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Featured Project

Eco-Friendly Tote Bag

DIYStyle Vodcast Episode 6

Supplies Needed

  • 3/4 yard of 45" wide cotton fabric, medium weight
  • 1 3/8 yard of 1" wide webbing
  • Sulky thread in various colors
  • Conventional sewing thread
  • Used plastic packaged food wrappers


  • Cut panels for sides, front and back to these measurements:
  • 2 sides (11" x 22 1/2") measuring across the selvage for the 11" measurement
  • Front and back panels (15" x 19") measuring across the selvage for the 15" measurement.


  1. Press selvage 3/4" to wrong side on the front and back panels. Stitch in place with conventional thread.
  2. With Sulky thread stitch the food packages to the front and back panels, using a variety of colors and random placement. Stitch across and through the packages, changing the thread colors often.
  3. Mark each side panel 5" from the selvage edge down the seam lines.
  4. With right sides together, match front panel to one side panel. The top edge of the front panel should match the side panel at the 5" marking.
  5. Stitch the panels together with a 1/4" seam. Repeat on the other side of the front with the second side panel.
  6. Match the back panel in the same manor to the side panels and stitch.
  7. Finish the remaining 5" of each of the side panels by pressing the edges to the wrong side 1/4" and stitching near the edge.
  8. Fold the side panel down over the front and back panels finished edges, stitch across the side panels from front to back, blending the row of stitching into the stitching of the front and back finished edges. To add extra strength, stitch across the side panels one more time, 5/8" from first line of stitching. This will form the pockets for the webbing.
  9. Cut the webbing for the handles to measure 47", weave through the pockets on both of the side panels.
  10. Lap the webbing over itself and stitch several times to secure, work the stitching back into one of the pockets to hide.
  11. For the bottom seam, fold the side panels into the front and back panels, right sides together. Stitch across the width of the bag, twice. Turn the bag right side out and go shopping again and again. No paper, no plastic, just this great new tote.

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