As I’ve mentioned before, here in Wales, we have had to pay for plastic shopping bags for a few years now. While I might agree with the theory, I hate paying for them, so we have got into the habit of taking our own bags out shopping.

Mr HC and Son have always used our black, fold-up, ‘Roy Cropper’ bag, as we call it. Unfortunately, as illustrated in the photograph below, this trusty bag recently ripped, so I decided I would make them a more sturdy replacement.

Our old ripped shopping tote bag | Hellie's Corner

Ripped ‘Roy Cropper’ Bag

I headed off to my local fabric warehouse and immediately spotted two pieces of Big Bang Theory material. Mr HC and Son watch the show all the time, so I just had to buy them. One of the pieces, was perfect for the new shopping bag. I’m still deciding what to make with the other piece.

The material is a light-weight cotton, so to ensure the bag would be strong enough, I used a slightly heavier weight plain cotton for the lining.

'The Big Bang Theory' hand-sewn shopping tote bag tutorial. | Hellie's CornerWhat I needed:

2 pieces of cotton fabric for the outer bag, each 50cm x 50cm (20 x 20 in)

2 pieces of slightly heavier weight cotton fabric for the lining, each 50cm X 50cm (20 x 20 in)

2 strips of fabric 60cm x 10cm (23 1/2 x 4 in) for the handles (cut these longer if you want a bag with longer handles)

Sewing thread

A knitting needle, or similar long stick

All seems are 1.5cm (5/8 in)

Here is how I made the bag:

Cut out the material using the measurements above.

Lay the two outer pieces on top of each other and cut a 10cm (4 in) square out of the bottom two corners of each piece of material – this gives the bag a box base. Do the same with the lining material.

With the right side (i.e. the side you want showing), of the lining material facing, sew down each side and along the bottom. Do the same with the outer material. I then overlocked all the seams, using a zigzag stitch, to prevent the material from fraying.

'Big bang theory' hand-sewn bag - tutorial pattern measurements | Hellie's Corner

To make the box bottom, take the lining material and with right side facing, bring the sides marked A and B together, pin and sew the seam and then overlock in a zig-zag stitch (see image below). Repeat this for the other side of the lining and for both sides of the outer.

The Boy's 'Big Bang Theory Bag' shopping tote bag tutorial - how to sew the box bottom| Hellie's CornerYou now have two bags, with the outer the right way around and the lining inside out. Place the lining inside the outer. Turn in the top edge of both bags by 1.5cm (5/8 in), pin in place and then sew neatly, close to the top edge, to join the two bags together.

The Boy's 'Big Bang Theory Bag' shopping tote tutorial | Hellie's CornerTake one of the handle strips, fold it in half with the right sides facing inward and sew around one of the shorter sides and then down the longer side, leaving one of  the shorter sides open. Repeat this for the other strap.

The Boy's Big bang theory bag - shopping tote tutorial, making the straps | Hellie's CornerUsing the knitting needle, push the strips inside out, so that the material is the right way around.

The Boy's 'Big Bang Theory' bag - shopping tote tutorial, turning the strap the right way around.  | Hellie's CornerLine the straps up evenly into the position you want them in, pin and sew in place. I went over the stitching twice, to ensure a strong hold.

The Boy's Big Bang Theory shopping tote bag - tutorial, the finished bag Bazinga!  | Hellie's CornerBAZINGA! The bag is now ready to use… Happy shopping boys! 😀