Reusable shopping bags

I just finished making some reusable shopping bags with my new sewing machine! It works so much better than the hand-me-down I had been using. 

My sister-in-law had mentioned to me that she wanted some reusable fabric shopping bags, (just in time for a birthday gift!) Since my brother would be using them, she thought it would be good that they be made from fabric that wasn't too girly. That sounded easy until I went to the fabric store. Everything seemed either too feminine or too plain.

I wanted to make two bags. To keep them simple I decided to make the outsides out of solid colors (in colors my brother wouldn't mind carrying,) but it seemed too boring to make the entire bag out of one solid color. So, for the insides I chose some stripes and, since I couldn't find anything else that I liked, some flowered fabric. I guess that bag will just be used by my sister-in-law!

brown with green stripes reusable shopping bag
Hopefully the brown with stripes inside is gender neutral enough for use by anyone. 

reusable shopping bag
Little pouch for the bag.
The pattern I used had two sizes of bags and two sizes of pouches. The first pouch I made was too small. Maybe I could have forced the shopping bag in if I had rolled it up extremely tight and squeezed it in, but who wants to struggle that much just to put a bag away!? So I tried the pattern for the bigger pouch and the bag fit perfectly! I don't know what I'll do if I ever make the bigger sized bag.

reusable shopping bag
I couldn't resist the flowered fabric!

reusable shopping bag
Another pouch.  I used buttons instead of the velcro suggested in the pattern. I also didn't sew the loops to hook the pouch to the bag.

Despite my attempt to make these bags gender neutral (or at least one of them,) I can't really picture my brother using either of them. Perhaps I will make some completely solid colored ones at some point if they want some more. That wouldn't have been a very exciting birthday gift though, so I'm glad I chose these fabrics. I'm happy with the way these turned out. I can see lots more sewing projects in my future. If only I had more time!


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