Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pattern testing for Eco Friendly Shopping Bags

I am horrified to admit that I wrote this post in early October but am now just publishing it!  I was lucky enough to be selected to be a pattern tester for the lovely Jill (she's a Brit living in Australia who writes the awesome blog Creating My Way to Success) when she was in the process of writing her E-book on Eco Friendly Shopping Bags.  More accurately, I was a PATTERNS tester, because this bag actually contains a few other bags inside it as well!  

The bag is made from a lot of upcycled materials, including virtually all of a pair of adult jeans.  I really love using old jeans!  In addition to the upcycling aspect, there are also great features including an internal zipper pocket . . .

. . . and two adorable internal patch pockets using the back pockets of the jeans.

On the outside, there is a hidden zipper pocket too!  I love the flap covering the zipper because it makes the outside of the bag look more polished than an exposed zipper would.  (I took the next two pics before I had added the handles for some reason.)

But wait!  What is that inside that hidden pocket?

It's a pair of reusable mesh produce bags!  Jill's original tutorial for these bags used upcycled machine lace curtains, which looked really cool.  I used a type of tulle instead (because I already had it in my stash) and they turned out pretty fun if I do say so myself.

As if that wasn't enough, there is also a nifty little secret compartment in the bottom of the bag that you access by unzipping a hidden zipper at the side.

Inside is a nice little bag shaped like this.  Well, this is it empty, anyway.

The bag is designed to be filled, as shown below.

But what's inside?  It's a whole bunch (eight, to be exact) of reusable grocery sacks!

I made these from some old sheets (Erin gave my Sonia's old sheets after she got new ones!).  Here's a shot of one up close (which unfortunately does not demonstrate that the bottom of the bag is boxed out so it can sit flat when filled with groceries).

Can you believe all of this fits inside that bag, plus room for all of your normal purse items?

I have been a big fan of Jill's tutorials for a long time now, and I was very impressed with the ingenuity and design of this bag.  She did such a terrific job!  You can buy her E-book from her blog, where you can also find about a zillion other fantastic tutorials for all sorts of neat things.  Thank you for the opportunity to be a tester, Jill, and I hope you sell lots of the E-books!


  1. Thanks so much for being an awesome pattern tester Niki. Your comments were so helpful and I love how your bags turned out!. Thanks so much for the great review too!

  2. Niki, Love the way your bag turned out. It was fun to test for Jill. I still haven't gotten around to making all the extra bags for mine.

  3. Nikki your bag is stunning I love that stripy fabric is so bright !!!!