Fold and Go Market Bag

Fold and Go Market Bag - The RIbbon Retreat BlogHi Ribbon Retreat friends! My name is Michaela and I blog over at Covered in Mod Podge. I’m excited to be apart of this month’s series on bags!

I’m a big fan of reusable bags for grocery shopping. They hold a ton and don’t break on me like plastic and paper tend to. But they’re also big, clumsy, and annoying to carry around. Therefore, I don’t tend to take them with me when I’m running smaller errands.

That’s where this little bag comes in. It’s lightweight and folds up to fit easily into your already too full purse {or diaper bag}. It’s also roomy enough to hold a normal haul from the drug store and it’s even great for clothes shopping!

What you’ll need:
1/2 yd of main fabric {I used Floral Bloom in Aqua from Happy Go Lucky}
Fat Quarter of lining fabric {I used Jump in Multi from Happy Go Lucky}
Fat Quarter of pocket fabric {I used Jump in Lime from Happy Go Lucky}
6 inches of elastic cording
1 coordinating button {I used 1/2 inch covered button kit}
Thread {I used Pearl}
Sewing machine, rotary cutter, etc.

Start by cutting out and assembling your pattern. You’ll match up A to A, B to B, etc. You’ll create a pattern for the main bag and the lining.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogCut out two of the main bag and two of the lining on the fold. Be sure you watch out for directional patterns on your fabric. Also, cut out an 8.75 inch by 5.5 inch square for your pocket.

Let’s start by assembling your pocket. Finish the top of your pocket by folding the edge down 1/4 inch {wrong sides together} and pressing. Then fold down again 1/4 inch, press, and pin. Sew close to the edge of the fold.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogPress the rest of the three sides in 1/4 inch {wrong sides together}.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogTie a knot in your elastic cord, making a small loop.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogNow for pocket placement. Use the corner of the cut out notch on the bottom, left side of the bag as your measuring start point. Measure up 2.5 inches and in 4 inches from that corner. Pin well. Insert the elastic cord loop at the middle of the right side of your rectangle. Sew the three sides of your pocket to the bag, leaving the top open. Sew close to the edge of the pocket. Be careful and go slow when sewing over the cord. It’s a lot for your machine to take!

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogFinish the bottom of your lining by folding up 1/4 inch, pressing, folding up another 1/4 inch and sewing close to the edge.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogPlace one of your linings on top of one of the main bag pieces, right sides together and pin. Sew along the outside of the handle and the mouth of the bag {the curved parts}. Do not sew the top of the straps {the straight parts}. Repeat with the second bag and lining pieces.

Either clip the curves close to the seam allowance {careful not to clip the seam itself} or use pinking shears to trim seam allowance. Don’t skip this step. It will really help the curve lay nicely.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogFlip one of your two bag pieces right side out. Press well.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogInsert the handles of the right side out bag into the handles of the inside out bag. It can take some fussing to get them shoved in there and fitting nicely.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogLine up the tops of the handles and pin.

Sew the handles, going over them two or three times. This will reinforce the seam and give your bag added strength to take on heavy loads.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogNow, pull your inside out bag right side out. Press well. Top stitch along the outsides of the handles and the inside circle.

Now it’s time to finish the sides and the bottom of your bag. You’ll use french seams for added strength and gussets to make your bag nice and roomy.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogStart by lining up the edges and bottom of your bag, wrong sides touching. Pin along the sides and bottom, leaving the cut out squares be.

Sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance down the sides and across the bottom of the bag. Do not sew along the squares.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogTurn bag inside out. Press side and bottom seams well. Sew along these seams, using a presser foot seam allowance.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogNow its time to tackle the gussets. You’ll be making these into french seams as well. Pull the two sides of the fabric apart and then line up the side seams. This will leave you with the bottom seams meeting in the middle of the sides you just lined up. Pin. Clear as mud? Good! Check out the picture for some clarification.

Sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Carefully clip corners. Turn bag inside out. Press seams well. Sew, using a presser foot seam allowance.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogIf using a covered button, follow the instructions on your kit. Then, sew button onto the main fabric, just to the left of your pocket.

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogTa-da! You now have a cute little market bag to fold up and throw in your bag.

Wondering just how to fold up your bag? Here’s a visual!

Fold and Go Market Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Thanks Ribbon Retreat for having me over today!

Thank you Michaela! What a terrific little bag. This bag is such a great, hassle free, bag that will really come in handy. I love how it is reusable and ready to go whenever you need it.
Thank you again Michaela, for sharing your incredible talent and fun, practical bag! For more fun tutorials and yummy recipes, visit Michaela at Covered in Mod Podge.

Do you want to make a reusable and fold up bag just like this one? You can grab all of the supplies you need right here at The Ribbon Retreat. We have a FABulous selection of, top of the line, fabric to make a bag just like this one, or any of our other awesome bags. We have so many fun and FABulous bags for you to choose from. Some are big and beautiful and some are sassy and small. Whatever your taste for bags may be…we have one just for you!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting during our Bag Lady Series! Did you enter for your chance to win our amazing prize? We are giving away a most incredible fabric bundle from Kati Cupcake and a $50.00 gift certificate. You can find our giveaway here. We are also having a super fun bag link party so while you are visiting our giveaway page…link up those bags for all of us to see what you have made!

See you tomorrow for another amazing bag project!

Happy Creating & Happy Bag Ladies!
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  1. Posted February 2, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    This looks like a VERY useful bag! The only trouble is I know I’d forget to take it with me when I went shopping!

    • Posted February 3, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Hi Clare! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment! Hehe! Your comment made me smile. I love that I am not the only one who would forget to actually take it along. This bag is awesome and so great for some many other things as well. Thank you so much Clare! Have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

  2. eileensideways
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    love your fabric choices. very clear instructions.

    • Posted February 10, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Hi there! Thank you so so much for your comment! This little Market Bag is so much fun and a great everyday bag too. Thank you again and have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

  3. Norwegianmittens
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Cute bag! Just what I am looking for to make as gifts. Can you tell me what the finished dimensions are? I need to enlarge my pattern pieces that I downloaded as they printed at 69%.

    Thanks again!

  4. Tricia Enell
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I can download but cannt open file. Could you pls email pattern? I would love to try this patten. Thanks, Tricia

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted May 20, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Hi Tricia! Thank you for your comment and question. I just emailed you! Hope it goes through for you! Have a great day! Michelle 🙂

  5. Susi Faber
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Love love love your tote and would surely use it. I copied off the pattern but did not get the pattern pieces? What did I do wrong? Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated!


    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted July 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Hi Susi! Thank you so much! Isn’t this such a fun bag? I just went to the pattern and was able to see all of the pattern pieces. You probably will have to print off every one individually however after you click on them. It is a zip file, so it may make you open each pattern piece one at a time. I hope this helps! Thank you so much and good luck! Michelle 🙂

  6. Kathleen
    Posted August 15, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the bag pattern….not sure I understood the bottom of the bag gets the French gusset ?? I couldn’t top sew it after sewing sides…..what did I do wrong?

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Hi Kathleen! Thank you so much for your question. I am sorry about your confusion. I asked one of my amazing Contributors who is a bag genius help me answer your question. She says, “Yes the bottom gusset is sewn with a french seam. The gusset is created by pulling out the square cut outs to create a line. This will cause the side seams to line up with the bottom seam. (This should all be done with the right side of the bag facing out) make sure when you match up the seams you have them go in opposite directions to help reduce the bulk. Sew along this line. Then turn the bag wrong side out, push out the seam and press, then sew along the seam again, with a slightly wider seam allowance.” I hope this helps! Thank you again and good luck! Have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

  7. Lisa
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I just made four bags with this pattern for my sister’s birthday present. I love them! Your instructions are so clear and the bags turned out wonderfully! The only thing I changed was making them a little wider, to take up the entire amount of fabric I had. Thank you so much for your work – this was exactly what I was looking for!

  8. Sandi Picka
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I’d love to try this bag but it’s not loading the printable version. My browser just keeps spinning. Any chance you could email it to me? I’d really appreciate it!

    • Lanae Hale
      Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sandi! We’d love to send you the pattern! Could you please send an e-mail to and we’ll send it over right away. Thanks!! 🙂

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