If you are looking for a last minute present, or would like to jazz up some bottles you are giving, why not make one of these useful bottle carriers, which will go on to be used for carrying bottles back from the shops for years to come.
I have made mine from water resistant fabric to give a longer life, but it could equally be made from any heavy canvas fabric. This bag took half a metre of fabric, 1.8 metres of bag strapping and 2.5 metres of bias binding. The advantage of using water resistant fabric is that it does not fray, so I did not have to neaten any edges, the disadvantage is that I did not want any extra pin holes so had to be very careful where I put my pins.
First I cut out my pieces – 2 of 26cm wide by 32cm high for the front and back, 1 of 16cm wide by 90cm long for the gusset and 2 of 18cm wide by 20cm high plus 1 of 21cm wide by 20cm high. These last 3 pieces form the inside of the bag which keeps the 6 bottles separate.
The first stage is to turn over 1.5cm on the top edge of the front and back, and both ends of the long gusset piece, and sew to form a simple hem. Now move on to making the inside pieces of your bag.
Cut and stitch on bias binding on the top edge of all 3 inside pieces. These inside pieces then need to be ironed to form creases as shown – at the centre of the two smaller pieces and to divide the wider piece roughly into thirds, allowing a small seam allowance on the two ends. With the water resistant fabric you will need to use a cloth when ironing to avoid melting the water resistant coating onto your iron!
Sew the inside pieces together at the folds you have ironed to that you make this shape. You should now have 6 flaps that can be sewn onto your bag. You are now ready to attach the handles and the inside to the main bag pieces.
Cut the bag strapping into two pieces and pin the first one to one side of the bag AT THE SAME TIME pinning through the edges of the first two flaps of the bag inside. The flap will be attached to the front when you sew through the inner edge of your bag handle. Be careful when you sew to keep all the other flaps out of the way, and sew all the way up both edges of the bag strapping. Repeat for the second side of the bag with the two back flaps of the bag inside. This should then leave the two edge flaps ready to attach to the gusset. Pin each flap to the middle of one side of the gusset and sew. You now have all the pieces attached together and all that is left is to sew the edges with the bias binding to finish the bag.
Pin the binding round, attaching the gusset to the front and back of the bag. You will need to make a small snip in the gusset at the corners to help this work. Sew the bias binding on, making sure you have trapped both sides of the binding, especially at the corners. I did two rows of stitching to make sure and it was a bit fiddly! My bag is finished and I have a hand made present to fill with lovely fruit juices from the local farm shop.