You can never get enough reusable totes, but sometimes the fabric ones get dirty quickly and just don’t cut it for fresh produce. So, what to do? Grab an inexpensive shower curtain and get sewing! The size is great for grocery shopping, and the bag can easily be folded up to fit into luggage for an extra bag on a trip.
– Shower curtain
– Sewing machine
– 1″ polyester webbing. Available at most fabric and trim stores. You could also use cotton webbing, or an old belt.
– Roller cutter, cutting mat and straight edge. These tools are great for plastic fabrics because they give you a long smooth cut line and the fabric doesn’t slip on the mat. You could also cut with scissors and forgo the fancy mat.”
– Permanent marker
– Straight pins
1. Lay out your curtain and fold in half so you have two layers, right side should be facing in. Make sure edges meet up at top of curtain. That will be the top of the tote. Pin the fabric together at edges to avoid slipping. I like to place a heavy book on my fabric before cutting as well. It flattens the fabric and prevents slipping.
2. Draw out a 19″ x 19″ square with your marker. Be sure to use the top of the shower curtain as your top edge of your square.
3. On the bottom right and left corner of your square, mark out additional 3″ squares with your marker. Cut around your outline, making sure to cut out the 3″ squares as well.
4. Pin the two pieces of plastic together. Double check that right sides of the fabric are facing in. Pin the fabrics together around the sides and bottom. I like to pin from the outside edge in, so the pins are easy to remove as you’re stitching on a machine. Leave top unpinned.
5. Stitch up the sides and bottom on your sewing machine. Use the longest stitch length possible (on my machine that’s a 4), because each time the needle punctures your fabric it is perforating the seams. If you make the stitch length too short, the plastic could rip over time.
6. Pinch the inner corners of one of your 3″ cut outs and pull outward. This will give the base of the bag a more 3-D look (it should be able to sit up on its own at this point). Pin both layers of fabric together and stitch down on your machine. When you get to the seam allowance from the sides/bottom of the bag, be sure to fold them open and lay flat before stitching over them.
7. Trim all seam allowances to 1/4″.
8. Cut two pieces of webbing to 26″ each.
9. Fold back 1″ of the webbing straps on both ends, and lay the folded side onto the top of the tote. Make sure your tote is still inside out. The strap placement should be centered on the tote, with 5 1/2″ between them. Pin your straps down, double checking that you don’t have any twists in your straps as you go.
10. Flip your tote right side out.
11. Head over to your machine and stitch a rectangle at the bases of both straps. Remove your pins before you start sewing. Be sure not to sew below where the webbing ends or above where the curtain fabric ends. Tie off the ends of the thread with knots and cut excess thread.
12. Voila! You are done! Head to the market and fill it up with delicious things.