|Tote Bag Tutorial|

17 Feb

A little while back when I had a lot of time on my hands I decided to create a tote bag. I went against my better judgement and created it with out a tutorial; I just made it up as I went along.

Two hours later and five steps too many, I came to the conclusion that I was sew dumb… I should have followed a tutorial.

Though the process took forever, I definitely was proud of what I created and want to share it with the world – five less steps than my adventure.

Hopefully I am able to write this tutorial in a way you can understand. If there are any terms I should change or any suggestions, please let me know. With only six steps, you’ll have a custom tote bag to use for anything your little heart desires!

Step One:

Gather Materials

You will need:

  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • pinker scissors {optional}
  • pins
  • iron or press
  • coordinating thread
  • {4} 14″x16″ cut fabric rectangles {I used two solid fabric cuts and two patterned fabric cuts}
  • {2} 4 1/2″x25″ cut coordinating fabric strips

Step Two:

Make Straps

Take one strip, fold in half lengthwise and press.

Unfold and fold in the two long edges 1/4″ in towards the pressed seam and press.

Fold in half along the pressed seam and pin tucked edges together to secure.

Repeat for second strip.

Sew a single stitch along pinned edge.

Step Three:

Sew around bag

Lay one solid fabric cut flat on table {or selected fabric for inside of bag} and place one patterned fabric cut right-side up on top.

Take the second patterned fabric cut and place face down on top of the two pieces so that the pattered sides are touching.

Take the last solid piece of fabric cut {or selected fabric for inside of bag} and place on top.

Pin around three edges, leaving an opening at the top.

Sew a single stitch around the pinned edges, 1/4″ in from the edge.

Pinker off edges to eliminate fraying. {Optional}

Step Four:

Tuck and hem top

Fold down un-sewn top all the way around as much as you prefer your finished top border to be. {I folded mine down 1 1/4″}

Press or pin in place.

Make a single stitch around edge as close to edge as comfortable and finish with a zig zag stitch to hide and clean up single stitch and raw edge.

Step Five:

Attach straps

With bag still inside out, pin straps onto bag spaced how you prefer. Make sure you pin straps in place on bag evenly on each side to match their placements. {I spaced mine 2 1/2″ from edge of tote body on each side}

Sew a single stitch around the three raw edges of the strap as well as where the top edge of the bag meets the strap to form a square. Follow with a zig zag stitch to finish the raw edges.

Repeat for all others.

Step Six:

Turn bag right-side out

And admire!

and here is the first one i made that took me two hours and 5 steps too many to make

{i love the fabric i used for this one…. transistor radios of kokka by melody miller. to. die. for.}

Happy sewing!

~Ashley

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