You may know that I truly enjoy a good sewing project if it has some (or all) of these features:

  • it has to be practical, something I (or the final user) will use
  • it must be frugal, using fabric I already have in hand (ask hubby if I have enough…) or better refashion a pre-loved object
  • it has to be cute
  • additional points are given if it’s well finished inside and outside, so it can last (part of my sewing mo-jo comes from me being tired of all those store-bought garments and accessories that get unstitched after a few uses…)
  • can we add… FREE?

Now, this time Lisa has satisfied all of my requests, with her #carryeverywhereshoppingbag which, if you’re not a hashtag kind of reader, is formerly called the

Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag

Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag testers editions

Let’s see it in detail.

***Please excuse me for the lack of details photos… I originally planned to take some good ones on Saturday… but I had temperature… again… and yesterday we wake up under a white snowy blanket… again! Can’t wait for spring :D***

Refashion umbrellas

First of all, instructions (which are given in both italian and english – I tested the italian version!) are given for repurposing umbrellas. She gives plenty of suggestions about it, on Cucicucicoo, on how to remove and wash umbrella’s fabric, to be done before you sew.

If you have an eco-soul like me, you will double-appreciate that you’re cleaning the world from unwanted/trashed/broken/no-more-loved umbrellas and you’re not using those horrible use-and-trash plastic bags, adding not-needed trash to our still-awesome worldPacific Vortex Anyone?

I had a few broken umbrellas, lying around, waiting to be recycled. I deconstructed them all, throwing away the broken frames (am I the only one who buy cheap umbrellas that break after a few uses? I actually use a waterproof hat when it’s not pouring, so umbrellas stay in my car for months, before they actually get used!) and loading my washing machine.

Now I have a good stash of umbrella’s fabric too, for hubby’s joy 😉 – I may try the waterproof picnic blanket too

If you don’t have umbrellas, you still can sew this bag (and believe me, you should!) using lightweight fabric (check if the pouch size is big enough – you may need to make it bigger!)

Size matters?

Instructions and sewing pattern are given for a big market bag (which will perfectly fit in a big umbrella), but you can easily make it smaller by printing it at a reduced size (I did a 75% and was perfect for a regular-sized women umbrella) or even make it bigger, if using fabric from the bolt.

Serger Pepper - Pattern testing PortovunqueClean & sturdy finishings

One of the most important features of a market bag is that it needs to be safe: what if you are walking out from your grocery store and the bag you stuffed with glass bottles and eggs breaks? With this bag it won’t happen!

All the seams are doubled: some are french seams, some are flat felled seams. The upper part is even lined, for added strength!

What does it mean? No exposed seams, no fraying edges, no way it can get unstitched!

In my pocket!

If you know me in person, you may have noticed that I have a hate-hate relationship with anything disposable: one of my dearest friends once asked me (half-joking, half-seriously) what I was doing with toilet paper… just to be clear, this is almost the only disposable thing allowed to step in my house! We use washable fabric hankies, napkins, towels, nappies (we used these last ones a while ago! No more nappies in my house!)… you name it, we use it!

Sometimes washable accessories aren’t as practical as the corresponding disposable ones, or you forget to carry them with you: it won’t happen with this bag! Remember? It’s the Carry Everywhere Bag… because the built-in pouch, closed with a drawstring and optional cordlock, will make a breeze for you to carry it in your car, inside your bag or where you prefer, just to pull it out when you need it!

Chico Bags inspired Lisa creating her own PDF pattern for this shopping bag. Can I say her is better?

And there’s nothing like DIY and repurposing together to elevate your creations! Highly rewarding! See my bag: I used an old Annabella umbrella that wandered between Lost & Founds for months at the swimming pool where I work…Now

Serger Pepper - Pattern testing Portovunque 2

Obviously, if you can’t sew, you can always buy one of those Chicas!

Amazon affiliate link to Chico Bag

What are you waiting for? Subscribe to Cucicucicoo’s newsletter (which is an awesome bonus, you’ll get plenty of great tips directly on your email, like her free beginner’s course for learning to machine sew or her almost endless list of refashion tutorials and inspiring embellishment techniques I took inspiration for my Love-ly sundress FREE pattern).

Now it’s your turn! Go, grab the pattern, find one (or more) umbrellas and start sewing. I want to see your creation on her Flickr shared board!

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