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22 March 2010

The Two Pillowcase Bag - a Tutorial

Got a linen closet full of pillowcases? If you can spare two pillowcases, here is a tutorial for a free reusable shopping bag:




One pillowcase will form the outside, and the other will be the lining. Lay both pillowcases flat and cut out the pattern below. Measurements below are for a fairly small bag- feel free to add as much length as your pillowcases allow, or adapt the pattern once you've made your first tester bag.

You will have two outside pieces (blue) and two lining pieces (taupe).

If you want a pocket, sew one to the good side of a lining piece now.

Lay one outer (blue) piece on top of one lining (taupe) with right sides together. Starting at one upper edge, sew upwards along the curve, over the top of the handle, and down the other curve. (Click photo to enlarge to see the sewing line). Clip the seam (if you're not familiar with this technique, it means make a small snip in the seam every 1/2 inch or so. It allows rounded seams to turn inside out easily and smoothly). Don't sew the two sides or bottom closed yet.

Turn right side out and topstitch the same place - up one side of the curve and down the other. Repeat for the other piece. You now have one bag back and one bag front, but only the tops are finished nicely.

With right sides together, lay the front piece over the back piece. Sew up the two sides and bottom seam. (This is the view from the inside.) I apologize for the wonky seam - I sewed and photographed this up in a big hurry during Little V's nap since the pretty tutorial I photographed last night was too dark. On the plus side, I now have these bags down to 30 minutes each.

Here's how to square the corners of the bag: from the inside, take the bottom corner of bag and pinch sideways. Sew a line across where my finger is pointing.


Confused? This is what it looks like from the inside:
And this is a square corner from the outside. It gives the bag a little more shape.

Last thing: either tie the two handle pieces in a knot for fun, or overlap them on the ends and sew shut like I've done here. You can top the stitching with a button.


Now that you're an expert, go get some more pillowcases and experiment with size. I made a gigantical bag with this Ikea upholstery fabric:
Now off to the closet for more pillowcases.

34 comments:

So Bella said...

So cool! Thanks for the tutorial - now I have to go find my pillowcase stash!! Love the Ikea fabric, too!

Shannon said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern for bags!!

Mama Lusco said...

Great bags! Thanks for the tutorial. I have lots of vintage pillowcases, so I'll give this one a try.

Resweater said...

Awesome! I am saving this to make for Christmas presents!

Leslie and Melissa said...

My cat just peed on my grocery bags so I had to throw them all out. I was so mad. But now I'm happy because I will "have" to make these to replace them=) Awesome - thanks for sharing=)
Melissa

Posie Patchwork said...

Great work!! Love Posie

Laurie Anne said...

These are great! I'm thinking waaaaay to pretty to be used as shopping bags...a button and loop closure away from a purse :) xo

Melissa said...

These are hot. Thanks so much for the tute, I think I know what I'll be making this week!

ThatsMyTri said...

Cute idea! "Green", very usable and practically free!

Thanks for sharing!

Caiella said...

Wow, these are totally fab! Might just have to make one in case my uni bag breaks... =D

Bec Clarke said...

I love it, so much more interesting than the usual shopping bag, and I have heaps of PC's to use up, thank you so much.

luvinthemommyhood said...

Great job - loved it! I couldn't help adding you to our link luv roundup today, come by for a peek! http://www.luvinthemommyhood.com/2010/03/link-luv-roundup_24.html

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Aww! I love that it's pillowcases. Totally sweet. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

This is awesome. I'm here from One Pretty Thing. I love this style of bag much more than the shopping bags I've made. Thanks so much for sharing.

Kelsey said...

Love this bag! Thinking about making one and adapting it a little to use as a diaper bag. Great idea and tutorial!!!

Sandra@threepumpkinslittle.squarespace.com said...

Great bag! Thanks for the tute--can't wait to make several!!

sjones said...

I love it! I will make and use it as a diaper bag cause I luv it so!!

Nancy said...

Those are some seriously nice pillowcases you're using. Lovely bag.

casserole said...

Awesome!! I'm always seeing pillowcases at yardsales for really cheap - this is a great use for them!

I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-make-a-reusable-shopping-bag-from-two-pillowcases/2010/03/27/

--Anne

kittyspurseshop said...

I wish my pillow cases looked that good.

Kiwi The Kreator said...

AWESOME!!!

Adrian said...

Where did you find such nice pillow cases! Great bags! Love the black and white. Good enough to take anywhere. Thanks for the tutorial.

leyya-craftmania said...

dear alberta,its very cutes:)ı share this pillowcase bags in my blog with your link.

http://culcaputaskina.blogspot.com/2010/03/yazlk-canta-dikelim.html
greetings from turkey.

Meet Virginia said...

Thanks for the great tute! I totally have to try this out!!

Check out my awesome GIVEAWAY

~Morgan

Meet Virginia Crafts
Meet Virginia's Etsy Shop

douglass said...

I'm going to be a new sewer (soon, hopefully) I just found your site tonight and look forward to the pillowcase bags being my first project!

made at greenlodge said...

love it, have linked it to my blog, hope you don't mind.

Michelle said...

Thanks for a great idea! My sister gave me some awesome vintage linens for my birthday last weekend, and I just used two of the pillowcases to make a bag like this. I used a slightly different method - I put one case inside the other, right sides together, cut the slopes on the sides for the handles, and stitched it together with right sides still facing (I left a small opening to turn it). Then I topstitched it when I turned it right side out. I'm going to make tons of these in the future, I know - what a great teacher gift or even a gift bag. And you KNOW it's easy if I just whipped one up after school on a Monday ;-).

2good2bu said...

Great pattern and I love my new bag. Making more for Christmas presents.

Carolyn said...

Great idea...I also shared this link on my blog thriftyideastoday.com/

Cyanide said...

Awesome tutorial! I'm featuring a link to it on my blog! I'm so excited to make one when I get home tonight! Thank you!

danielle hatfield said...

LOVE this tutorial! I know what I'll be making for Christmas gifts this year! Thanks for sharing. :)

mcvick said...

these are super cute! i'd love for you to share this on my center of attention sunday link up at http://cadeedee.blogspot.com/2012/04/center-of-attention-sunday-sunday.html

hope to see you there!

Nobanno said...

I like this one. It is seems to me a quality fabric really. Pillowcases

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