Many of you requested a tutorial for my pillowcase grocery bags. They are super easy and quick to make, involving only straight line sewing. The straps actually take a bit more time than the bag itself, but still easy enough. Hopefully these instructions are easy to follow.
Here is what you will need:
–Cutting mat or nice large space to work on
–scissors (rotary cutter optional)
–Thrifted pillow case (any size), washed and ironed
–Sewing machine, thread, pins and sewing needles(optional)
–About one hour of time and some good music.
- Turn pillowcase inside-out and fold in half long-ways.
- Cut a 3-4 inch strip off of one side. Save the long strip for the straps.
- Open and lay flat. Pin together the open sides. You will be sewing this together in the following manner, leaving a 6 inch (15cm) gap in the center.
- Cut a 2 inch square (a) off of all four corners (b) making sure to measure from the folded edge and and seam, not the rough edge.
- Following THESE instructions, you are going to square off each corner (c).
- When all four corners are sewn, flip the bag right side out through the open gap and sew the gap closed (hand or machine– I used my machine for this). Now you will have a completely sewn shut, empty pillowcase with squared off corners.
- Now the fun (and kinda hard to explain) part… Fold the pillowcase into itself by stuffing the just sewn together gap-end into the bottom of the opposite end. The sewn together gap-end will be the inside bottom of your bag(d) and the squared-off corners will meet together on each side(e). Does this make any sense at all?
- Once all the corners meet(f), iron and then sew around the top edge. Now you are ready for the straps
There are many ways to make straps, this is just how I do it. I just don’t like sewing all around the edges of a skinny strap and then try to turn it right side out of a little hole on the end.
- Cut off the big hemmed end off of the remaining strip. Fold the strip in half long-ways and cut again. These will be your two straps. They should be 12-16inches long each.
- With the right sides facing in, sew together the short ends of each strap, leaving one long side open.
- Trim the corners(g) and turn right-side out.
- Following the picture above, fold the ends towards the inside so that the raw edges are tucked inside(h-j). Once it is straight and flat(k), press with an iron and sew together(l-m).
- Lastly, sew one strap to each side of your bag with big criss-cross squares(n) and you are done!!!
Now, my editor (Mr Creative Kismet, who really isn’t very creative as far as sewing is concerned, but did major in english lit) said “um, this sounds good and seems to make sense?”. What he was really trying to say was that he hasn’t a clue if this sounds right. SO, if any of you sewing buddies of mine out there in blog land think I need to tweek anything on this, please shout out, because I did use some of my own terminology which may, or may not, be helpful in this tutorial. Thanks!