Going Green: Handmade Fabric Grocery Bag + First Gen Organic!

I did it!  I made the fabric grocery bag that I mentioned last week!  I fiiiinally made some time for crafting…


To start, I google-searched for handmade, re-usable, fabric grocery bag/tote tutorials.  There were tons of tutorials, but I decided this one, by Homemaking Dreams (thanks for sharing, HD!), one was the best and looked super easy to put together.  I also liked that the tutorial didn't use a pattern…you just had to cut a bunch of rectangles up.


Next, I had a hard time choosing which fabrics to use.  I have a bad habit of hoarding away my faves (of anything – fabric, beads, foods, etc.), but I decided that since I'm going to be using these bags quite often, I may as well use a fabric that I absolutely love so I can enjoy using my totes even more.  I picked one of my fave fabrics (the turquoise-y one above) that I've been hoarding for a couple years now. 

My next tough call was choosing the lining fabric, which could actually be an outside fabric, too, since the tote is reversible.  I wanted to use the green because it coordinated with the specks of green on the main fabric and would hide dirt better, but I thought the pink was a much better match color-wise, so I went with the pink.


After choosing the fabric, I got my work area ready.  My computer currently resides on our dining room table, and I decided that instead of printing out the tutorial, I'd leave it up on my computer, turn the screen so I could see it from the sewing machine, and save some trees in the process.  I also got a candle going to keep the mood relaxed.


The fabric cutting seemed to take forever!  Luckily, I had already pre-washed these fabrics, but they were all wrinkly because I neglected to iron them beforehand.  So, I had to mix my cutting up with some ironing to get them in the proper size.  I had a handful of these little 2 1/2" square leftover, so I think I'm going to keep these for another project…possibly a quilt!?


I had my computer screen positioned nicely so I could look up and double-check my work at any time.  The scrolling was more challenging since I left my mouse further away, but I still really enjoyed working from my screen vs a paper print-out of the tutorial.

Sewing the pieces together was a cinch – just a bunch of straight sewing!


Sewing the handle…

First Generation Organic
I had a nice phone conversation with my dad while I was working on this part of the tutorial.  We talked for a long time about why/how he got into being green and eating organic foods.  He even talked about how he ate organic foods "back in the day" before I was born and how he was part of some organic food organization in Atlanta, I think it's this one – Sevanada.  I didn't even know organic food existed then!  He went on (the man likes to talk!) to talk about subscribing to organic gardening magazines, keeping his compost pile, researching solar power for school, natural foods, taking my sister and me to local farms to pick vegetables so he could teach me when they were ripe and feed us natural foods, and even how he almost built our family a sustainable house with a mud roof and south-facing window for passive solar design!  Sounds like I'm first generation organic…just like Sara Snow!  How cool!?

I can't wait till Hubby and I finally get a house!  We can have my fam over to help us plant a garden and stuff and maybe make a day of it and grill out?  Could be fun times…Here's to hoping! 🙂

Oh, and I'm trying to talk my dad into starting a blog…hehe.  He has lots of great advice that I think could really benefit other people.  Plus, like I said, the man likes to talk!  If he could blog as much as he talks, I think he could have a good thing going!


After I got the handles sewn up, I had to pin them in place. 


I did this part veeeeeeeery carefully.  I'd done too much work to mess up now!


Once both handles were pinned in place, I could put the right sides together to prep them for the final streth of the project – sewing the top!  Doesn't it look like the pink bag is eating the turquoise one!?  haha


Once the top was sewn, I could pull the outside fabric through the inside fabric so I could wrap things up.  All I had to do was topstitch the top of the bag and then sew up the bottom of the liner fabric and I was DONE! 🙂


The finished product!


A different POV.


A closer look.

Overall, this tutorial rocked!  I have fabric cut already to make a second bag and am thinking of making another one that is slightly larger than the first 2.  The tutorial was very simple to follow and had tons of photos that were very helpful (I'm a very visual person).  This project would make an excellent sewing project for begginner sewers and would be super simple for those more experienced.  I highly recommend trying it out and if you do, let me know!  I'd love to see your finished work!

14 thoughts on “Going Green: Handmade Fabric Grocery Bag + First Gen Organic!”

  1. Diana, you have made my day! I love that you were able to understand my attempt at the tutorial and that your bag turned out so cute! I also loved seeing your candle lit sewing area. I'm always happy when someone can use any of my tutorials. Thanks for letting me see your bag. I like the longer handles. I think I'll make some more like that.

    Debbie J.

  2. OH MY GOODNESS YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Very talented!!! I wish I could sew, my mother in law is amazing, she makes us all sorts of things. You should make those and sell 🙂 Id buy!

  3. Great bag Diana! Your conversations with your Dad sound so fun. I've been thinking about making my own bags — I even have the fabric — I just need the time. Need. More. Time!


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