This easy tote bag pattern helps you make one of these most useful and beautiful bags lightning fast. The style & pattern of fabric you choose determine what you’ll use it for.
It’s a beach bag, a market bag, a knitting bag, a school bag…. It’s your bag. Ideas for personalization included in the pattern.
In fact, it’s best to make a couple of them, all compatible as a set. ….
Tote Bag Materials Needs, for each Bag:
- 3/4 yard of fabric A (bag + handles)
- 1/4 yard of contrasting stripe fabric B (bag)
- 5/8 yard of fabric C for lining
- Thread to coordinate with fabrics
- 3-inch doily for appliqué flower
- Two buttons to give extra dimension to the appliqué flower.
Step-by-Step Tote Bag Sewing Instructions
From fabric A, Cut 18 x 24.5” for the bag body & two 3.5 x 26” strips for the handles. (Note: .5” seam allowance included in this pattern)
From fabric B, cut 18 x 5.5” for the bag body contrast top band.
From fabric C, cut 18 x 29” for the lining of the bag.
- BAG BODY: Sew the 18 x 24.5” (fabric A) + the 18 x 5.5” (fabric B) pieces together. Fold in half, and place markers at 3” from the bottom-fold, on either side of the bag. With right sides together, refold the bag on the 3-inch marks. Sew the side seams through all layers. Turn the bag right side out and press.
- HANDLES: fold the long edges of each 3.5 x 26” bag fabric piece over 0.5” ; press. Fold in half lengthwise and topstitch to make handles. Pin the handles to the wrong side of the front and back, 5 inches in from the side seams; baste.
- LINING: Fold fabric C for the lining in half crosswise. Just as you did with the outside bag body, mark your bottom fold on each side. Mark 3” from the fold in both directions on both sides. Refold lining on the 3’’ marks. The bottom fold will be 3 inches above the outer folds. (Tip: if you wish to add an inside pocket, now is the time to sew it onto the lining of the bag. ) Then (with or without inside pocket), sew the side seams through all layers, leaving an opening in one side seam for turning, but do not turn.
- BAG ASSEMBLY: Insert the bag into the lining with right sides together. Match side seams, keeping handles free and tucked between the lining and outer fabric. Take the time to pin things properly. Then, sew around the top edge to attach lining and handles to the outer bag body . Turn the bag right side out through the lining opening. Press the lining to the inside of the bag. Stitch the lining opening closed.
- APPLIQUE IDEAS:
1. On front of the bag, on the top band in contrasting colored fabric, pin a doily or other appliqué, centered (see image). Fuse or top- stitch (dept. on manufacturer’s directions) a doily /appliqué. Sew one or two decorative buttons by hand on top of your the doily.
2. Other appliqué option: if you have a little remnant of the contrast color, cut out a monogram and add it onto the bag body. Fuse and top stitch your monogram. Add buttons as desired to pull the design of the whole bag together.;
Click here to learn more about monogramming & monogram fonts.
Pattern Source: Better Homes and Gardens