Free Reusable Market Bag Tutorial: Fat Quarter Friendly

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #patchworkbag

I'm so excited to bring you this free reusable market bag tutorial for a few reasons. The first reason is that it is so cute! Many times in the craft world a cute project means it's a time consuming, difficult project, but that leads me to reasons two and three as to why I love this tutorial...

This reusable market bag is not only FAST to make, I'm talking make a few in an afternoon fast, it's also beautifully simple and easy. Aside from hemming the shoulder strap (which you already know how to do from making envelope fold pillows), this pattern only uses French seams.

French seams may sound intimidating because they are French, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Unlike macarons and meringues, these seams do not require a delicate hand from a master. All they truly are is a seam inside another seam so that speedy crafters, such as you and me, can avoid sewing lining. French seams are a quick and clever way to encase raw edges.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #patchworkbag

You May Also Like...

How to Sew a Reusable Market Bag

Above I mentioned that this reusable market bag is cute, fast and easy to make, but I didn't tell you that it's also a wonderful project for kids just learning to sew. This bag pattern allows for lots of margin for flubs and mistakes. The only thing you've got to remember to do every time you sit down at your machine is backstitch.

Backstitch. Backstitch. Backstich.

These bags will be getting filled with heavy things like cans, bags of flour and whatever other food items you like to purchase, so lock in each and every stitch by sewing backwards over it and then forwards again.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #patchworkbag
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

Reusable Market Bag Supplies

Honestly, this short supplies list is quite thrilling because you probably already have everything and can make one of these bags RIGHT NOW! Yay!

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter

* A fat quarter, or FQ, is a pre-cut of fabric measuring 18" x 21". You can make your own fat quarter from yardage by first cutting a yard in half, rotating it 90-degrees, and then cutting it in half again.

NOTE: This bag can be made with one yard of fabric, just skip to Step 3.

Step 1: Trim your fabric.

Stack your FQs on top of each other (I stacked all four, but you can stack them two and two.) Trim all of the FQs so they measure 17" x 20".

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter

Step 2: Pair the fat quarters together and sew.

It's time to sew our first French seams! Are you excited!? I hope so because we do this a few times during this reusable market bag tutorial.

1. Lay out your FQs as you would like them to look in the bag.

2. Pair the FQ on top with the one on bottom.

3. For each pair, place one FQ on top of its partner WRONG sides together. This is opposite what you typically do when sewing. When placing the fabrics wrong sides together that means on both sides the right sides of the fabric are facing out.

4. Pin and sew a 1/4" seam on both units. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter

5. Press the seams towards the dark fabric then flip the fabric so the right sides are together. (That means you will see the wrong side or back of the fabric.) Press the fabric one more time so that it lays flat. Pin the seam in place.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter

6. Now sew a 1/2" seam over the 1/4" seam on both units, backstitching at the beginning and end.

7. Press the seams of the two units in opposite directions so that eventually they can nest together. You have just completed your first French seams!

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter

Step 3: Mark and cut both units.

1. Fold both units in half down the length of the unit. You can press this fold if that helps you stay accurate.

2. Lay one unit down so that the fold is on your left. With your marking tool, place a guidemark 4" from the fold on the top. Place a second guidemark on the right side of the fabric 17" down.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

3. With a rotary cutter, cut from one mark to the other.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

Step 4: Hem the shoulder strap.

1. Open up one unit so that the wrong side is facing up. It should look like this...

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

2. Once you have admired your French seam again, make sure that the 17" guidemarks are still visible on both sides. If they aren't, mark them again.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

3. Fold and press the raw edge in a 1/4", then in again another 1/4". At the 17" guidemark, curve the fold in slightly so that it will be able to tuck into a 1/2" future French seam.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

4. Pin and sew a finishing stitch as close to the fold of the hem as possible while still catching it. Don't forget to backstitch at the beginning and end. Your top and bobbin thread will be visible in this hem, so you may want to match your thread to the fabric.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter

5. Hem the other three sides of the shoulder strap just like you did the first one. Press all of the hemmed edges once you're finished.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarter

Step 5: Sew French seams along the sides.

Now that we're finished with those hems, let's get back to our lovely French seams!

1. Place one unit on top of the other unit wrong sides together and right sides facing up. Line up the edges and nest the center French seams where you previously sewed.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

2. Pin along both edges and sew 1/4" seams, backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam. This is the part that always feels strange because we are used to sewing with right sides together. Just keep reminding yourself that for a French seam, you have to sew the same seam twice, so eventually we'll end up sewing a seam with right sides together, just not at first.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

3. Once you've sewn your initial seam, you know the drill – press your seams to the side, flip the fabric, pin and sew a 1/2" seam to encase the first seam. Just don't forget to backstitch. 😉

Flip the fabric again so that the right sides of the fabric are facing out. Press your seam a final time to the side. If you need more details than that, revisit Step 2.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

Step 6: Sew the shoulder strap together with a French seam.

The sides of your bag are sewn, now it's time to connect the shoulder strap with another French seam. Can you guess what the first step is?

1. Place wrong sides together and sew a 1/4" seam, backstitching at the beginning and end.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

2. Press the seam, flip the fabric, pin and sew a 1/2" seam. Flip the fabric one more time and press the French seam to the side. Your shoulder strap is complete!

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

Step 7: Decide on a desired length for your bag.

Throw the bag over a shoulder and decide how long you would like it to be. I'm pretty tall (5'8") and this is what the bag looks like untrimmed. A good test is to reach inside and see where your hand comfortably falls. You need to be able to reach the bottom of the bag.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

This next bag has been trimmed by 7". It looks and feels more like a casual shopping bag rather than a fit-all-my-groceries-in-it bag.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #patchworkbag
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #patchworkbag
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #DIYbag #beginnersewing #fatquarterpattern

Step 8: Trim and sew a final French seam along the bottom of the bag.

1. Once you have the right length to your bag, lay it out so that you can see all four fabrics. The connecting seam should be running vertically down the center.

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #patchworkbag

2. Sew a final French seam along the bottom of the bag. To do this, pin the bottom of the bag just like this with wrong sides together and the right sides of the fabric facing up. Then sew a 1/4" seam. Looks weird, right? That's ok!

Press the 1/4" seam so it lays flat, then flip the bag inside out and sew a 1/2" at the bottom of the bag – encasing the first 1/4" seam. Flip the bag one more time, give it a final press, and you're finished! For a more detailed refresher on French seams, wich pictures, look back at Step 2.

Voila! Très bien, mon petit chou! You are now fancy and French and ready to sew lots and lots of reusable market bags! One fun idea is to scrap the wrapping paper this holiday season and use these scrappy reusable bags instead! Double presents for all!

In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #patchworkbag
In this free reusable market bag tutorial you only need basic sewing skills and 4 fat quarters of fabric. This sewing DIY is great for kids too! suzyquilts.com #freebagpattern #beginnersewing #patchworkbag

12 thoughts on “Free Reusable Market Bag Tutorial: Fat Quarter Friendly

  1. Joan says:

    French seams! Tres intelligent! Love the long version – doubles as a dress at the beach! I can use the cut off pieces for a tiny pocket for lip balm and a quarter (carts at our stores use quarters). Inside or on the handle or BOTH?
    Perfect afternoon project – Thanks

  2. MaryM in Upstate NY says:

    I love the fabrics you chose! Great tutorial, too! I have 2 thoughts/suggestions on this fast & easy bag:
    1. Instead of cutting off the bottom of your too-long bag, why not box the corners instead?
    2. Take the triangular pieces cut from the handles, sew them together (carefully because they’re bias) and then fold them in half, apply french seams to the sides, and sew* them onto the sides (or insides) of your bag as pockets!
    * unsewn side (opposite to fold) is sewn at the BOTTOM of your pocket placement then folded up to cover the SA and top-stitched on 3 sides.
    END my 2 cents.

  3. Rachel Mould says:

    Mine turned out with the front and back being solid instead of half of each fabric. Not sure which step I went wrong in… I think more zoomed out photos would have easier for me to follow the piecing… I may have to get out the seam ripper and try again because this looks really cute!

  4. Rachel Mould says:

    Oh I got it! It was the nesting seam part… ripped the bottom, nested and french seamed… Love it!! Great way to combine fabrics!

  5. Angela van der Linden says:

    Hi Suzy I can’t find a print friendly version of this great bag. Is there one? otherwise its 65 pages!! Thanks Angela

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Unfortunately, there isn’t a PDF tutorial. A long way around that is you could copy and paste the text into a Word doc. Or you could bookmark this post and pull it up as needed.

  6. Pingback: How to Sew Cloth Napkins Tutorial - Suzy Quilts Tutorials

  7. Bonnie Simone says:

    I don’t understand how you put a french seam in the bottom. You say to flip the fabric, but all the other sides are secured. You can’t flip the fabric. I would understand the side and top french seams better if you would say, “sew the side and top seams, wrong side together, with a 1/4 inch seam, then turn it inside out and seam the french seams on the inside. It’s a cute bag but I thought the directions weren’t as clear as I would like.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Hey Bonnie, great feedback! To sew a French seam you first sew with wrong sides together, rather than your typical right sides together for a regular seam. In Step 2, I list this out in detail. So, just like the photo shows in the final step, you lay out the bag with right sides facing up and wrong sides facing each other. The next thing to do is pin the bottom just like this and sew a 1/4″ seam. After that you can flip it inside out (since it’s an open bag you still have access to the inside) and sew another 1/2″ seam at the bottom – encasing your first 1/4″ seam. Once that’s sewn, flip the bag again and press the finished French seam.

      Does that make more sense?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php