Google Make an Insulated Grocery Tote for Hot or Cold Foods Google+

Sewing Patterns, Free Sewing Tutorials, and Recycled Military Uniform Designs

Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial

on Mar 3, 2015 in Blog, sewing, tutorial | 22 comments

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

 

Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial

Sometimes I need an insulated bag. Not a full-on cooler with hard sides and wheels, but just an insulated bag. I decided to whip one up and share my how-to with you on the blog today. The bag is pretty big and measures 19″ x 16″ x 7″.

Supplies

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

1?yard decorator weight fabric, 54″ wide (fabric used in sample is from Ikea)
1 reflective car shade
1-1/2 yard cording, 1″ wide
2 pieces grosgrain ribbon 3/8″ wide x 10″ long
22″ long plastic, non-separating zipper
2 large safety pins
Turning Tool

Construction

Prepare the Insulated Grocery Tote Bag Body

Cut the fabric to 42″ x 20″

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

The car shade has two sides: a reflective side and a plain side.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Place the reflective side down on your work surface and lay the home dec fabric rectangle on top. Pin

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen EsrkidgeCarefully cut out the car shade, using the home dec fabric as your pattern.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Baste around the entire perimeter, 1/4″ from the cut edge, so that the two layers will act as one while we stitch the bag. This is called underlining the fabric.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen EsrkidgeMake the Fabric-Covered Handles

Cut two pieces of decorator fabric 3″ x 32″

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Fold the long rectangles in half, lengthwise, to create a casing/strap.

Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Grab a Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide to make sure your 1/4″ seam is always accurate.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Use a turning tool to turn each casing/strap right-side out.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Cut the 1″ wide cording to 26″ long.

!! Make sure to wrap tape generously around the area to cut. This will ensure the cording doesn’t fray apart. !!

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen EsrkidgePlace a large safety pin at each end of the cording, through the tape.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

 

Use the safety pins to carefully push the end of the cording through the casing.

Once the cording is completely inside, trim the casing evenly 2″ longer than the cording on each side.

The pins in the picture show you where the cording stops. It was tricky to get a good photo of that one.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Build the Insulated Grocery Tote

NOTE: If you wanted to add a drop-pocket or patch-pocket to the front of the bag, add it now. This tutorial doesn’t feature a pocket.

Measure and mark the handle placement: 5″ from the side seam and 4″ down from the cut top edge.

Fold the handle cut edge under 1/2″. Pin in place.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Sew a square, then an X to secure the handles.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Apply the Zipper

I used a cut-to-length zipper, which required a small bit of prep:

  • Cut zipper to length, 22″.
  • Add two zipper pulls.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge |Double Zipper Pull

A regular 22″ plastic, non-separating zipper would work fine here.

Fold the short edge of the bag body towards the wrong side 1/2″.

!! Do NOT press this fold. The car shade may melt!!

Mark the center of the zipper with a pin and the center of the short edges with a small notch.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen EsrkidgePlace the zipper behind the folded edge and pin in place.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to stitch the zipper in place, removing pins as you stitch. Repeat for other side.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

 

Here’s how the zipper looks from the front/top.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

 

Turn the bag inside out.

Pin and stitch the side seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

With the bag still folded in half, inside out, place a pin inline with the bottom fold. This will determine the center bottom line.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Match the side seam with the center bottom pin to create a triangle shape.

Reach inside the bag to smooth out the decorator fabric inside the triangle. Remember, this area isn’t basted.

Pin the triangle in place.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Measure 7″ across the triangle, lining the 3-1/2″ mark with the side seam line.

Mark with a pen.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Stitch on the marked line.

Trim away the excess at least 1/4″ past the stitching line.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Turn the bag right side out.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

You could be done at this step…

But I thought my zipper pulls needed some more umph. The bag is so large, and the pulls are so tiny.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

 

Fold the ribbons in half and push the fold through the zipper pull hole.

Push the ribbon ends through the loop.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

 

Pull the ribbon ends.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

Insulated Grocery Tote. Ready for a bike-ride picnic or a trip out to the family lunch on the weekend.

ReannaLily Designs | Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial | by Jen Esrkidge

 

Updated to add: I would not wash this bag in the washing machine. Spot wash the outside with a wash cloth and use a cleaning wipe for the interior.


 

Sign up to receive this blog’s feed in your email so you won’t miss any updates. Sign up here:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

image_pdfimage_print

    22 Comments

  1. Wow, looks great! I will have to bookmark this to make later. I have just the right fabric for it, too. Thanks for the tutorial.

    LadySchep

    March 3, 2015

  2. This is really clever. Thank you for sharing!

    Karen T

    March 3, 2015

  3. This is great just what I need to make. Thanks for the great step by step tutorial.

    Carmilyn L

    March 17, 2015

  4. Really cute but don’t think I would class this as “easy”

    Leslie

    March 19, 2015

  5. thanks for sharing I would never had thought of car reflectors, I make shopping bags as part of my upholstery business.
    Thanks again

    Penelope

    March 19, 2015

  6. I can’t wait to make this great bag. I live in a Retirement Village and many people walk to the shops. it will be great to keep food cool until you get home.

    Jenny

    March 19, 2015

    • Hi, I too live in an “55 & over” complex. I think this could be useful for those that take shuttle bus or walking. What do you personally rate it as far as easy to difficulty? About how long did it take you to make? Are you selling any? I have never sold any craft, but just wondering what you are doing. I might try selling it.

      Thank you…

      Linda

      March 24, 2015

  7. You did a fabulous job with the photos and instructions, and it came at the perfect time for me. I only have one questions. Can these car reflectors go in the washing machine? I’ve just read recent articles about how shopping bags should be washed all the time so bacteria doesn’t spread, and I’m wondering if I could machine wash a grocery tote made with a car reflector as insulation or if I should try to find a washable fabric to use as an alternative insulator. Either way, thank you very much. I love what you did and am going to make a few totes no matter what. Please keep up the great work!

    Pat

    March 19, 2015

    • I carry an insulated bag in my auto all the time. I live quite a distance from the store. I wipe the inside of mine out with a rag dampened with bleach and water.

      Dane

      March 21, 2015

  8. I really this ideia only I’m going to make a pizza carry out bag .thank you. I have been thinking about this for a while .thanks I love it

    MaryLou

    March 20, 2015

    • I wouldn’t recommend this for the washer. I would spot wash the outside and use a cleaning wipe on the inside.

      Jen Eskridge

      March 20, 2015

  9. Love this bag; especially love the car reflector…they are so inexpensive compared to insulated fabrics….wiping the inside with the “Clorox clean cloths should handle any bacteria……live on an island in the summer and this will be great for getting groceries across without any melting!

    Linda

    March 23, 2015

  10. Thanks so much for a great tutorial! This is perfect to take in the car to carry snacks and juices/waters for the kiddos! I can’t wait to make one…

    Jenny C

    March 26, 2015

  11. Thanks for the tutorial. Never thought of using the car reflectors. Have this project on my to do list.

    Beverly S

    March 30, 2015

  12. Thank you! I have a floppy car shade that I wanted to do just this with. And possibly use it to make an insulated long strap bag for my giant water bottle.

    QUILTER4CHARITY

    April 3, 2015

  13. Thank you for this tutorial. I love the thought of using car reflectors for the insulation inside a tote. I was wondering what to use as my brother wanted me to make a tote that would hold cans of cold drinks. Although, I think I would need something stronger for handles. I was thinking maybe using a 2″ webbing for the handles because the weight of the cans of pop etc. would be too heavy for the other handle that you mention in your tutorial. Again thank you so much for this tutorial….you did a great job with the pics etc.

    Margie Herold

    April 16, 2015

  14. Wow! What a great tutorial. I put this on my list to make!

    ladybugg111

    April 17, 2015

  15. what size needle did you use and what kind of thread? This is a great project and thanks for the tutorial.

    carol tyrka

    April 21, 2015

    • Thanks! I used a size 14 standard needle and I’m pretty sure I used Coats and Clark “all purpose” regular thread.

      Jen Eskridge

      April 21, 2015

      • I just tried using a car reflector in a sewing project and had trouble with the stitching perforating the car reflector. Did you have trouble with this also? How did you make yours with out the reflector tearing along the stitching line? Any tips would be helpful…..thank you.

        angel777th@roadrunner.com

        June 14, 2015

  16. I’ve never put a zipper in anything because for some reason they scare me. I guess I need to get over my fear & just do it. This is a really great bag & it seemed pretty easy thanks for the tutorial. 🙂

    Katforever18

    April 26, 2015

  17. I love this bag and can’t wait to put one together!!!! Thanks for the pictures and directions.

    betty minkel

    June 9, 2015

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. CraftCrave | DigiFree | CraftCrave - […] Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial – 1 freebie(s)? […]
  2. Sew an Insulated Grocery Bag | PatternPile.com - sew, quilt, knit and crochet fun gifts! - […] See How to Sew Insulated Grocery Totes the Easy Way […]

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  Receive ReannaLily Designs Blog in your email so you won't miss any updates. Sign up here:
Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner
468 ad
Google+