Thursday, December 31, 2009

Me & My Mommy Matching Reusable Shopping Bags

I was wanting to make some child-sized reusable shopping bags for the kids to use when they play store. I couldn't find a child-sized pattern anywhere! However, I did find this great tutorial for making regular sized ones, so I improvised a bit following these directions and came up with one of my own.
Here it is! :)

Make your pattern. I traced this on cardboard from the recycle bin. 10 1/4" wide, the handles are approx. 5" long and 2" wide. You can use any round edge to help make the curve at the top of the bag.

Select the fabrics for both the outside and lining of your bags. We found this adorable grocery print for a ridiculous deal at a moving sale and bought all they had! Paired it with a simple red with white pin dot and just love it!
Cut 2 of each fabric.
Sew the outer fabric pieces right sides together along the sides only.
Repeat for lining fabric pieces.
You can finish the seam with a zig zag stitch or serger if you have one, like this.

Whether serged or not, press seams to one side, not open.
Turn outer fabric right side out and place inside the lining fabric that is still inside out.

Pin the outer fabric and lining together, beginning at side seams. Position the seams on opposite sides so there will be less bulk when stitching, like this.

Continue pinning all the way around top of bag being careful to match up curves smoothly.

Sew the top of the bag, leaving the top of the handles open.

Trim the seam allowance and carefully clip the rounded corners.

Turn the bag right side out and press neatly, lining up the seams of the outer fabric and lining.
Topstitch around the top of the bag continuing to leave the top of the handles open. Topstitching will give your bag a finished look as well as keep the outer fabric and lining in position.

**If you don't want gussets on your bag, skip this next step.**
To form gussets at the bottom of your bag, turn your bag inside out and fold the sides in toward the center about 1-1 1/2" and pin in place at the bottom.

Whether making gussets or not, stitch completely across the bottom of the bag.
Serge or finish with a zig zag stitch the bottom of the bag.

Keeping the bag inside out, sew the tops of the handles together. Serge or finish the seams with a zig zag stitch. (Being that the play food your children will be carrying probably won't be as heavy as what you might get at the store, extra stitching strength here isn't as necessary as in the original tutorial.)
To finish your handles and hide the raw seam at the top of them, turn your bag right side out and stitch just under the seam or serge. It will look like this when done.

Now, just fill this adorable bag with all your lil' ones shopping goodies and let their imagination take over!

And since I was already at it, I had to make myself some as well, you know, since I just love this fabric and never seem to have enough bags when we go shopping anyway! ;)

I did make one addition to the pattern tutorial listed at the top...I added a pocket. Mainly because I really like to make use of ALL of my fabric, and the cut-out at the top of the bag comes out in the perfect shape of a pocket! How handy to hold your keys or coupons or receipts right??? (all other scraps end up in either my "pre-cut" box for pieces big enough to use for quilting or applique and then the tiny scraps go in the "stuffing" box to be used to stuff pillows easily made from a muslin lining...learned this from a very clever & resourceful crafting mama....maybe I can share that idea later!) :)
ANYWAY! Back to our pocket addition! lol!
Here is the pocket shaped cut out. You should have 4 of them laying on your cutting table right now!

Iron the edge of the pocket, folding the top hem over twice so there is no raw edge.

Sew the top hem.

Pin the pocket to either layer of your bag depending on whether you want the pocket on the inside or out. I mean, you have plenty to do both if you don't want to choose! Stitch pocket in place on one layer of your bag. Carry on with bag making from the side sewing step or Step 2 from mentioned tutorial link above.

Enjoy sewing and proudly using your bags...I know your kiddos will, mine couldn't wait for me to get theirs done! :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

To Be Content

From Websters:

Content [kuh n-tent]
1. satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.

I desire for this blog to be several things. A place to share my thoughts about life, family, sewing & crafting...the things that interest me most. But more, I hope it provides a reminder of God's will for me to be content in all things. Contentment. I imagine this to be one of those things I will continuously learn for the rest of my life, but one I am grateful for the opportunity granted by my loving and patient Creator! He truly is sufficient and abundantly provides far more than I could ever ask or imagine!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you"