Farmer’s Market Bag

Wahoo!  It’s that time again for Farmer’s Market!

Farmer's Market Bag

Farmer’s Market in Santa Rosa

Our favorite is held every Thursday night during the spring, summer and into the fall.  The main street downtown is closed for four or five blocks, so that there is pedestrian traffic only.  There is usually a stage where bands take their turn entertaining everyone.  Vendors line the sidewalks and most of the permanent stores and restaurants extend their hours on Thursday nights.

The beautiful bag that Donna made.

The beautiful bag that Donna made.

It’s truly a festive occasion with oodles of heirloom fruits, organic vegetables, food, flowers, potted plants, food, entertainment, handmade clothing, crafts and……… did I mention food?  My daughter-in-law’s mother, Donna, made me a beautiful cloth bag to take with me to the market.  Isn’t it beautiful!  She used french seams so that there are no raw edges!

When hubby and I go to the Farmer’s Market, we spend hours there browsing and sampling and buying.  If you are like me, by the time you are halfway done, your arms are tired of carrying your purse and your purchases.  If you want to stop for dinner at one of those yummy restaurants, you might worry that your lettuce is getting too warm while the hours pass by!  I’ve been thinking about this all winter, and I came up with a plan to make a Farmer’s Market Bag – A bag that holds all my necessities (no purse needed), along with my purchases, and keeps everything cold to boot!

Using some of the design elements of Donna’s bag, I decided to make another one and incorporate all of the needed elements for my Farmer’s Market Bag!.

  • Use washable fabric Use washable fabric I had some fabric scraps to make the bag. I bought an inexpensive flannel backed vinyl tablecloth.
  • The first step The first step Zigzag the edge, then turn down about 1/2 inch and sew flat.
  • Sew long sides together Sew long sides together Sew the long sides together, forming a 3 sided pocket, then zigzag the raw edges. I ironed the edges flat and sewed each edge down, to form a stiffer and more stable side.
  • Make the bottom corners Make the bottom corners Place the bottom of the bag with the seam in the middle, forming a triangle. Measure a point that is about 5 or 6 inches wide from each side of the triangle. Sew a seam across this line
  • Finish the bottom corners Finish the bottom corners Sew the triangle piece down on the inside of the bag. This is what the bottom of the bag looks like on the outside.
  • Almost done! Almost done! Line up seams and corners. Fold in the vinyl liner and pin about 1/4 inch from the top of the cloth bag

I started out with a piece of fabric about 40″ x 18″, and another piece of vinyl tablecloth cut to the same size.  I first zigzagged the short sides then turned them under about an inch and sewed this down.  Then I sewed the long sides together, to form a pocket about 38″ x 17″. Next, to make a rectangle bottom, fold the bottom corner to form a cone shape (see illustration) and sew a seam 5 or 6 inches wide.  Then take the triangle, fold it to the inside of the bag and secure with zigzag stitches.  The basic bag is now done.  Do the exact same thing with your vinyl tablecloth, except the triangle for the bottom is on the outside. See illustrations above.

Now, place the vinyl tablecloth inside the cloth bag so that the vinyl is facing inward, line up the seams and corners, and fold down the vinyl tablecloth top edge so that it fits just 1/4 to 1/2 inch below the edge of the cloth bag and pin in place.  I found this easiest to do with a box almost the same size as the bag inside.  Now set this aside while you make the strap.

Farmer's Market Bag

Making the strap/pockets

The fabric for the strap was cut 68″ long and about 12 inches wide.  I sewed the length of the strip, turned it inside out, centered the seam then ironed it flat.  I then sewed a seam 1/2″ from the center seam on both sides, which am hoping will give the strap some stability and strength.

Now it’s time for the magic!  Pin the bottom of the strap to the bottom of the side of the bag (see illustration below).  Decide where you want your pockets and make sure that you leave a large enough opening to get your hand into!  I left one opening on each side about 5 inches wide.  Sew the strap onto the bag about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the edge of the strap, leaving the pocket opening, and make sure you back tack both on the bottom and top of the opening.

Farmer's Market Bag

Matching side seams, pin the strap from the bottom all the way up the side of the bag.

Because of the way the fabric tries to bunch up, I found it easiest to start sewing the seam at the center top of the strap, down each side to the bottom of the bag.  When you sew the opposite side of the strap you make one continuous seam without any openings for pockets.  You now have pockets to store your keys, cell phone, change purse, etc., but the magic is that inside the bag you now have a pocket that will hold frozen water bottles or one of those reuseable ice substitute packs – which helps to keep your produce cool!   Cool!

Farmer's Market Bag

Sewing the flap together leaving raw edge open.

The final step is to sew on a flap to cover the top.  I cut a piece of fabric 1 inch wider than the top of one top side of the bag, in my case 15″, and about 20″ long.  I folded this right sides together, sewed a seam up either side of the flap so I had a 3 sided pocket that was 14″ x 10″.  Insert the raw edge of the flap between the top edge of the bag and liner and sew a seam about 1/4 inch down.  It’s done!  You can add a button or snap to keep the flap down if you prefer.

Farmer's Market Bag

Insert the flap between the cloth bag and the vinyl liner and sew all thicknesses together.

And the best part?  Because the bag is lined with the vinyl, the inside wipes clean with a damp cloth!

Now I have two bags.  My hubby can carry one and I will carry the other!   The one Donna made will be perfect for dry goods, handmade items and brochures/books.  The other will hold my keys, money, cell phone and ID (just in case someone is giving wine or beer samples) in the pockets and will also keep my produce cool until we get it home.  🙂

Farmer's Market Bag

One of the side pockets that can hold either a cell phone, keys, change purse, etc.

Farmer’s Market – here we come!

Farmer's Market Bag

These Freezer Paks fit right into the pocket between the vinyl and the cloth.

Do you like to attend Farmer’s Markets?  Or, perhaps, are you a vendor at one?  Let me know what you think of this bag.  If I get favorable comments, I might just add it to my Etsy Store!

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48 thoughts on “Farmer’s Market Bag

    • Aren’t farmer’s markets great! And every one we have visited has been different: some are heavy on the produce, others have more handmade items, yet others are more like food fairs! We love them all!

  1. I love this little bag! A lot of my reusable bags from the store have gotten worn down and have holes in the bottom. I’d love to try making my own. Thanks for the tute! Visiting from Friendship Friday 🙂

    • Thank you, Savannah! It turned out pretty good, though I already know how I will make the next one just a tad bit better – bigger pockets! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I love visiting farmer’s markets. I’ve been to some really nice ones and I wish the one in my home town was better organized. Your bag is perfect for carrying all your goodies, I love it!

    • Yes, an organized market is always better. Our favorite market is out of town, though not far away, and is extremely organized. All the food vendors and booths are on side streets and most of the crafts are located halfway down the street. And then at the very end is the stage where there is always a band or dance group performing. The one in our town is fairly small, on Saturday mornings only (we are usually either out of town or too busy to attend), and really only has fresh produce. I like a market where you can buy organic honey, fresh herbs, organic rice, homemade baked goods, etc. Thanks for your compliment of the bag!

    • It was fun to make, but the next one will have pockets just a bit larger. Wouldn’t it be fun, going from town to town visiting farmer’s markets, taking pictures, then writing a beautiful book about it! That’s a dream of mine, travelling to fun places and then getting paid for it! Thanks for reading, Jodee!

  3. Hello Vickie,

    the bag is great. I also have a sewing machine, but I’m still not good at it.
    Maybe I will at some point so sew a bag.

    Happy Easter wishes you


    • Hello Angi – good to hear from you! I am not very good at sewing either, but I can sew a straight line. I am better making my own ideas than following a pattern, so that is what I do! 🙂
      I hope you and Uwe have a wonderful Easter.

  4. What a cute bag! I love the farmer’s market. My grandmother is heavily involved in the one from our hometown. She sells cakes, pies, handmade quilts, & canned goods. It’s all she talks about for half the year! :o)

    • How great for your grandma! My sister used to sell little girl’s ballerina tutus at a farmer’s market, and also hand stamped and embellished greeting cards. The money she made went to decorating her house. Thank your grandmother for me because I don’t think a farmer’s market is worth it’s salt unless it has some home baked goodies!

    • Thank you, Debbie! I am glad you like the bag! It really is quite functional and solves several problems. Have a wonderful Easter!

    • Yes, and dirty it will be! One of my favorite things to buy at our farmer’s market are root vegetables – beets, carrots, etc., and they usually still have a bit of dirt clinging to them. I don’t mind, of course, because the produce is fresh! Thanks for stopping by today!

    • The pockets really do come in handy. Of course, you could sew pockets into just about any cloth bag and do the same thing! I just wanted to do the whole thing, with the vinyl liner, so I could get one big enough. Thank you for your very kind comment, Julie!

  5. Such a cute bag! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams starts on Fridays 😀 Hope to see you there!

    • Thank you for the invite, Shanice! I would love to come to your link party on Friday! I am glad you like the bag – thanks for the compliment!

  6. OK I really love this bag, and will be making one for myself, as I can see it being very, very, very useful.
    I love farmers markets, and we have one every Monday & Thursday morning, and another one every Friday night, plus our Downtown core is opening another one on Friday nights with a band stand. There is also a large Farmers Market on Saturdays one town over, and a small one on Saturdays one town over (in the other direction).
    Can’t wait to make this bag and start using it. 🙂
    Thanks for the great idea and tutorial.

    • Wow – sounds like you have a lot of farmer’s markets in your area – lucky you! Have fun making the bag. However, as I stated before, I think the pockets could be a bit bigger! Thanks for stopping by, Ricki!

  7. This is a great idea! You could make a smaller version for a lunch bag too! Thank you for sharing at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!


    • These were just some scraps I had from previous projects and they went together fairly well! Lucky me! Thank you for reading my blog and for your kind comment, Karee!

    • Haha – I know! We go to farmer’s market for FRESH greens and wilted greens are, well, icky. That is, of course, unless you wilt them on purpose in a pan with some bacon! 😉 Mmmmmm… bacon…