How to sew a cotton bag? Learn 3 proven methods

Cotton bag has been conquering fashion trends for quite some time now, distinguishing themselves as an accessory to many exciting outfits. It is an excellent alternative to leather bags, which are not always produced with respect for animal rights. They are also perfect as replacements for disposable plastic shopping bags, which are fought against by advocates of pro-ecological lifestyles.

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Bag made out of cotton gabardine printed at CottonBee
Bag made out of cotton gabardine printed at CottonBee

If you are wondering whether it is worth investing in such a bag, we advise that it is even better to make it yourself. It is an extremely uncomplicated solution, which can bring great joy and happiness. Below, we provide you with proven methods of sewing a cotton bag in the comfort of your home and decorating it with attractive patterns or graphics.

Cotton bag made out of one piece of fabric

The quickest way to sew a cotton bag is to use one piece of fabric. In this method, you don’t have to sew the bottom of your bag. It can be a great way to create your bag if you want to hand-sew everything. Cut out a rectangle that is the width of your bag and two times the length. Fold in half right sides facing and sew on both sides. Fold the top edge twice and after adding some handles you can take your new cotton bag for a trip to the grocery store.

If you want a bag that will hold your items more comfortably flip your bag to the wrong side, so the side seam is one on top of the other. Now grab a small triangle from the bottom and sides of your bag and use a straight stitch to sew through both layers. Cut the excess and once you flip your bag the bottom should be more structured.

Cotton bag from two pieces of fabric

Almost as easy as the previous method is sewing a cotton bag with two identical pieces of fabric. This way you can make a bag with two different prints or add a printed fabric to a plain one. Cut out two rectangles and lay them on top of each other, right sides facing. Sew using a straight stitch and press your seams. Fold the top edge in twice, press and sew using a straight stitch.

Bag made out of cotton gabardine printed at CottonBee
Bag made out of cotton gabardine printed at CottonBee

Roomy cotton bag for a bigger shopping trip

Once a cotton bag has to hold significant grocery hauls you should opt for a bag with extended sides and a bottom. Just like in the previous method, start by cutting out two identical pieces of fabric for the front and back of your bag. Then decide how wide you want your bag to be. If you choose 5cm go ahead and cut two rectangles that will be 5cm wide and as tall as the side of your front bag piece. If your front and back pieces are wider than they are tall then cut a piece that is 5cm by the width of the bottom of your bag. This way you will create a boxy bag.

Cotton bag – how to sew handles?

There are a few surefire ways of sewing ideal handles for your cotton bag. You can use a jute rope, making the bag a remarkably original accessory, suggestive of the maritime style. However, creating the handles from the remains of the fabric used to sew the bag turns out to be much simpler. After cutting out the appropriate length, you can sew the handles, starting along the open edge and then along the other side. Then, stitch the handles to the inner edges of the bag. This is a remarkably simple method of creating an original and unique addition to your everyday outfits.

Cotton bag – what fabric to use for sewing?

Cloth bags are best made out of thick, tightly woven fabrics. Cotton gabardine will be a great fabric for this application. It is an exceptionally thick and smart fabric with a twill weave and grammage of 272 g/m2. Its main advantages include high resistance to creasing and exceptional durability, so it will be excellent for sewing a shopping bag, which will carry the heaviest products and stay in use for a long time.

Cotton canvas – the ideal fabric for bags and accessories

Are you looking for a durable and pleasant-to-the-touch fabric for an environmentally friendly replacement for a popular shopping bag? Organic cotton canvas is a GOTS-certified fabric, which confirms the textile is produced with respect to the natural environment. It also has the OEKO-TEX certificate, which proves that it is free from substances harmful to humans, which is why it is an ideal choice for creating a unique bag that facilitates shopping or carrying the most necessary things. Thanks to its properties, it will retain its quality and durability for a long time, but it is worth remembering that it can only be dry-cleaned and local stain removal should be avoided, which could result in irreversible damage to the fabric.

Digital printing on gabardine and cotton canvas– a perfect decoration for every original bag

If we manage to sew our cloth bag, it would be worth decorating it in an attractive way to personalise your work and give it an even more unique character. You can also do this before you decide to create your own fashionable accessory and choose a ready-made digitally printed fabric.
Custom-printed cotton canvas is perfect for a shopping bag that we always have with us (in a handbag, car, backpack). Cotton gabardine is also a perfect printing fabric since it will retain the pigment for a long time. What is more, digital fabric printing is very aesthetic, and there are no limitations on the number of colours or tonal transitions between them ensuring that our multi-purpose dream bag will meet expectations as well as delight with its charming and unique design.


Content writer, amateur photographer, sewist after work.

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