Sew a beach or shopping bag

Sew a beach or shopping bag

- Categories : Sewing

Sew a large tote bag for shopping of the beach

These bags are made using the thick, printed fabric used for our tea towels, perfect for a beach bag or shopping bag.
It is 80% cotton and 20% polyester, great for washing and quick for drying, easy to iron.
Four motifs are available: Coquecigrues, The Queen’s Bedchamber, Josephine’s Roses and Sajou Private Collection Scissors.
Size of finished tote bag: width 48cm - height 42cm - height of the handles 20cm.
Sajou large shopping bags to sew with our printed tea towels fabrics

What you will need

The model explained here has two pockets, one on the outside and one on the inside, these are options and not compulsory.
We highly recommend that you watch our video, you will discover all our tricks and tips to make this simple bag.

Cutting out the different pieces

Take care when cutting out the pieces to respect the direction of the fabric. See diagram below.
Diagram for cutting the pieces of the tote bag to sew with our tea towels
In one of the fabric pieces, remove all the white borders and cut the following pieces:
  • piece A, cut 48cm high – 50cm wide in the upper part;
  • piece B, 20 x 20cm with the Sajou logo in the middle. This will be the outer pocket;
  • piece C, 17cm high by 15cm wide and piece D, 20cm high by 15cm wide – these two pieces will be used for the inner pocket.
In the second fabric piece, do not remove the white borders and cut the following pieces:
  • piece F and piece G, each 10cm by 54cm, these will make the handles, piece G with the Sajou logo. Leave the white borders;
  • piece E: remove the white borders and cut 48cm x 50cm wide.

Sewing the outer pocket

On wrong side of piece B, make a mark at each side of top at 1cm and 3cm.
Fold along the 1cm marks, iron the fold, then fold over again at the 3cm mark.
Sew on right side at 2mm from top edge.
Again on wrong side, mark at 1cm from each edge, fold over and iron the fold, pressing down the corners.
Mark at 1cm on the 3 other sides, fold over and iron, making sure to press down the corners.
To find the centre, fold in half piece A and mark the fold with your nails. Do the same with the pocket and place at 14cm from the bottom of piece A.
Pin into place and stitch round the 3 sides at 2mm from the edge.

Assembling the bag

Taking care with the direction of the motif, place pieces A and E right sides together. Pin both sides and the bottom and stitch.
Zigzag stitch the 3 edges to avoid fraying. We have used a red thread in our video so that it is clearly visible, but you can of course use white or ecru thread.

Forming the base of the bag

Pull out one of the angles so the side seam matches up with the bottom seam.
Pin into place and flatten down. Trace a horizontal line at 5cm on each side of this seam.
Repeat on other angle and stitch along the lines, making sure the seam lies flat.
Cut off the excess at 1cm from this seam and tidy up with a zigzag stitch.

Sewing the inner pocket

Mark at 1cm and 3cm from the top of piece C. Fold over at the first mark and iron.
Fold again at the second mark and iron. Stitch at 2mm from the fold.
Place piece C right side up and place piece D on top, also right side up, lined up at the bottom.
Stitch at 1cm from the bottom. Open the seam with an iron and fold over the shorter part.
Fold the sides at 1cm, iron and stitch at 2mm from edge.

Sewing the handles

Fold each handle in two and iron. Unfold and fold the edges inwards using the iron mark as a guide.
Fold over again and stitch at 2mm from each edge.

Assembling the handles and pocket

With the bag still inside out, mark at 1cm and 3cm from the top and fold over, ironing at each step.
Fold the bag in half to find the centre and make a mark with your pen. Do the same for the inner pocket.
Place the pocket under this fold, lining up the pen marks, with the right sides facing you.
This should be on the back of the bag. Pin solidly in place.
Take the first handle and slide under the fold on each side of the pocket. Pin solidly.
Turn the bag over and do the same with the second handle, aligning with the first one.
Stitch all round the bag at 2mm from the lower fold.
Bring the handles up and press with an iron, then stitch at 2mm from the top.
Both the handles and the pockets will be solidly stitched in place.
Turn the bag inside out at give a final press.
It’s finished! Where will you go? To the shops or to the beach?

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