Handy Bags

I dislike coming home with so many of those plastic shopping bags that cannot be recycled, so I decided to find a pattern to make my own bags. So today I want to share a couple of handy bags I’ve made. Both of these bags have very common purposes and get quite a bit of use in our home and travels.

The first of the two bags is a free pattern from All People Quilt. You can find the pattern here. It’s a simple lined drawstring bag that can be made in different sizes. The bags are easy to make and take very little time. It is a great pattern for using up fabrics in your stash.

I made these bags awhile ago and initially intended to use them for groceries, but found I didn’t like them for that purpose. One bag now resides in my suitcase, to be used as a laundry bag as we travel. These bags can be used for multiple purposes other than shopping — laundry, shoe bags for travel, a bag for a blow dryer, etc. There are three sizes to make, and it is a simple pattern. I also like that the bag is washable.

The second of the bags was made from the pattern  Stand and Stow by Atkinson Designs. This pattern also comes in three sizes and can easily be made in a day or less, depending on the size and how much time you have. I made the medium size, 12 x 12 x 7.5 and I love the size of this for grocery shopping. I’ve had this particular bag for over a year. I am showing it now because wanted you to be able to see how well it holds up to repeated use.  It can hold a lot and is very durable; I never worry that my bag is going to rip when I load it with heavy cans, etc.

Here’s the bag almost full of groceries. See how big it is? I could still load a few more things in there!

Here’s another view of a 5 lb. bag of potatoes in the bottom of the bag to give you better idea of the size. Once the bag is fully packed, it actually holds its shape quite well. It still stands up on its own after all this time.

My favorite thing about this bag? It folds up! Take a look:

It tucks into the seat pockets of my car without taking up much room, so it is always with me.

While the bag might look complicated to make, it really isn’t. It uses just a little less than a yard for each piece of fabric. This is a fun pattern to sew, the directions are very clear and easy to follow. The bag can be spot cleaned, or hand washed and line dried.

I’ll be making more of the Stand and Stow bags soon. How about you? Do you have a favorite bag pattern that you’ve made and use frequently?

Happy sewing, all!



5 thoughts on “Handy Bags”

  1. I like the last one a lot. Does it have batting or what is making it stiff enough? We have a collection of those popular ones you can purchase in the store(but ours were all given to us for one reason or another-mostly DH’s work). But a pretty fabric one would be fun!

  2. I’ve a definite weakness for bags & I like these.
    I do drawstring bags to wrap presents and tote bags too. I haven’t got a pattern, I size them up according what I’m wrapping or how much fabric I have. My favourites are “man shopping bags” made for Gary out of the legs of his old jeans – he uses them!!!

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