What’s the Project: This easy tote bag pattern with tutorial is fast and turns out great-a perfect sewing project for beginners. Very easy instructions to follow and you will love how this cute bag turns out.
Every woman loves a good bag-am I right? They can be filled with diapers and toys when you’re in mom mode, they can be cute and flirty when you’ve got a date, or they can be filled with your laptop and notebooks when you head to work or school.
Or sometimes in my case, they can be a bottomless pit filled with who knows what-how’d that french fry get there?
I’ve got a few different large tote bags that I use for all different things and it’s handy to have a bunch around so I don’t always have to switch out the things I need in it for that day.
Bags are one of my very favorite things to sew and the beauty of this lined tote bag pattern is that it’s super simple. It’s all straight stitch lines-a perfect easy sewing project for beginners. And it’s super cute! You will love this eas tote bag pattern.
If you don’t know how to sew a bag, this is a good place to start! This tote bag pattern is easy and you’ll love how it turns out! It’s great for all ages and you can make it work for anything-a library bag, a purse, take it to the pool, to church, whatever you want!
It’s got one fabric on the top, another on the bottom and I did a third inside. So you can customize it for the person you are making it for! Or make several for yourself and they could all look different from each other.
And now I’ve got an updated version too that has a pocket on the outside if you prefer that. Check that tote bag tutorial out here.
So let’s make this great DIY tote bag! I thnkm you’re really going to like it.
How to Make a Tote Bag:
I’m going to give you all of the instructions you need to make this down below, but here’s a video tutorial for this pattern as well if you prefer that. (The supply list is in the written instructions below so be sure to check that out before you watch the video.)
Or here are the step-by-step instructions which you can print and use or just read from your computer, phone, or iPad.
Simple Tote Bag Sewing Instructions:
- 1/3 yard canvas or duck fabric for the bottom of the bag
- 1/2 yard canvas or duck fabric for the top of the bag (you will need a bit less than this)
- 1/2 yard canvas or duck fabric for inside of the bag (this could be just a basic cotton instead if you prefer)
- 1/4 yard fusible fleece optional: to line the straps and add durability to them
- sewing scissors
- sewing machine
- threads to match your fabric
- Step One is to Cut Your Fabric. Here’s what you need to cut. You can use a rotary cutter to cut super straight lines (or wing it with sewing scissors if you prefer.)From your bottom fabric cut 2 pieces that are 17 inches wide by 8 inches longFrom your top fabric cut 2 pieces that are 17 inches wide by 12 inches long (Note: Wait to cut your inner lining fabric) For your straps or handles (from whichever fabric you prefer), cut 2 pieces that are 31 inches by 4 inches (Optional-if you feel like you want to straps sturdy, line them with a fusible interfacing like fusible fleece)
- **Use about a 1/2 inch seam allowance for this. It's a bag though, so it's forgiving if you use a different one. Prepare the outer fabric pieces and sew the outside of the bag togetherPlace top fabric on the bottom fabric with right sides together across the 17-inch width and sew them together. Do this for both of your outside pieces and then iron the seams flat.
- Now it’s time to cut your inner pieces.With one of your pieces that you just sewed, place it on your inner fabric and use it as a guide to cut out the inner fabric to match what you just created. Cut 2 of your inner fabric using that template.
- Sew around the outsidePlace right sides together for your inner fabric (what you just cut) and sew the two inner pieces together around both sides and the bottom, leaving the top open. (About a 1/2 inch seam is perfect here.)Next, do the same with your outer pieces. Sew both of your outer pieces together around both sides and the bottom with right sides facing together.
- Creating box cornersNow you are going to create box corners on these along the bottom seams. Do this with both outer corners and both inner corners. To do this, grab the bottom corner of the bag and turn it so that that the fabric is laying like this:
- You will then sew a seam across the top tip of that triangle a few inches down from the tip:
- Then snip off that tip:
- Sewing the strapsTake your long pieces and fold them in half the long way with right sides together and sew up the long side. Turn right side out (this will be a little tricky and time-consuming. I use a chopstick or pair of scissors to help push the fabric though. And I watch a good show while I do it.) Press straps flat with seam in the center of the back:
- Assemble the bagNow, turn your inner fabric right side out but leave your outer fabric inside out. Put the inner bag down inside the outer bag. Slide your straps inside the bag in between the two fabrics, making sure that the seam on the back of the fabric is facing the inside of the bag and pin everything in place like this so that the fabric is even all the way around and the strap ends are between your inner and outer layers of fabric on both sides and have the ends poking out slightly.
Hope you’ve loved sewing this easy tote bag pattern!
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