Make a quick economical cloth shopping bag
I am using cloth (Taslon) that is 56" wide so have designed this cutting scheme to make best use of that width. I use a combination of metric and imperial measurements just because they fit better - I will make them consistent when I have more time!!
Part The First
Cut the body of the bag 28" x 18". This makes two bags from the width of the fabric.
Fold both the long sides in 7.5cm, then find middle of the long sides (ie 14" from each end).
Sew from the folded edge towards the middle for 6cm (ie not reaching the edge of the folded fabric).---------------------------
Fold long body in half.
Overlock from the bottom of the bag (ie the fold that you sewed a moment ago) up to the top on each side. Tuck the starting chain under as you go so that you don't have to do it later!
Part The Second
Prepare the handles.
Cut a strip that is 72cm x 15cm. (This will form two handles each 36cm long).
Turn a narrow hem on each long edge.
Cut the long hemmed strip in half so you have two 36cm long pieces.
Find the middle of each handle (ie 18cm from each end) and fold the fabric in half lengthwise. Sew sideways across the strap with the wrong sides of the strap together. Backstitch at each end for strength. Open the ends of the handles.
Lay the open handles onto the body of the bag, right sides together and beginning about 1 cm from the side seam.
Sew the handles about 1 cm in from the edge parallel with the rim of the bag.
Part the Third.
Cut a 16cm length of 6 mm elastic. This is going to be used to hold the rolled up bag together when it is not in use. The loop can also be used to hold the bag open on those supermarket frames when it is being filled.
Pin the elastic in the middle of one side of the bag.
Turn over a narrow hem around the top of the bag, catching the elastic(and backstitching for strength) and handles (again backstitching at the beginning and end of each handle). Avoid catching the handles on the outside of the bag.
Turn the bag right side out and topstitch right around the rim of the bag again.
Voila - bag is finished!
You can fold it in thirds and roll from bottom to top and then slip the elastic loop over the roll to keep it tidy in your bag until use.