What’s the Project: Looking for a quick and easy sewing project? This tote bag pattern and tutorial is fast and turns out great!
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’s that french fry get there?
Bags are one of my very favorite things to sew and the beauty of this one is that it’s super simple. It’s all straight lines-a perfect easy sewing project for beginners. And it’s super cute!
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 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!
And now I’ve got an updated version too that has a pocket on the outside if you prefer that. Check that tutorial out here.
So let’s make this great DIY tote bag!
Easy Tote Bag Pattern and Tutorial:
- Fabric-Canvas or Duck. I used 3 fabrics-one for the top, one for the bottom and one for the inside. You need about 1/3 yard of your bottom fabric and about 1/2 yard each of the top and inner fabrics
- (Optional-fusible fleece interfacing to line the straps. You will only need about 1/4 yard for this.)
- From your bottom fabric cut 2 pieces that are 17 inches wide by 8 inches long
- From your top fabric cut 2 pieces that are 17 inches wide by 12 inches long
- Wait to cut your inner fabric
- For your straps (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)
Let’s start with this video. It should give you most of what you need to sew this so watch this first and then if you need more help, there’s step by step instructions below:
Or here are the written instructions:
Cut out the pieces mentioned above.
Place top fabric on the bottom fabric with right sides together and sew them together.
Do this for both pieces and then iron the seam flat.
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.
Sew the two inner pieces together around both sides and the bottom with right sides facing.
Sew both of your outer pieces together around both sides and the bottom with right sides facing.
Now you are going to create box corners on these. 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:
Do this with both outer corners and both inner corners.
Set these aside while we make the straps.
Take 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:
Now, 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.
Sew all the way around the top of the bag leaving a 4-inch opening to turn it. *Make sure that opening is not where a strap is. You need to get those sewn in place.
Turn bag right side out and tuck inside into outside.
Press the whole bag. Fold the opening in and press that as well so that it looks just the same as the part that was sewn.
Top stitch all the way around the top of the bag. This will also close your opening.
And throw some stuff in your bag and hit the town!
Hope you’ve loved sewing this tote bag pattern!
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