Shopping bag

Handmade shopping bag: a perfect gift for a friend or yourself!


shopping bag italy-style
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Handmade shopping bag: a perfect gift for a friend or yourself!

You will need

  • - Coloured cotton fabric
  • - Felt of different colours
  • - Cotton grosgrain ribbon (width: 1,5 cm - 3/5in) in different colours matched with felt
  • - Needle and thread of different colours matched with grosgrain ribbons and cotton fabric plus tacking thread
  • - 1 metre red cotton string, if you want
  • - 1 metre light brown satin ribbon, if you want
  • - Scissors

bag pattern
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Summon all your patience with this needlework but the result is so beautiful that you will forget immediately all the hours spent and the effort.

At first I want to tell something about the material you need. You can see the dimensions of the bag in the drawning.

Lining material.

You have to calculate exactly how much cotton fabric you need; in this bag there is a lining but the external part is made with felt squares sewn on cotton fabric. So you have to double the quantity for the lining. I chose a warm colour: the orange.


The felt.

handmade bag: step-by-step instructions
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I used felt of nine colours: yellow, orange, light and dark green, purple, light blue, red, light brown and wine colour. You have to cut 65 squares with a side 8 cm (3 1/5in) long. Obviously they must be subdivided into the nine different colours. In any case choose the colours according to your personal taste.


Cotton grosgrain ribbon.

I chose three different colours as you can see in the photos (yellow, bordeuax and magenta). So I had to change the thread for every seam :-(
What a patience! But the result is so cool! The more I look at it the more I like it!
I bought 6 metres for every colour.

Step-by-step instructions.

inside of the shopping bag
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Cut the cotton fabric into 4 squares whose side is 42 cm (16 3/4 in) long and 6 rectangles (10x42 cm - 4x16 3/4 in).
Cut the squares from the felt. Apply them with a tacking on 2 squares and 3 rectangles. The squares must be tacked one near the other and you have to leave a margin (1 cm - 1/2 in) from the edge as you can see in the photo. Then tack the grosgrain ribbon horizontally. Sew along the tackings with close stitches. At this point complete this step tacking the grosgrain ribbons vertically. Sew the vertical ribbon too. Apply the grosgrain ribbon on the rectangles too!
Prepare the lining. Tack the squares and rectangles together and sew along the tackings with close stitches.
Remove all the tackings and begin preparing the outside of the bag.
Begin with a first square. Join it with the 3 rectangles tacking and then sewing the edges along the free margin. Tack the grosgrain ribbon on every seam (use a different colour for every seam). Sew along the tacking with close stitches. Make the same steps with the second square: join it to the three rectangles. The outside of the bag is ready!
Begin joining the outside with the inside. Put the lining inside the external part of the bag and fix it to the corners of the bottom with little stitches. Prepare the handles. Cut the grosgrain ribbons into 4 pieces, 46 cm (18 1/2 in) long. Combine them, two by two; tack and then sew along the tacking with close stitches. Insert the handles for 3 cm (1 1/4 in) between the outside and inside of the bag, tack the upper edges and then sew them. Cover the seam with some grosgrain ribbon of different colours inside and outside.
If you want you can complete your needlework applying a string or a satin ribbon on the last seams as you can see in the photo.


It can be your own original shopping bag but you can do it for your best friend or your mother, sister ... a very beautiful Christmas gift for example.