Download this free pattern to sew up a reversible shopping bag. The step by step instructions and photos make it a great sewing project for beginners.
With states banning plastic bags, make yourself an alternative out of fabric. This pattern is based on the dimensions of a plastic grocery bag making it the perfect size for shopping. The reversible design makes it fun too!
Do your part to reduce waste by making and using a handful of reversible shopping bags. They easily fold up to carry in your purse or keep them in your car to grab quickly. You only need some basic sewing supplies and one yard of fabric. Let’s get started!
Supplies to Make a Reversible Shopping Bag
- 1 yard of fabric (1/2 yard of two coordinating fabrics)
- Washable Fabric Pen
- Rotary cutter
- Self Healing Cutting Mat
- Fabric Scissors or pinking shears
- Straight pins or Clips
- Safety pin
- Sewing Machine
- Printer Paper
Reversible Shopping Bag Free Pattern Download
The pattern to make your own reversible shopping bag is free to download to your computer or device by clicking the ‘Download’ button below. In order to have a completed bag the size of a plastic shopping bag (12″ x 22″), you need to print the free pattern at 315%.
Multiple pages will print. Line up the pages and tape them together with to form the complete pattern. To make shopping bags in different sizes, you can print the pattern at any size you’d like.
How to Make a Reversible Shopping Bag
Begin by folding one fabric in half lengthwise. To prepare for a precise cut, press the folded edge and pin the opposite sides together. This will keep the fabric from sliding while it is cut.
Then pin the paper pattern template to the fabric. You may cut out the fabric at this point, or trace it with a fabric safe pen, then cut with scissors or a rotary cutter. The piece shown in the photo below was cut with pinking shears to form the zigzag edge and help prevent fraying.
Repeat this step for the your second fabric of choice.
Next, open both fabric pieces and lay them flat.
Then mark each corner with a 6″ by 9″ rectangle as shown below. Cut out the rectangles and remove.
Now stack the fabric pieces with right sides together. You will have two sets of two fabrics. Then sew each set along the curved sides as shown in the photo below with your sewing machine.
Next open one set with right sides out and press. Pin the top of each handle of one set with a safety pin and slide it into the handles of the other fabric set. See the photo below for details.
Now use the safety pin to pull each handle of the second piece through the first piece. This is similar to pulling a cord through drawstring pants. Continue to pull until the openings of both sets of fabric are flush with each other.
Then sew the openings closed and trim any excess fabric.
Turn the second piece right side out. Press and sew along the sides and bottom while leaving the corner rectangles open.
Next, turn the shopping bag onto its side. Pinch each corner (as shown in the photo below) and pull them away from each other.
Line up the seams and close the opening.
Press, pin and sew the opening. Stitch back and forth a few times to reinforce the bag. If you have a serger or overlocker machine, you can use it to make the seams look finished when the bag is reversed. Otherwise, trim the seams to about 1/8″.
Finally, turn the bag right side out. Use a turning tool, chopstick, or blunt end of a pen to push the corners out.
You made a reversible shopping bag! It is sure to make your shopping brighter.
Don’t forget to pin this project for later, and check out more zero waste sewing ideas linked below.
- Download free pattern.
- Print free pattern at 315%.
- Assemble pattern pieces.
- Fold fabric #1 in half lengthwise.
- Place paper pattern on top of fabric.
- Cut out pattern.
- Repeat for fabric #2.
- Cut at 9" x 6" rectangle from each corner of both fabrics.
- Stack fabrics with right sides together (wrong, right, wrong, right).
- Sew along curves.
- Open fabrics with two on each side.
- Pin top of handles of fabric #1 with safety pins.
- Slide fabric set #2 into #1.
- Feed fabric through until the openings are flush.
- Sew closed.
- Turn fabric #2 right side out.
- Sew along sides and bottom. Do not sew rectangle cut out.
- Turn bag on its side.
- Pinch each corner and pull.
- Press seams.
- Pin to close.
- Stitch several times.
- Trim seam to 1/8".
- Turn bag right side out.
- Push corners out with pen.
This bag can be made even more durable by using canvas fabric.
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