There I was at the thrift shop, eyeing all these bright 99 cent pillowcases and yards of cheap but unloved bias tape. (I was also freaking out the other shoppers by smelling the pillowcases to avoid the ones with that sweaty laundered smell). Put the two together along with some scraps for straps, and you can make a simple market tote that's sturdy enough for grocery go-getting.
One sensational pillowcase
One simple pocket
Two straps - I sewed mine from scraps of other fabrics. Each strap should be appx. 48 inches long.
44 inches of double fold bias tape
Step 1 - Make a sensational pocket out of colorful scrap fabrics.
Step 2 - Fold your pillowcase in half, bringing the short ends together. The folded edge will be the bottom of your tote. Centre your pocket on the folded pillowcase and sew to the "front" of your tote, either inside or outside.
Step 3 - Encase each "short" top edge of the pillowcase with bias tape and stitch into place. (This will sew closed the open end of the pillowcase too).
Step 4 - Make two straps that will be seen on the exterior of your tote. Mine are each 48 inches long and about 3 inches wide when finished. Finish the raw edges of each strap any way that you like (ie. folding the raw edges inward, serging them, etc.) but make sure they are sturdy enough to carry your groceries! Open up your pillowcase and position each strap as shown. The straps meet smack dab in the middle.
Overlap the straps slightly where they meet. Fold under one raw edge as shown below and pin the straps all over to hold them in place. Fold up your pillowcase to make sure that the two protruding handles are the same length and adjust the straps till you get it right. Sew straps to outside of pillowcase.
Step 5 - With right sides together, fold pillowcase in half again and sew up two side seams. Finito!
For a fun look, dissect two different pillowcases and "remake" the pillowcase so that your inside and outside fabrics are different.
I'm in love with the price! To buy enough fabric to make each bag's body, I would have had to spend at least $4.00. Ninety-nine cents is far more economical!