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How to make a tote bag!

denim

So to start with you obviously need to decide on your fabric.
If it is a patterned fabric make sure you choose the placement wisely so you get the part of the design you wish on the front and the back!

STEP 1

pieces

Cut 2 panels measuring 16 x 14 inch, these will be the front and back of the bag.
You then need to cut 2 strips for the straps measuring 22 inch by around 2 inch wide.
Lastly, as my print had a pocket in the design, I decided to cut this out and use this to make a functioning pocket later on.
To add a pocket just cut a simple pocket shape.

STEP 2

pocket

For my pocket I decided to fray the edges to suit the style of the fabric.
To do this I just used a pair of fabric scissors and scraped threads away from the edges to create a frayed edge.

STEP 3 

sewing machine
stitched pocket 1

I then pinned the pocket in place, in the centre of the front panel and stitched around the edges about a centimetre in from the fraying, (leaving the top of course!).

STEP 4

straps

Fold the strips along the 2 inch width so the 2 right sides are facing together and the strip is now 1 inch wide.
Then sew along one end and down the width leaving the other side open. Using a pencil or something similar, push the fabric back through.

STEP 5

pinned strap 1

pinned straps on both sides

To begin attaching the straps, you need to pin one to each panel. Each edge needs to be 3 inches in from the sides, and pinned facing down, like you can see in the image. Make sure there is no twists in the strap!

STEP 6

pinned top hem

Then fold the top of the panel with the straps attached, over about half an inch, making a hem, this should make the handles turn the right way too.
This then needs pinning down evenly to sew into a hem.

STEP 7

pinned strap 2

To sew the hem, sew along the top of the fold, around, and then along the bottom, to create a neat stitch in a rectangle shape around the hemline. To secure the handles, sew a square around the ends that attach to the hem.

STEP 8

front and back pinned

Place both panels right side together and pin around the edges.
I decided to add a little trim to give it a bit more character. To do this just place it in between the panels, facing the inside of the bag.

STEP 9

lace trim

As you can see I have added my trim, and it is facing towards the inside of the bag.
This then just needs sewing around the edges, 1 1/2cm in.
Then once that is done you can turn it the right way, and you will already see your bag as a finished product!

STEP 10

EDITTED

For another little decoration I just added buttons to the strap seams. This also works well to hide any untidy stitching!

STEP 11

EDIT

and wallahhhhh! There you have a tote bag!
Once you finished your first one you will see how simple it is and be able to whip them up in no time!

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