Well, it seems to have taken waaayyy too long to complete these bags but they are done and they’ve already been to the grocery store and back. There were some snags along the way but all in all I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.
Here are the steps involved in making these bags (please bear with me, I have taken more than enough pictures but I don’t profess to be an expert photographer…..yet):
From the beginning:
The pattern was taken from Amanda Blake Soule’s ‘Handmade Home‘. The Broadturn Bag is named after the farm where they purchase their local produce. Amanda originally turned these bags out of old tablecloths, a much better choice than my flimsy cotton. I’ll remember that next time. I made two bags each with an additional coordinating trim/pocket.
I lined the pockets with plain white cotton and sewed them onto the fronts and backs of both bags. The pockets were too wide and floppy so I made three pockets on one side and two on the other of each of the bags by sewing a straight seam from top to bottom of the pocket in the appropriate places.
The next step was to sew the fronts to the backs right sides together down each side.
Now we come to the tricky part. The bottoms had to be pinned and sewn onto the bags. First the lining for the bottoms were sewn to each of the tops wrong sides together. Then the bottom was pinned to the bags right sides together. You can never have too many pins in my world!
Although Amanda suggests clipping the curves after sewing I had to clip the curves before sewing in order to make the bottom fit properly. Afterward all the rough edges were pinked to prevent fraying.
We’re almost done. Just put the straps together and sew them onto the bags. The straps started out 8 inches wide and 34 inches long. They are folded lengthwise into the middle then together again to make the strap 2 inches wide by 34 inches long. Then topstitch all the way around the strap. Here is one strap unfolded so you can see the fold marks. The other is folded completely.
And for the final step the straps are sewn onto the bags at each side. They are sewn to the inside of the bag with an inch overlap and topstitched in a box pattern.
Have you ever purchased a baguette that because it is so long has toppled out of your bag on the way out the door? Well, with some spare cloth I got inspired and whipped up two long skinny bags to go with each tote specifically shaped and sized to hold a baguette. Now, if my baguette falls to the ground it will be protected by the new baguette bag. It’s actually long enough to fold over the end of the baguette, I just inched it down so you could see the bread inside. Hmm. Maybe some velcro to fold over the top would help too.
The Ta Da Moment!
Beautiful bags Bonnie! Lovely layout to your new blog as well. You and I are alike in our penchant for lots of visuals – thank you, I know they take awhile to load 🙂
New grocery bags are on my to do list. Love the tip of using tablecloths. I’m off to hit my linen closet now.
Bonnie Jackson said:
Thanks for stopping by Maggie! Let’s keep in touch and share our mudpies!
I made one of these bags. My first attempt. I’ve never done bottoms before and my bag did not turn out with the correct bottom. The seams were on the wrong side.
I looked at your pictures and it seems like I pinned mine similarly. How did you sew it? I’m not sure how to sew it so the seam ends up inside the bag. Or do you make it so the raw edges line up? This just occurred to me.
Anyway, your advice would be helpful and appreciated.
The seams are showing on the inside of my bag. I did indeed line the raw edges of the lined bottom with the bottom edges of the sides. The bag was turned inside out when I did this. I had to clip the curves all the way around the bottom in order to make it fit properly to the sides before I sewed it into place. A fully lined bag would solve the issue of exposed seams altogether if that is a concern. I will be attempting some other bag patterns in the future as I continue my search for ‘The Perfect Bag’. I hope this clarifies things for you Jill. Please write back if you have any more questions. And I’d love to see your finished bag!