As part of my involvement with Boomerang Bags (a program where fabric is donated by the community and a group of volunteers make reusable bags to give back to the community for free in an effort to reduce the reliance on plastic shopping bags) I have personally made a lot of fabric bags. The sewing group has also played around quite a bit with pillow cases. This method is a result of trial and error and an approach that is quick, requires less cutting than other methods and produces a fully lined gorgeous looking shopping bag. Once you are in the swing of things you can knock this up in under 20 minutes.
- Pillow case
- Sewing gear – machine, thread, scissors, iron
- Cotton fabric is easier to work with than slippery satin/silky fabrics.
- An ordinary pillow case without ruffles is best. Ironing it beforehand is not essential but makes it a bit easier the first time you try this.
- This project can be done with a regular sewing machine. An overlocker is not essential it makes the job slightly quicker.
The main steps are:
- Cut off the internal flap.
- Make the flap into handles.
- Close the bag.
- Turn the bag in on itself.
- Box the corners and turn right way.
- Add handles.
Here is the break down and ALL the details. I appreciate not everyone needs this amount of detail, but here it is for those that do.
The first thing to do is cut off the internal flap.
Turn the flap into a set of handles.
Now you will work with the main part of the bag.
Time to box the corners. This is optional but really makes the bag more practical to use as a shopping bag.
Next step is to pin on the handles.
Now to sew the handles onto the bag.
You have finished. Tidy up any excess threads.