Leggi questo post in: Italiano
Big news, guys! My pattern shop, Cucicucicoo Patterns, is just about ready to officially open! I’m just waiting on a few tax-related bureaucratic things before I can put items up for sale, but my first three PDF sewing patterns are ready! To celebrate, I’m sharing a FREE professional-quality sewing pattern with you: the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag! Continue reading to find out how to get it!
Now, I know that there are plenty of free shopping bag patterns out there, but I wanted to make the most useful shopper possible: a reusable shopping bag that you can have on hand at all times. How many times, while paying at a store, have you realized that you’ve forgotten your reusable grocery bags at home or in the car?
The solution is a small and lightweight enough bag that you can carry around with you wherever you go, yet sturdy enough to pack full of heavy items (like the apples I was carrying for the photo above). A bag that you can keep in your purse or backpack so that you’re always ready for bagging unexpected purchases. My solution? One word: umbrellas!
Thus was born the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag, made from the fabric recuperated from broken umbrellas! Hey, why not?! Old umbrellas are free, so your bag costs nothing. The fabric from umbrellas is very lightweight, so it makes a very light bag that can be compressed inside a small stuff sack. There are some really great colors and designs on some umbrellas, but even the ugliest umbrella makes a pretty cool-looking bag. And by using old umbrellas to make a bag, you are not only keeping them out of a landfill or incinerator (or from littering the street), you are also avoiding the use of the wasteful plastic bags that are so harmful to the environment and wildlife. It’s a win-win situation!
Of course, you don’t have to use upcycled umbrellas for your fabric. 90 cm (35″) of any 120 cm- (47″-) wide lightweight fabric will work well, too for this pattern. (I used a regular woven quilting cotton remnant from Ikea for the bag pictured below.) If you do decide to give new life to your old umbrellas, read this post on how to “harvest” the fabric from them.
The style of this bag was inspired by the magnificent Chico Bag, a nylon bag that gets stuffed into an attached drawstring pouch. I’ve had and loved one of the original Chico Bags for years, but it has two downfalls, as far as I’m concerned: 1. They are available in very few countries outside of the United States (and don’t ship outside of the USA, last I checked) and 2. They are made with new synthetic fabrics, whose production requires energy, water and petroleum.
But I love the Chico Bag’s lightness and how easy it is to squash the bag into the little sack, which I never have to worry about losing. So I incorporated these features into my own bag design, and figured out how to make the bag out of the fabric recuperated from a single umbrella, using its original seams as a design element.
The PDF pattern (here’s a post on how to print them out) includes professionally-drawn pattern pieces and full instructions with fancy line drawings (like the one above) illustrating the steps.
Aren’t those little sacks adorable? They weigh hardly anything and are so compact that you’ll never even notice them inside your everyday purse or bag! It’s hard to believe that there’s a whole shopping bag in there!
No folding, just shove the whole bag in there! And if you want, you can add a cord lock onto the drawstring for even easier closing.
Let me give you a tour of this bag’s features. This little bag is designed in a way to make it super sturdy. No more ripped plastic bags, thank you very much! The openings are finished off with clean topstitching, for a more finished look and adding strength to the handles. And I’ve already told you about the drawstring pouch, which is sewn into the inside of the bag so you can never lose it! (The pouch in the above picture is actually another bag, so that’s why it’s not attached.)
Let’s get a little more technical inside the bag. The tops of the handles are sewn with felled seams and the bag sides and bottom are sewn with french seams, two techniques which easily create a clean, professional look while adding stability to the seams. The top handle area has two layers of fabric to make them extra strong. The bottom corners are boxed, to let items fit inside the bag better without any weird pointy corners. And here you can see how the stuff pouch is sewn right into the bag’s inside seams.
But, if you’re a beginner, don’t get scared off by all those technical terms (like felled seams, which you can see in the photo above)! They’re all explained clearly in the instructions and, where necessary, there are links to tutorials for more information. As fancy as this bag looks, it’s actually pretty simple to put together. It’s been rated Intermediate level, but this is only because of the slightly slippery umbrella fabric, and even a beginner sewer can make these!
In order to make the full-sized Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag (55 cm/22″ high), you will need the fabric from one full-sized umbrella. If you only have compact fold-up umbrellas to take apart (like the type that you can easily fit inside your bag), you can either use two of them for a single full-sized bag, or resize the pattern pieces to fit on the fabric of just one smaller umbrella. In the picture above you can see one full-sized Shopping Bag and another one with a pattern resized to 75%.
Want to know how to get this FREE shopping bag pattern? Easy! Just sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter to receive all the best sewing and creative tutorials, as well as access to the exclusive members-only area with dozens of of FREE sewing patterns, craft templates and other creative downloads, including the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag pattern!
GET THE FREE PATTERN!
Sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter. You’ll receive an email with a link to click to confirm your subscription. After you click it, you will receive another email with the link and password to the private area with the free downloads.
If you’re already subscribed, click on this link and insert the password. You can find the password in your Newsletter welcome e-mail or at the bottom of any Cucicucicoo Newsletter. If you still cannot find the password, send an e-mail to email@example.com from the e-mail address you used to subscribe. Write “Password” in the subject box, and I will send it as soon as I can.
(If you’d prefer receiving the free pattern and newsletter in Italian, just sign up here instead!)
Don’t forget to share pictures of your Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag on Facebook or other social media with the hashtags #cucicucicoopatterns and #cucicucicoo! I can’t wait to see your amazing bags!
This pattern went through two rounds of testing, once in English, then in Italian, in order to perfect it. (If you’d like to become a Cucicucicoo pattern tester, sign up here!) Want to see the lovely bags that some of my testers have made with this pattern? Over the next few days, the following talented ladies will be showing off their versions of the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag!
Tuesday, February 10 – Judy from Stoney Sews
Wednesday, February 11 – Ilaria from Handmade for Love
Thursday, February 12 – Ingrid from kuka & bubu
Monday, February 16 – Irene from Serger Pepper
Sunday, February 22 – Ilenia from Penso Invento Creo
So what are you waiting for? Go get your free pattern and sew these up for everyone you know!
88 thoughts on “Free Pattern: Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag”
Nice to see the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag released!! You did a lot of work!!
Thanks for letting me participate in the testing!!
Hugs from Spain!!
Thank you so much for helping out, Ingrid! 🙂
Lisa, this looks fantastic. Can’t wait to look through the pattern. And then need to find some umbrellas! Because I am definitely making this.
Note: I’ve got all sorts of cord locks that I’ve scavenged off of worn out pants/bags/etc. so I’m halfway there in terms of materials. ; )
You don’t actually *have* to use umbrellas, though I think it’s about 500 times cooler if you do! And yah for scavenging cord locks! I should’ve mentioned that on the pattern! 🙂
I signed up for your site, but cannot find the pdf pattern for the bag. I just love the look of it, and have lots of old, really nice umbrellas that I could use. Please advise how I can get the pattern.
Looking forward to more great things on your site.
I have now received an email to receive the pattern. Thank you. Looking forward to making it.
Hi Ilene! Thanks for signing up! Check your email again. I made a change in something in the newsletter things and apparently somehow blocked the autoresponse with the link in it. Took two loooong chats with assistance to get it ironed out, but I’ve checked and all the messages have gone out! But if you still can’t find it, just write to me privately (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll sort it out! 🙂
Oops, we were writing to each other at the same time! So glad that you got it Ok! Sorry about the delay!!
Brilliant use of an old umbrella!
Thanks, Joy! 🙂
These are so cute — I love the whimsical designs with all of the fabric types. And yes they are so very handy! I love my cotton bag, but it’s true that the lightweight-yet-sturdy nylon is ideal to keep in your bag at all times. Great, great idea to upcycle the umbrella fabric!
Whimsical! That’s a nice way to put it! 🙂 Well, Linda, next time I see you, you’ll get one of these, too!
Lisa, really lovely post and congratulations on a very well done pattern!
Thanks, Judy, also for your wonderful post (which I already commented on and shared yesterday) ! I’m so glad you were a part of the process!
Ho appena finito di fare la tua shoppper, FANTASTICA!!! istruzioni chiare e dettagliate, risultato perfetto (o quasi, ma mi accontento vista la mia limitata esperienza di sarta :-). Non avevo vecchi ombrelli a portata di mano e ho riciclato il tessuto di un vecchio poncho da pioggia (tessuto sempre molto leggero, forse un po’ meno resistente). Grazie del pattern gratuito! Sara
Ciao, Sara! Sono contentissima! Ottima idea di recuperare il poncho! Mi fai vedere una foto? Sono molto curiosa di vederla! Puoi postare la foto sulla pagina Facebook, il gruppo Flickr, o inviarmela a email@example.com! Un abbraccio!
Ho messa la foto nel gruppo flickr
Fantastica, Sara! Mi piace un sacco! Grazie per la foto! 🙂
I have been looking for such a pattern FOREVER – thank you so much!!
I signed up for your newsletter just to get it, but nothing has come through yet. What’s the turn-around on that?
PS – Your website makes my heart happy – keep up the great work! 🙂
Oh, I’m so glad, Candi!
Did you check your spam folder? You need to click on a link in an activation email to activate your subscription. It should’ve arrived more or less immediately. If you can’t find it, write me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the email address you used, and I’ll check out the situation for you.
Download didn’t work for me. Never got the activation email.
I just responded to you via email, Marilyn!
I had the same experience. I signed up (a few times) and never got the pattern 🙁
I just wrote you an email, too, Candi!
Thanks for the “you rock”, but I’m beginning to think the only rocks are in me head! I am a professional procrastinator and at least 5-6 times I have gone to this pattern, but never made it. Now I’ve finally ironed the material and went for the instructions again and got into the same spiral trying to find the instructions. Each time I have to sign up again rather than sign in. I don’t know why finding the instructions is such a hassle, can you help.
Hi Toni, have you downloaded the pattern? The download link changes from time to time, which is why you’re not able to visualize it if you’re using an old link. Feel free to send me an email (email@example.com) so that I can go in and cancel any extra subscriptions to the newsletter that you may have and send you a current link so that you can download the pattern!
I’ve signed up to the newsletter how do I get my free bag pattern
Welcome Anne-Marie! I have just reponded to you privately.
Brilliant idea to reuse old umbrellas! I’m looking forward to checking out the pattern. Thanks!
So glad you like the idea, Diane! Let me know if you sew a bag! 🙂
Thank you for creating this pattern! I made this bag over the weekend from an old bedsheet and am very pleased with the result. Because it was not a synthetic, it folds and unfolds with a little more trouble. I think I only skipped the boxed bottom because I couldn’t quite visualize it from the instructions.
I’m now going to try umbrella fabric. I found a small umbrella with a colorful pattern. (Because it is small, I’ll plan to give it to a child.) Can anyone say anything about how slippery the fabric is, and how to work with that?
I’d also like to try using a thin shirt whose collar is worn out. Any suggestions about making certain there’s enough fabric?
This is my first time reading this page, so I will look carefully to see if anyone has already addressed this.
Hi, Dave! I’m so glad to hear that you made the bag! Yes, the thicker fabric (thicker than umbrella fabric, anyway) is harder to stuff into the bag, but the instructions mention that and suggest making the stuff bag slightly bigger. There is also a link to my tutorial on sewing boxed corners, and that should make it clearer. If you’re using a smaller umbrella, make sure to scale down the pattern when printing it. I wouldn’t go any smaller than 75%.
As for using the shirt, that’s a great idea! Just put the pattern pieces on top of the shirt, again with the pattern scaled down if necessary, and you’ll be able to see if it’s enough or not.
I’d love to see pictures of your bag/s! If you take any, could you email one or two to me at lisa (@) cucicucicoo.com? Happy New Year!
I will send pictures when I take them.
And thanks for the extra tips.
Looking forward to them, Dave! 🙂
We had a period of heavy rain here, and I found quite a few discarded umbrellas in a shopping district. So many nice colors! So few of them full size, though.
I did make one from black umbrella fabric and it looks very sharp. I like how you, Lisa, incorporated the seams of the umbrella into a smart-looking diagonal on the bag.
I had a tip while making it, but forgot to write it down! I’ll post it here when I make my next one.
Yes, it’s true, Dave, that people tend to use mostly the smaller compact umbrellas, which also tend to break more easily. Yes, I love how the diagonal seams look, too!
If you remember the tip, I’d love to hear it! Make sure to let me know if you remember it! 🙂
I just finished 2 more, one of them from a mini umbrella.
Here’s some tips I came up with:
Step 4: If the umbrella has different colored panels, I align the pattern so that I will get the color scheme I want in the final bag (white face with blue sides, etc.). If the velcro/snap strap interrupts this alignment, I remove the strap carefully, with a seam ripper.
Also, the pattern will not always line up with the fabric at the folds. The fabric, when folded and pressed, will sometimes present a curved edge. I just line up the top or bottom of the pattern as best I can. This doesn’t seem to make a difference at any time later.
15: If the cord is a synthetic, I will melt the tips over a flame so that the cord will not unravel.
21: I have been cutting through the pouch cord here.
22: Because one cord actually came out during this step, I am now back-stitching over the cords multiple times, to hold them in place.
26-7: I tend to improvise the measurements here, based on how the fabric tends to fold.
31: I do some extra zig-zag stitching across the handle, since I’m thinking it will get a lot of stress from heavy loads. It’s not as clean-looking, though.
I’m taking a break from these for a while.
I will then try making one with umbrella fabric, but with minimal ironing. The fumes were very annoying, and probably not good for me.
Wow, Dave, you are a machine! It makes me so happy that you are sewing so many of these bags! Yes, I agree about the fumes, which is why I wrote that note in the instructions warning about it. And thank you for all the other notes, too! 🙂
Still waiting for password.
I just sent you a private email, Natalie! 🙂
I would love to get the shopping bag pattern.
The password and link were sent to you. I just sent you another private email.