I love my grocery totes. There are made from a variety of fabrics that I’ve salvaged from thrift stores and hand-me-down remnants. The basic design is very easy and I have quite a few that are just generic bags. This pattern includes a pocket on the side to hold bottles, or otherwise separate glass from other items.
To get started, you will need a few pieces of fabric:
36″x4″ strips (2)
40″x25″ pieces (2)
9″x15″ strip (1)
9″ of elastic (1)
To begin, fold the large pieces in half the long way and mark a 5″x5″ square from the bottom corner. Double check that you are NOT cutting the folded side. Cut the square out. Unfold and sew one side of the bag with right sides facing.
Take the 9″x15″ piece and fold in all the sides 1/2″ and press. Sew the top of the pocket. This will be the casing for the elastic. Place the pocket on the side seam and top sew 3 sides, leaving the elastic casing open.
Thread elastic through the casing, pin and sew the elastic down at the side seams.
Fold the 36″x4″ straps into quarters, press well and top sew. Place the handle on the top of the bag and sew. Fold the top over one inch to the inside and top sew, reinforcing the handles.
Fold the bag in half and sew the remaining side and bottom. In the square cut out, match the seams and sew the bottom side.
Whether or not you decide to put on a pocket, this pattern sews together pretty fast and can be altered in size and design for the size you need and the fabric you have. These make great gifts, but I also keep a bunch around the house for organizing and such. Give it a try!