Thursday, December 13, 2012

Simple Tote Bag (Sewing Tutorial)

Updated this morning...

I'm linking up with Laine over at It's Just Laine for her

It's a Handmade Christmas linky party

 Be sure to drop by if you are looking for last minute handmade Christmas gift ideas!

This evening, I'm linking up with Sherry at No Minimalist Here for

and the ladies at

The 36th AVENUE

As this is my first "tutorial", let me sincerely apologize if I over-explain each step.  I can't seem to help's the "teacher" in me!

Yesterday, I gave you a sneak peek of my fabric choices for this project. They include...

For today's tutorial, I am working with the red chevron/black floral fabrics.
These fabrics are from Hobby Lobby's printed duck cloth collection.

Simple Tote Bag Tutorial

  • Two 15.5" X 19" fabric panels (for front and back of tote bag)
  • Two 5" X 30" fabric panels for tote bag handles
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron
  • Thread
  • Ruler
  • Straight Pins
  • Scissors

Step 1
Begin by cutting your fabric panels.  You will need two (2) 15.5" X 19" panels from your main fabric for the front and back of your tote bag, and two (2) 5" X 30" fabric panels of your coordinating fabric for the tote bag handles.

Step 2
Working on a flat surface, on each panel along the shortest side, fold over fabric 1.5".  Press with iron.  Pin in place.  Sew folded edge down on each panel.  I used a 1/4" seam along the raw edge of the fabric.

This 1.5"  inside seam will be on the top of each front and back panel.  (It is where you will attach your tote bag's handles.)

Step 3
To make your tote bag handles, take remaining panels and fold lengthwise, with right sides (pattern sides) together.  Pin folds and press with iron.

Step 4
Sew each handle from one end to the other being sure to backstitch.  Turn each handle right side out and iron along all edges for crisp folds.

Step 5
Next you will attach your tote handles to the back of each panel using an "x" joint.  (Feel free to email me if you need further clarification on how to sew an "x" joint.)  

Placement of your handles should be precise.  So, using your ruler, place handles 3" from each outside edge of each tote panel and 1.5" from top of tote.  (Note, if your folded edge is 1.5" in width then you should just be able to match up raw edge of the tote handle with the raw edge of the tote seam.)

Step 6
Last're almost finished!  With right sides (pattern side) of panels together, pin left, right, and bottom edges together.  Sew using a 1/4" seam allowance being sure to backstitch.  Turn tote right side out and're done!

You now have an adorable tote bag to take with you to your local Farmer's Market/Public Library/Errand Running, etc.  The printed duck cloth is durable and holds up well.  

Note:  I embellished this tote bag with a front pocket.  (A first for me...a novice seamstress!)  I might add some black beaded trim/fringe around the top/opening, but it is cute as is.  

This tote, along with the other two I am making, is for my child's classroom teacher.  I plan to have my kiddos deliver these to their teachers filled with some homemade Christmas treats and an ornament attached to the handle.  (My kiddos picked each teacher's fabric based on their personality! SEW Sweet!)

Please feel free to email me at oursomedayfarmdotgmaildotcom if you have any questions regarding this tutorial.  Also, I'd appreciate any comments regarding the difficulty/ease of following these directions.  

Happy Sewing!


P.S.  I have no idea why some of my font sizes are normal...and others "tiny".  I used the same size throughout unless I enlarged for the labels.  Odd.


  1. I love your fabric combos, especially the red and black! That red zig zaggy stripe print is hot right now. I saw some adorable Christmas dresses for little girls made from it on Etsy....

  2. I love your fabrics! Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the visit and sweet comment at The Dedicated House. It means the world. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House which is still open. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  3. Love the bag! The fabric shoices are great.

    M :)

  4. love the chevron fabric! cute bag!

    Thanks for linking up to the Homemade Christmas linky party!