Thursday, September 4, 2014

Farmers Market Tote Bag

I love going to Farmers Markets, and here in the South we still have a few more months of fresh produce to look forward to.  Also, as fall rolls around, apple picking season starts.  I love all this fresh produce, it's wet and you can still see the dirt on it.  It is so much better than the sterile grocery produce.  My main problem is, that wetness and dirt that I love causes all my green bags to get dirty!  Even my washable ones have mud stains on them.  I set out to create the perfect farmers market and produce picking tote that wouldn't get dirty.  This mission was successful!  Here's how I did it:

Materials:  1/2 yard polypropylene/vinyl/laminated fabric, 1 yard canvas fabric, thread, ruler, scissors

1.  Cut your fabric as follows:
  •  Cut one 18” x 36”  rectangle in the canvas and cut one 18” x 36”  rectangle in the polypropylene
  • Cut four 3” x 26” rectangles in the canvas
  •  Cut one 8” x 8” rectangle in the canvas
2.  Fold each of your 18” x 36” rectangles in half with the pattern side facing creating an 18” x 18” square with the fold at the bottom.

3.  Cut a 4” x 3” rectangle out of both bottom corners of each folded square.

4.  Pin the side of your square together, and sew them shut using a ½” seam.  Repeat this on your other square of fabric.

5.  Take the rectangle you cut out of the folded side.  Pull the corners apart until the edges of your fabric align.  Pin this in place.  Run a ½” seam.  Repeat for the remaining 3 cut outs.  You have now created the body of your bag.

6.  Take your 8” x 8” rectangle.  Fold ½” of fabric over on all sides and pin it in place.   Iron these folds down.  You finished rectangle is now 7” x 7”.

7.  Take your four 3” x 26” rectangles and tri fold the fabric.  Pin the fold in place, and iron flat.  Your finished product is now 1” x 26”.

8.  Run a ¼” seam across the long side of your now 7” x 7” rectangle.  This will be the top of your pocket.

9.  Take the canvas body of your tote bag.  Place the 7” x 7” rectangle in the location you want the pocket to go.  Make sure the hemmed edge you made in the previous step at the top.  Pin the pocket in place.  

10.  Run a ¼” seam around the two sides and the bottom of your pocket.  Be careful not to sew through both side of the bag!

11.  Take your four 1” x 26” tri-folded rectangles.  Place two of the rectangles together with pattern sides facing out.  Pin these pieces together.  Run a ¼” seam down both long sides.  Repeat using the remaining two rectangles.

12.  Using one of the tote bag bodies, pin one of the rectangles you made in the previous step at the top of the bag 4” from the side seam.  Making sure the strap doesn't twist, pin the other side of the rectangle 4” from the other side seam.  This will place your strap 5” apart.  Repeat on the other side of the tote bag body.

13.  Flip the other tote bag body right side in, and place it over top the other tote bag body.  The pattern sides should be facing each other.  Line the seams up and pin around the top.  Leave about a 4” opening at the top.  Run a ½” seam around the top, leaving the opening open.

14.  Pull your bag through the opening you left and push the polypropylene layer in down inside the bag.

15.  Fold over the fabric at the opening your left and pin it closed.  Run a ¼” seam around the entire top of the bag.  It will close the opening and case the top to lay flat.

16.  Grab your bag go to a farmers market or go apple picking.  When you done, just take a damp cloth and wipe off the polypropylene.

*Note:  If you ever wash this bag, it can be machine washed but do not put it in the dryer.

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