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How to make a tote bag!


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!



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.



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.


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!).



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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!



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



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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