A few weeks ago, my mom had two huge rice bags that she kept for me, "in case I could do something with them." I love that people start to reserve items for me, especially ones that have come in handy! This was my first attempt to work with the rice bag material, and it worked out pretty well. This is the perfect tote material because it is super light AND incredibly durable!
I have already worked with vinyl, leather, and heavy home decor fabrics, but I was expecting this to be tougher. I could not have been more wrong! It was easy, light, and did not stick to my machine like the vinyl. Yay!
Originally, I was just going to post a picture of my finished tote bag, but since I took a couple of pictures while I was sewing, here's a tutorial instead!
What You Will Need
Heavy duty webbing, for handles (length depends on desired finished length)
Heavy duty thread
1. Cut the opening of the bag evenly across the top to your desired height.
- Note: My bag is pretty short, but only because my mom had hacked off the top half before giving it to me. You can choose to keep yours intact, if you wish. My next one is going to be nice, tall, and intact!
2. Turn the bag inside out.
3. Optional: I wanted the bag to have some depth, so I pinched the bottom of the bag and sewed across, like in the picture below. Repeat for both sides. This way, even when the bag is empty, it can stay standing upright. Otherwise, it will lay completely flat, like the bag above on the left.
4. Hem the top of the bag by folding over twice and sewing across.
5. Next, figure out the length of your desired straps by playing around with the webbing length and pinning to your bag, if necessary.
6. To prevent fraying, I used a narrow zig-zag stitch over the ends of the webbing. Please excuse the blurry picture!
7. Pin the straps in place and adjust the length if needed.
8. Sew in place as shown below, in a box and X formation.
That's it! Enjoy your new tote bag!
To prove how sturdy the bag is, I loaded it up with lots of sewing supplies (plus a paper pattern) so you can see how well it hangs with a heavy load. Not bad!
Anyways, I hope you enjoy making your own. I have fun plans for the next one since it is such a long awkward shape.