Monday, February 7, 2011

Super easy tote bag tutorial..(updated)



This is a great super, fun and easy tote bag tutorial that you will want to make over and over again!

(updated 04/18/2014)
Please read entire instructions prior to cutting fabric or starting. 

What you need is:

1/2 yd of 2 different fabrics
2 yds coordinating webbing
2 pieces batting, thin like warm and natural 15"x 10" -not meant to cover whole bag



From these items you want to cut you're fabric into these measurements:
2 pieces batting (thin like warm and natural) 15"length x 10" wide
2 bag pieces 15"length (left to right if using directional) x 20.5"wide (up and down)
2 pocket pieces 15"length x 16.5" wide
cut webbing into two 1 yd pieces


Now you're ready to start!

First fold pocket piece in half and press, then you're going to layer your pieces


You should have 2 sets of these sandwich like sets..

Next take one set and pin one of the webbing yards, to make the straps. Starting at the bottom leave about 4" between each strap.



do this to the other set, so both look like this..



Now you're going to stitch the strap to all 3 layers, starting at one cut end of webbing, sewing along the edge of the strap. You will stitch pass the pocket and up to where your batting edge ends. (this will allow the fabric to show at the top above the pocket when finished)

Pivot your bag with needle down and sew the other edge of the strap back down to where you started. This will tack down both edges of this strap.



Repeat this to other side of strap on same side of bag your working on.

Repeat to other bag side. Once both are complete you are half way DONE! Now layer the 2 bag sides one on top of each other right sides together. At this point your straps are loose on the inside of the bag, just make sure to keep them out of the way, when you sew. Pin together leaving a 5" opening at the top center. (remember sewn straps are at the bottom of the bag) Stitch 1/2 inch around all 4 sides. Remembering to leave a 5" opening.



Now you're going to shape corners of bag and lining. (bit tricky) You're going to open up the corner and press it down so it looks like this.



then pin it and measure 2" from the point and about 4" across and sew along that 4".



Do this to all 4 corners. Does you're bag look like this? (TIP before you cut the corners I would make sure that the lining fits great, just in case you need to make some adjustments...I'm talking from experience)


NOW slowly turn it inside out, and if you're lining sits great, then go ahead and cut the corners. You can now stitch closed the lining (the 5" opening) with a small stitch.. and lastly you're going to top stitch the top of the bag...Remember you're top stitching so make a bigger size stitch, like a 4.0 would be great..



isn't this cute? my friend made this one for her little girl.. even her inside looks so professional..



Now both of these bags used the same pattern, but obviously they turned out a little different..(I think my bag measurements were a little off.. to my defense it was about 7pm and my brain shuts off at 5p...) but they both still look good. so with that said if you bag comes out a little bigger or smaller it will still do it's job and know one will know but you..


Go and make some and send me pictures. I would love to see what you can create!

My elephants bag was made from Daiwabo Japan Fabric, Tip Top Elephant Walk grey, lightweight Cotton canvas and zag stripe chevron in pink.

Friends bag made from Patty Young Sanctuary line, Aromatherapy sherbet and glass tiles sherbet from lining..



all fabric can be found HERE and batting and webbing can be found at any local fabric shop. I got mine from jo-anns.

Our bags finished size (yours could come out slightly different)
width 13.5"
height 10.5"
including handle 16" high
depth 4"..

55 comments:

Lauren said...

Oh my gosh! I need that Elephant's tote. I wish I could sew so bad!

Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

Love this! Thanks for the tutorial!

Biz said...

Def. on my to do list now!
I'll have to make one that matches the weddings I'm in and use them to tote all the wedding stuff around in!
Thanks for a great idea!
Biz

Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

Oh... I also shared a link to this on my blog's FB page.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/AGlimpseInside

Rebecca said...

So cute! I'm so excited to try it. What is the size of the finished bag??

Quiltstory said...

Love those zig zags and elephants together...are you kidding me! SO CUTE! Great bag, thanks for the tute. Thanks for linking up to Fabric Tuesday!

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laceylady said...

I made one! check it out http://www.flickr.com/photos/laceylady/5867148712/in/photostream/

Thanks for the fabulous tutorial the only thing I would do differently is make the batting a little bigger it doesnt go to the top of my bag (could have been a newbie cutting mistake)

amyepatrick said...

Awesome! What size is the finished tote?

Leah said...

So, I love the bags. Question, though, I was wondering if I made my own straps, would you think they'd be as durable as the webbing? I think I might give it a try soon and see how it works out. I was thinking about a coordinating strap with a thin layer of batting inside.

POPPY SEED FABRICS said...

hey leah,

You can totally use fabric as the straps instead of the webbing. It won't be as sturdy but you can sew on gross grain ribbon to one side to make it a bit more. I have done this in the past and it works great.

thanks for you question..

Lauren said...

Mine turned out great for a beginner sewer, but my lining ended up being short. I know I measured properly, do you know why this might be? It would be great to know because I would like to make more very soon!

Sewing for Utange said...

Thanks for posting the tutorial - fantastic clear instructions. I adapted it to suit my materials, and am really pleased with the result. Posted on my blog (with a link back to this).

Unknown said...

I would like to know what kind of machine you use to get through all those thick layers. I am looking for a new machine that will do just that.

Thanks.....Anna

Kendra Simone said...

I just finished this tutorial and my Singer Advance 7422 got through them! I did however break my needle once though so I changed it to one used for heavier materials and it worked just fine!

Anonymous said...

To Leah, I make tote bags all the time and I use matching fabric over the webbing. I cut the strips 5 inches wide and a few inches longer then the webbing. Press them in half lengthwise, then I fold each side to the middle a press again. Wrap the strips around the webbing and stitch close to the edge. Then proceed as the directions say. Five inches should be wide enough for the typical webbing. To be sure, cut a scrape 5" and test it.

nathcoud said...

Thanks for posting the tutorial !!!!
"même pour une française" it's clear!!

Bella said...

I made the bag today and used this machine: janome DC2011, decor computer 2011. My machine didn't even batt an eyelid at the multiple layers. I also use this machine to quilt my own full sized quilts. I got it off amazon and adore it!

For those asking about the size of the finished tote bag: mine was 10 inches high,

Christa said...

I was just wondering if you hem the pocket material on the top edge before assembly? Doesn't mention anything in the directions

Forever Haley Michael's said...

The bags are amazing but the directions were a bit unclear as to where the lining comes in. I see you layer all three pieces but when I flip it inside out something is wrong? Help!! Love the bags.

~Beth D. said...

I am thinking of doing a decorative stitch at the top of the pocket and if the batting is only 15x10, then the top of the bag would be that 10" I think. Will find out tomorrow when I put it all together.

The main bag piece is also the lining I presume. I hope that's how it will all fit together anyway. Then you top stitch it to keep it all in place.

Danielle said...

this was my first attempt at sewing, and it was an easy enough project! Loved the way the bag turned out but due to my novice i didn't realize it was as small as it was. I invisioned something larger, next time i will adjust the size of the pieces of material to suit my liking!

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Bag Lady said...

Off to make a tote bag! Thanks for a great tutorial!

Jessica said...

Which piece is the pocket piece?

Kathy said...

My lining ended up too short as well. :( Not sure where I went wrong.. But the outside looks great!

Julian Levi said...

Love this and thank u for sharing the tutorial... now I can't wait to do this...nice job

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Anonymous said...

Would be nice if you proof your directions and update them. I can't find where the pocket piece is ever sewn to the bottom piece...in others words where and how did you attach the zigzag material to the elephant material? Simply says to fold pocket piece and press it. I know how but I see that someone else had a similar question that was never responded to. Anyway. Great bags, nice tutorial, just needs to be reviewed, proofed and updated.

Julie Crooks said...

Is the 15" the width and the 20.5" the height? I assume so. I have chevron fabric that I want to cut out correctly and want to make sure.

Anonymous said...

You said to put the straps 4" apart at the bottom , but in the picture they look more than 4". Could you clarify?!

Thanks.

LynCC said...

Thanks for the tutorial. :D I just used it for a gift set to accompany a baby quilt.

http://whatahootquilts.blogspot.com/2013/04/finish-report-d-baby-english-10-wbook.html

I tweaked it to incorporate some left-over HSTs from the quilt it goes with, and I didn't have twill on hand, so I made the straps - just used a 1" strip of fusible fleece with regular fabric. Worked great - is stable, strong, and comfy in the hand.

Anonymous said...

I've just found this tutorial on pinterest. I whipped one up this morning and it looks fantastic! Thanks for a straight forward, well worded tutorial! We are going to Euro Disney ina few weeks so will be making another one, just slightly larger :)
Emma

Stacy said...

I just made one and it is adorable! I did the pink and white chevron and then Blue/light blue anchors! I love it! I wish is was a little bigger though. I might try and make another one and double the size of it, so it's more like a beach tote bag. Thanks for the easy Tutorial!

Stacy

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Anonymous said...

I made a really cute bag for my friend's birthday present. It was much smaller than I expected. I'm an inexperienced sewer so the directions were hard to follow on a few steps.

KaHolly said...

Am always looking for a bag patterns!! This one looks fun and easy. In lieu of webbing, I'd have to use fabric strapping, but that would be okay, I think!! Thanks a million!

Karen said...

I just made this last night. Came out really cute. I is not a large tote but makes a really cute bag. I added some interfacing to the pocket pieces for more stability and it worked great. I have made several different variations of this type of bag and I always wanted firmer pockets.
I think I may add some to the lining portion of the tote next time.
Thanks for the tutorial.

alma king said...

I made this several times for baby shower gifts. I put all the gifts in the bag. Always a hit !thanks

e5army_wife said...

Made this tonight. It came out super cute, but its TINY! Was hoping for a larger tote.

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evrywmn said...

Could you use interfacing in exchange for batting?

Hoagie said...

I just made my first tote ever using this tutorial. I am a beginner so I thought this would be a huge undertaking. I was wrong. Your directions were easy to follow and I had no problems. I even added a magnetic snap! A little time consuming for this newbie but, I am sure the more I made the faster I would get.

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Paula Hughes said...

Oooo, love those fabrics together on both of those!

Debbie DeBaeremaeker said...

Thank you so much for this!

I made it with vinyl covered cotton for a pool bag.

http://debaeremaeker.blogspot.com/2014/01/quick-and-easy-tote-for-swimming.html

Jackson said...

It really needs to be creative to make such pretty handbag. Thanks for sharing this post! I am crazy for handbags and see while searching for Louis Vuitton heels again i tuned to handbags.

T Davis said...

Love it. Just made one. Instructions were very easy to follow. Next time I'm going to make a little bigger one. This one my 12 year old has already claimed. She said it will make a great soft lunch box. Thanks for sharing.

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Annie said...

Thanks for this!! For me, it was a little harder than I thought it would be...mainly just the cutting of the pieces - because I wanted it bigger - but once I figured it out, it turned out beautifully!!! I didn't do the corners like it said above (I just pushed everything into the lining, no biggie for me, lol). Then at the end, I ironed out the top (be careful NOT to touch the iron to the webbing, as it will melt the webbing...not good, oh well at least it was just one piece!) but I ironed out the top and then did a quick top stitch around the top to ensure it stayed stiff. thanks!! excited to make a few of these!
For anyone who's interested, the size I made mine was: 2 bag pieces - 20" wide (left to right) by 28" long (top to bottom) 2 pocket pieces - 20" wide (left to right) by 22" long (top to bottom) and the batting, 2 pieces - 20" wide x 14" long. I also prefer long handles so I think next time I will use 2 pieces of webbing at least 1 and 3/4 yard per piece.
Thanks!!

Gulnaz said...

Hi, I like the bag and the pattern you've put up, i'm just confused as to which part is the pocket? the one with zigzag pattern or the elephants? i've made a few tote bags before, using a reversible tote pattern and would like to add this to my list too.. Instead of webbing, i intend to add handles made out of the same fabric but with an interfacing to make them sturdier.
Could you be kind enough to explain the first part again, where your stitch the batting, body and 'pockets' together. thanks in advance!

Gulnaz said...

Hi again, i managed to work around it and just finished it all up.. its a nice little bag, perfect as a knitting project bag.. I'm travelling soon and this would be a great lil bag to haul my stuff around.. next time, i'm definitely making a bigger size :-)thanks!

blsaxton said...

Sorry to be dense but where is the lining. I usually use four pieces, 2 for out side and 2 for lining. I can't figure it out from the pictures. Seems I am the only one to not see the whole picture. It looks like the batting is the lining.

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