Monday, July 19, 2010

Fun & Easy Tote Bag

This is a tote my mom taught me how to make. It is easy and you can adjust it to any size that you prefer. This one I made today is pretty big. It's nice and roomy.

Here it goes...

First, you want to fold your material in half and then in half again.

You will then fold it in half lengthwise, so that you can cut your corners out.

As you can see I cut a 3x3 inch square. You want your fold along the bottom when you cut them out. When you open your material back out to flat you will have a 3x3 inch square cut out of both bottom corners.

You can see both cut out portions in this picture. I folded the layers back a little bit for you to see.

Now you need to cut the fold that you had along the right hand side of the material to make to separate tote sections. This will give you your outer part and the lining.

Tada!! This is what you should have. You will then need to measure how tall you want it to be. Cut off the top at the height you want. I chose to cut it off at 15 inches. By the time I sew up the bottom corners it will only be 12 inches tall. Of course, we will shorten it by a little bit more later.

You will need to cut the same pattern out of your interfacing. You want some pretty heavy/thick interfacing to help the tote stand up.

Now to cut the tote straps. I cut 12x3 inch strips on the fold, so they actually are 24x3 inches.

See? Here they are ready to be sewn into tote straps.

Now to iron on the interfacing. If you don't have iron on interfacing, just baste it to the wrong side of your material.

Now you will take one interfaced piece at a time and sew up the sides with the right sides facing each other.

Like so.

Then you will pull the corners out to make the bottom and sides match up. Sew together.

Turn right side out and Viola! you have the outer portion of your tote. Now to repeat the process for the lining. Leave the lining inside out, because it will just set down inside the outer shell of the tote.

Now it's time to fold your tote straps in half with the right sides together. You do not have to sew the ends shut. Just the length of the strap needs to be sewn.

Now turn them right side out. I use a safety pin. I pen it to one end and then push it through. After you get them right side out, press them.

It's time for final assembly. You should have your lining tucked into the outer shell of the tote. tuck in all edges. I tucked mine in about 1 inch. Make sure you line up the seam lines. Pin.

As you pin the top, tuck the purse straps in where you would like them to be located. I normally do one side and then line the other side up to match the one I already have pinned.

You will now sew the pieces together. Be careful. Make sure you keep the straps pulled out of the way and be sure to pull the pins out as you go. You don't want to hit one with the machine needle and break it.

The finished product! You can add pockets or even ribbon tied into a bow around the top to hid the stitching. It's all up to you! If you add pockets, you may want to add them to the lining or outer shell before sewing them into tote shape. That's what I do.

This is just a picture of some others. You can see one has a name embroidered on it and another has red fur hot glued to the top to hide the stitching. There are so many creative, fun things you can do with this easy tote.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Your bag turned out so cute! And so are all the others, too. :) I will have to bookmark this tutorial, so I can do it sometime! Thank you for sharing this!

    I hope you are having a good week! :)

  2. Thank you! I am having a great week so far. I hope yours is going well, too.

  3. Aren't you just the crafty one! That bag is too cute!

  4. Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this web site, because i want enjoyment, for the reason that this this web page conations truly fastidious funny material too.

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