark to the side seam, and the fold away from the seam. This makes a 2 inch tuck on each side of the bottom of the bag, and the side seams are still at the sides.

This bottom seam needs to be very secure, so begin and end the seam with a long serger tail which will be threaded onto a darning needle to secure. Or use the method described below.

Here’s my way of securing the beginning of the seam:

Raise the presser foot and insert the raw edge even with the cutting edge of the knife.

Lower the presser foot and take a couple of stitches using the hand wheel. Stop with the needles in the fabric. Raise the presser foot, and bring the “serger tail” under the presser foot and under the knife. Continue to serge which will secure the beginning of the seam.

Here’s my way to finish the end of the seam securely:

Stop serging when the next stitch would be off the fabric. Stop with the needles UP. Raise the presser foot and gently pull the fabric toward the back of the serger to remove the stiches from the stitch finger. You’ll likely feel the release. Turn the fabric onto it’s “tummy”, slide it under the presser foot angling a bit toward the left. Lower the presser foot and serge a few stitches before “zooming off”.

Darn in the ends if there are any, and you’re finished!

Fabric serger grocery bag PDF click to open.

Are you going to try this project?



One thought on “What I Learned from a Plastic Bag”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *