Market Bags

After starting the Elisa Nest Tote featured on the Purl Bee website, I became a little obsessed with market bags. I've been taking a bag to the grocery store for a few years now. My very earth-conscious Dad has been doing it even longer. I bought a market bag from a grocery store in Seattle that's very large with small sturdy handles that fit snuggly on the shoulder. My purchased market bag is made from recycled materials and I love it. Occasionally, I forget to bring it to the store and I think how handy it would be to have an extra bag in the car. Pretty hand-made bags seem too pretty for groceries but they're great for going to the library or other shopping that won't leak. In my obsession with the market bag, I started to gather a collection of links and photos. Does anyone else think that a Flickr group for market bags would be fun? Shown above is my version of the Elisa Nest Tote. I made mine wider and used a sort of Neopolitan Ice Cream color scheme.

This bag is a reversible fabric bag I made a while ago. It's very easy with just 4 total pieces of fabric. I may eventually post a pattern for it.
Here are some crocheted market bags found in a book I picked up at the library called The Complete Book of Needlecraft. They are made by crocheting a circle for the bottom then maintaining the same number of stitches and using various decorative patterns for the sides. It's similar to my Felted Beach Bag (free pattern here).
Here's another photo from the same book. It's sort of a wild woman in the woods rucksack (with matching tunic).

If you're looking for more free patterns here's my current list:

MagKnits Saturday Market Bag

CrochetMe Pike Place Market Bag (felted crochet)

Knitty Everlasting Bagstopper (knit)

Knitty French Market Bag
(felted knit)

Knit Picks Mary's Summer Bag (knit) (scroll to bottom and click button to download pattern)

Rostitchery To-Market To-Market Bag (loom knit)

How Stuff Works Felted Knit Market Bag (felted knit)

Purl Bee Elisa Nest Tote (knit) Felted Beach Tote
(felted crochet)

You may need to register for a free account to view the following patterns:

Lion Brand Open-Mesh Market Bag (knit)

Lion Brand Market Bag (crochet)

Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Market Bag (knit)

Lily String Bag

If you know of any other free online patterns for market-style bags, let me know. I don't currently have any listed for sewers so maybe I need to make one. hmm, something else to do.


  1. hey Beth, such a great works you made! I hope you enjoyed the pattern, the stripe tote is lovely! I really appreciate the long list of market bag links, may I mention it in my blog? Maybe someone else could help you in finding out other patterns..

  2. This is really useful - thanks! Do you mind if I link to your post on my blog as well?

  3. wonderful collection! i'm thinking about hosting a market bag swap...which would be pretty fun

  4. I just found your blog, please
    still be here.

    You have so many great ideas and
    the talent to actually create
    the patterns for each!

    I have oogles of fabric, my
    obsession and would be eternally
    grateful if you would post a
    tutorial for the flower print
    shoulder bag hanging on the
    knob of the door. Thank you!

  5. Hi Cynthia,

    I have posted the pattern for the flowered bag. There are links in the sidebar of my blog. To visit the online tutorial, go here:

    Thanks for your interest!


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