Jane Market Bag

comments: 160


In between all the gardening, and the hay hauling, and the just generally sitting around waiting for something to grow, I've been sewing a bit. I was watching Marple a couple of weeks ago and I noticed that Jane is almost always carrying some sort of calico bag — which probably contains her knitting, not groceries. But it gave me an idea for a bag I'd been wanting to make for quite a while, a giant grocery tote to replace those hideously fugly ones they sell at all the stores now. You know the ones I mean? Those black ones, made of what feels like the same material they make Handi-Wipes out of (don't even know if they still make those, but my mother used to use them and I still remember that weird, webby fabric)? Anyway, I can't stand those bags, as practical as they are, but I do like that big, boxy shape — like a regular paper grocery bag. So I made this one, out of calico. I've been carrying it around all week, testing it out, and I love it. I'll put together a pattern this week in case you want to make one, too. It's easy, and a great stash-buster!

Speaking of stashes, when we got new carpet, a giant shelf that was in the bedroom came down to live in my studio. I moved all of my fabric to it, but it's a total mess. I'm trying to use up as much of the stash as possible so I don't have to refold and refuss with trying to stack and color-code it all. I'm finally just accepting that the whole stash-fabric-refolding thing will probably need to be redone once a year. It always seems to be exploding off the shelves, possibly because I am such a slob about putting it away nicely in the first place. But only possibly. I think it's really messing itself up and hurling big piles of itself to the floor on purpose, just to make me crazy. Because stashes have nothing better to do. Everyone knows this.

***The pattern is available HERE!


The bag is fantastic! I just bit the bullet and did the big refold and as much as I didn't want to do it, I swear I sigh a happy sigh everytime I look at the nicely folded stacks.

oh swoon Alicia!!!!! your bag rocks, love it!

Just beautiful!! Wow!

LOVE LOVE LOVE it! i've been looking for "the next project" and this is not only a lovely bag, but totally needed in my life....I can't wait for the pattern....THANKS! Jamie

Oh, yes! It's a well-known fact! And those fabrics multiply when you're not looking too!
Love your bag, and I would really appreciate a pattern - my stash needs busting ;-)

Adore the bag Alicia....the pattern would be fab as I hate those papery-bags!! :: AngieP ::

Joy Flora says: April 30, 2009 at 03:20 PM

Can't wait for your pattern! Your bag really rocks- just love the color and pattern combo- too perfect!

I love this bag! It is so refreshing! I am definitely interested in procuring a pattern. Keep us posted.

Cute bag! I LOVE tote bags. I use them all the time in the summer to carry around books, or beach towels...just about everything!

That is just the cutest darn bag EeVvEeRr! And I would certainly be interested in a pattern that would be within reach of my newbie-ish sewing skills!

Is that a POCKET in the middle front panel? Love! Would you mind sharing where you found that gorgeous floral fabric??

Love, love, love the bag! I'm most interested in the pattern! Thanks for the great idea!

ah, so wonderful! I feel the same way about those bags - love the dimensions, HATE that fabric! (plus, it doesn't last long, tears up after a few months and then where are you? Putting your "green" bag in a landfill?) I've been meaning to do this for months, just haven't had the time - and won't till late June.

And I agree about stashes. I think other things do this as well. Troublemakers.

okay, I know I say it all the time, Alicia, but thank you, for being here and sharing your life. I've had such a bad afternoon. After running under stress for so long, I get the news that my reward is another trial, an exam in the form of something I utterly hate to do (that literally makes my skin creep). Sigh. Some days I think I'll just never cut the mustard; it's hard to stay motivated when the horizon seems dark, you know?

And here you are, with this comforting, sweet place, a little light in my landscape right now. You - and red wine, har - are keeping me going, lady. Thank you.

GORGEOUS!! I love this bag- I would totally learn to sew so I could make this.

i was looking all over tonight trying to find a cute bag for a gift. Yours is perfect! Hmm.... Not sure I could give it away though! I agree about the ugly bags we get at the store! Here's to homemade. Can't wait for the pattern.
Thank you!

You are so talented. Love the bag and the fabric it perfect.

Lovely bag! I would love to get a pattern for it. You can never have too many totes or bags!

How beautiful,can't wait to see the pattern:)

What a lovely bag! Much better than the $1 supermarket versions. Can't wait for a pattern!

Alicia, your new bag looks fabulous!

And thank you for confirming my suspicions about stashes. I thought it was only mine playing up like that.

Your garden looks great! I'm a bit jealous of your veggie patch. I just can't seem to get mine going! Any special resource you used?


This would be a great rainy weekend project! :)
Hope all is well -

karen l says: May 01, 2009 at 10:02 AM

oh yes, my fabrics jump around and play games when I turn the lights off. I know that's how the black polka dots I've been looking for ended up mixed in with the interfacing. Love the new bag - can't wait for a tute!!

Please, please, please can't you sell these lovely things for us non-sewers??

Fantastic! You are an amazing creating goddess.

oh! that yellow & grey dot fabric is one of my favorites! you are sure to be the best bagged shopper at the grocery store:) super cute!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com