I did some sewing a while back but wanted to give the finished product a little test run before I made any comment on the pattern/process. These lined, cloth, grocery store checkstand bags have been used for several grocery trips now and I am happy to give them my official stamp of approval.
They are made by first deconstructing one of the store's regular, plastic, checkstand bags to get a pattern. How could you possibly get a better fit hey? The cashiers don't complain about these ones falling off their bagging stands like they do the store's own, reusable, nonwoven cloth bags. The baggers quite like them and I've had some nice comments about them.
Best of all these bags are completely washable. The cashiers in my community are occasionally overheard complaining about customers who come in with bags covered in dog hair or smelling of cat pee. Ewwww! I don't blame them. In the customer's defence though, the first time you wash those "nonwoven cloth bags" they get all limp and fall apart.
I've been looking for a better solution for quite some time now. Thanks to a discussion on a message board on Ravelry I found this tutorial: Singlet Style Shopping Bag.
When the shopping is done you can fold them neatly back into their self pocket, pop them into the trunk of your car, and they are there ready when you need them again.
I made 6 of them for about $12 using material found at a thrift store. If you want to give it a try look for sturdy but light weight fabric so that your bags don't end up too bulky. And be sure that it is fabric that won't need ironing! Just sayin'.