To make the simplest style of shopping bag -
- First decide on the size of bag you want to make.
- Simple bags are usually either a rectangle or can be square.
You will be stitching together three of the sides and neatening the other open edge for the top. You will then make and attach the handles.
If you feel more confident cut a pattern but you can draw the design straight onto the fabric if you wish, use tailor's chalk or a pencil.
The size you cut out will be the finished size of the bag plus the amount you are allowing for your seam allowances.
When you come to stitch the bag, you may want to stitch the seams twice to make them stronger. With each row of stitches just a small distance apart. You can neaten the cut edges of the bag with a zig-zag stitch if you wish but unless the fabric is likely to fray it is not essential. If you wish to line the bag you make up the inner and outer separately and attach them at the top edge. You can add the handles to the outside of the bag or trap them between the two layers.
Tacking may seem like a waste of time but often holding the seams and edges together with a row of tacking stitches before you stitch them on the machine can save time caused by mistakes when stitching.