Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Feed Sack Tote Bag.....Tutorial

I made a few more bags today, so took a few photos

to create this tutorial:

Baby Chick Feed Sack

Trim up the bottom and top edges of the bag

to remove the stitched perforations

on the bag...

Cut off 2 strips.....2.5 inches each

From the bottom or top end of the bag.

These will be the bag handles.

 Turn the bag inside out:

Clean and wipe off the inside of the bag...

Stitch a half inch seam 

along the bottom edge of the bag.

I stitch 2 or three times to create a strong seam...

Cut a square from both bottom corners 

of the bag.

This square can be 2 to 4 inches square,

depending on how big you want 

the bottom of the bag to be.

Measure from the sewn seam...

Open up the corner you just cut out...

Line up the seam and pin in place...

This is what the bottom corners of the bag 

will look like when you take it to 

the sewing machine...

Stitch the bottom corners of the bag 

2 or 3 times

to create a strong seam...

Turn the feed sack right side out:

Your bag now has a flat and square bottom...

Fold the top of the bag down to create a hem.

I pin it in place before I take it
to the sewing machine.

Stitch down the hem...

From the 2.5 inch strips you cut previously,

cut them 25 inches long.

These are your bag handles or straps...

Fold the right edge of the bag handle 

toward the middle...

Fold the left edge of the bag handle 

over to the right side...

Stitch down the bag handle....on all sides.

This creates a flat, sturdy handle...

2 handles or straps 

ready to sew onto the bag...

Pin the handles in place...

 For easy placement of the handles...

Place the handle at the edge of the fold 

on the top hem of the bag...

Stitch the handles in place...

I sew an X across the handles 

for added strength...

Here's the finished feed sack tote bag:

It takes me about an hour or so 

to put these together.

Have FUN!


CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,

LuAnn Kessi

My friend, Kathi, made this zipper bag:


  1. I love this! A use for all my feed bags. Thanks, Terry

  2. Now I wish I had some feed bags! They are very cool and I think it took longer to write the tutorial than to make the bag.

  3. Thanks LuAnn!!! Great tutorial. Can't wait to make some of these. :)

  4. Penny M. Is going to give me two feed bags so I can make us each one to carry our quilting supplies to the next Bosom Buddies!

  5. This is a fabulous tutorial! Great photos and instructions too. I just made FOUR bags! I absolutely LOVED your suggestion of using the ready-made fold lines of the bag for finding easy placement for the handles! So smart! As an option, cutting a 3 inch square out of the corners (rather than the 4 inch suggested) works too and gives a different dimension to the bag. Thanks for doing all the work of the tutorial. It was just what I needed!

  6. Made some of these in December for Christmas gifts. Just made a couple more. Just wanted to also say how much I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your little Singer Featherweight. My mom, aunt, and grandmother all had those machines and they're the ones I learned to sew on. I can see you're enjoying yours too! Thanks.

  7. thank you for this great tutorial!! it's a very good idea and I'm sure to try it with my cat feed!!

  8. I knew I was keeping my chicken feed bags for a reason... I just didn't know what the reason was!

    So nice to see you using your gorgeous Singer. I have one I inherited from my grandmother and I love it.

  9. Great tutorial with really helpful pictures! Thank you!

  10. I have been looking all morning for a good visual, step by step tutorial and you WIN! Thanks so much for this easy to understand and follow tutorial.

  11. I have made a few, but now that I have my machine, I'm ready to make more. I'm gonna try your method with the cut-off corners, so they lie flat. Thank you!

  12. Love this tutorial, it's easier to do the cut a 4" square out of the side than measuring from the point. I have 2 garbage bags full of feed sacks to make into bags for my animal shelter. I have a few friends coming today and a group in June who are devoting a day to sewing bags. Thanks !

  13. Thank you for the tutorial. I have made other bags but yours comes out looking professional. thank you, Janet

  14. What size needle and what type of thread works best?

    Thank you for the tutorial. Your site is beautiful.

  15. Most any size needle works fine. I prefer poly thread over cotton. The cotton seems to break on the plastic bag while stitching.


  16. I have tried (and failed) to make something from the dog food bags we go through (like water, it seems). this will be a great improvement over my poor method!

    thanks for the tute!

    glen and the Bad Basset Boyz

  17. I've tried several methods for making feed bag totes. I like yours best, and it also gets the most compliments from others. So far, I've only given them away as gifts. Would you mind me selling them, if I also include credit to your blog post?
    I am thinking I'd have it printed on the back of the price tag (I use hanging tags, like you see in flea markets, when I do craft shows & such).
    If you'd rather I didn't, I understand. That's precisely why I want to ask first. Either way, I'd be happy to still give them as gifts here & there, and donate them to the local humane society for their annual "yard sale" fundraiser.

  18. Hi Barb,

    Thanks so much for asking. Yes, feel free to sell the bags, no need to give credit on the tag. Glad you are enjoying making them.

    My Best To You,
    LuAnn Kessi

  19. Hi LuAnn, first time visiting your site. I make the feed sack bags also. I use a french seam as I have found that the unfinished seams can be a bit scratchy. Also, I use the left over nylon straps (from the ivermec bottles we use down at the squeeze) for handles. My husband saves them for me. I like the idea of getting more return on the feed sack than just eggs. Now I have tote bags. great for organizing the chest freezer. Can you let me know the name of the cow fabric? That's what got me here. Thanks, Liz

  20. Hi Liz.......you are what is known as a :no comment: blogger, which means you do not leave your email address when you leave me a comment, which means I cannot reply to you directly......so I will reply here and hope you read this.
    What cow fabric are you referring to? I do not see cow fabric in the Feedback Tote Bag post? Perhaps you saw it somewhere else on my blog?
    My Best To You,

  21. Hi LuAnn! Could you please tell me if these bags could be painted inside or out? Thank you!

  22. I have never tried painting the feedsack tote bags.

    LuAnn in Oregon

  23. Hey LuAnn. I came across your site while searching for help with these bags. I cannot get these bags to sew up just right. I am using a brand-new Singer Heavy Duty machine. I have tried many combinations of needle size, thread type, tension, and stitch length and I continue to get not-so-perfect bobbin thread stitches on the underside. It's not a problem until you get to the handles because then you can see both sides of stitches. Can you share exactly what settings and materials you are using to get these to come out so nicely? Thank you!

  24. First we are not sewing on fabric....we are sewing on woven plastic which does not behave properly when stitched. I always experience trouble with the bobbin threads. I can get fairly good top tension. I have better luck with with poly thread rather than cotton. Perhaps using a single hole throat plate meant for straight stitching, not an oval zig zag throat plate, will help with the bobbin stitches. I have a dozen sewing machines and I have noticed that my better quality machines handle the plastic bags better and give me a better bobbin stitch. I hope this helps.

    My Best To You,
    LuAnn in Oregon

    1. Feed dog tension can be optimized. There is a tension knob for the presser foot, usually on the left end of the sewing machine. Often marked with a picture of pressure foot. For heavier thicker fabrics you want less tension. For lighter fabrics, you will want more tension, or pressure, so that the presser foot holds the fabric securely to the feed dogs and keeps it from sliding away. (this info was gleaned from a handwoven fabric sewing site, sorry I can't recall the author).

  25. Thank you, LuAnn! I don't have time to get the single-hole throat plate before I am to have these made, but I will consider that for the future. I was able to get poly thread so will try that. My top tension is good; it's just those wonky bobbin stitches that drive me nuts. And you're right, I should not expect perfection out of this material. Thank you for your instructions and advice.

  26. What a great idea! Maybe I'll help you 'go viral' :) I just linked this post to my FB page. Being the local 'crazy-chicken-lady' and a quilter to-boot, this is just a fitting project!!!!

  27. I just made 6 chicken feed market bags. They are much smaller than your bag shown
    and already have a square bottom. Your totes are very high quality. I am so glad I found your site.

  28. Thank you for you post. It helped make a perfect bag. I like the tip cutting the corners off . Thank you again, Janet

  29. I love this idea. I also appreciate your friend, Kathi's zipper tote. Can you post or send instructions on her tote? Thanks for the instructions.

  30. Such a great tutorial!! It was so easy just what i needed! Im making this for a school project so it should be great!!

  31. Thank you so much for this great tutorial. I have looked at many but this one is the easiest. To those who have slippage- try a walking foot. It works great. I used little plastic clips instead of pins. I also used pinking sheers for the cutting. I can't wait to make more! Thanks again LuAnn!

  32. Wow, your tutorial really worked for me. I couldn't figure out how the bags were flat. Woo hoo!! Thank you

  33. Thank you so much! I’ve been saving dog food bags with a picture like my daughters dog on it. Finally got them started. Too cute! Will fill with toys and a few bones for my grand fur babies and my dog for Christmas. ♥️