Tote Bag Tutorial, DIY Tote Bag Pattern, Free Pattern

 

Tote bags are perfect for carrying your essentials for a day out on the beach or pool. They can also offer a perfect storage solution to your little one’s toys, books, and other items during travel. My tutorial will help you sew a simple and light tote which is roomy without being bulky.
This bag is made only of rectangular pieces and hence sewing this bag would be an easy task for any beginner seamstress. So come on, your search for the perfect day bag ends with this classic tote.

*Note– The Flower is not included in this tutorial.

Materials Required

  • Heavy weight cotton fabric of any desired print and color for the first panel- ¼ yard.
  • Heavy weight cotton fabric in a  coordinating color and print for the second panel- ¼ yard.
  • Heavy weight cotton fabric in another coordinating print and color for the lower panel-1/4- yard.
  • Cotton fabric for lining- ½-yard.
  • Medium to heavy weight single sided fusible interfacing- ½-yard.
  • Sew-on snap button- one pair.
  • Sewing Notions.
1)
       *All the fabrics used here are of 44/ 45 inches width.

*The fabrics shown here are only for illustration purposes and as such may vary from the original.

*The seam allowance is 3/8- inch unless otherwise specified.

*I suggest you read the entire pattern once before starting to get a general idea.

*All seams are to be finished by zigzag or serger.

 

 

Take the required fabrics for the bag body, lining, and interfacing as shown above.

 

 

Cut two fabric strips, 4.25-inches long and 16.75-inches wide for the first panel from one of the fabric. Cut two fabric pieces from the other fabric for the second panel.

 

 

Cut the third panel, 7.25-inches long and 16.65-inches wide from the third fabric.

 

 

This is how we are going to arrange the fabric pieces for the bag. Let’s name the panels, panel 1, panel 2 and panel 3.

 

 

Cut two fabric pieces, 14.25-inches long  and 16.75-inches wide for the lining.

Now we need to join the panels to form the bag body.

 

 

Take the first and second panels and layer them with the right sides together, aligning the edges.

 

 

Sew along one of the longer edges to join them.

 

 

Your joint panels would look like this. Press along the seam line to make it neat and taut.

 

 

Now take the third panel, keep it over the done panels, with the right sides together and sew along the longer edge to secure. The front piece of your bag is ready.

 

Repeat the steps with the other three fabric pieces to get the back piece of the bag.

 

 

Press the seams flat.

 

 

Cut two pieces of interfacing, 13.5-inches long and 16-inches wide and fuse them onto the wrong side of the front and back bag pieces, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to leave a 3/8-inch gap all around while fusing.

 

 

Take the done front and back pieces and layer them with the right sides together and aligning the edges. Sew along the three sides, leaving the top edge open as marked above.

 

 

Now take the lower  corner of the bag in your hand and move the front and back pieces away from each other. Align the side seam over the bottom seam of the bag and mark a line 2” across the corner as shown above. Sew along the line, reinforcing at the start and finish.

 

 

Repeat the steps on the other corner. The wrong side of your bag would look like this.

 

 

Turn over to the right side and now your bag has a three-dimensional shape.

 

 

Take the two lining pieces, layer them aligning the edges and sew along the three sides as marked above. The top edge is left open.

 

 

Repeat the steps you did on the corners of the main bag piece, on the lining.

Now we need to attach the shoulder strap and the strap for the button. Let’s first do the button strap.

 

 

Take two fabric pieces, 7-inches long and 2.5-inches wide.

 

 

Layer the two pieces, aligning the edges and fold lengthwise. Mark a curved line one-inch away from the top edge and cut along the line as shown above.

 

 

Open up and your strap pieces would look like this.

 

 

Layer the two pieces with the right sides together and aligning the edges. Sew around the edge as shown above.

Turn over to the right side and press.

 

 

Topstitch around the edge as marked by the yellow line.

Now we need to attach the strap onto the bag.

 

 

Mark a point at the centre of the top edge of the bag as shown in the picture.

 

 

Mark a point at the top center of the strap and keep the strap over the bag, on its right side, overlapping the marked points and aligning the top edges. Pin the strap onto the bag.

Sew the strap onto the bag.

Now we need to attach the shoulder straps. Let’s sew it.

 

 

Cut four fabric pieces of any print, 24-inches long and 1.75-inches wide.

 

 

Take two of the above fabric pieces and layer them with the right sides together, aligning the edges. Sew along the two longer edges as marked by the yellow line.

Turn the strap inside-out and press taut.

Repeat the steps with the other two pieces to make the other shoulder strap.

Let’s attach the strap onto the bag.

 

 

Place the two ends of the strap about 4-inches from either sides, on the right side of the bag as marked above and pin. Note that the raw edge of the strap extends about ½” from the raw edge of the bag. This is to make the strap strong and sturdy while carrying heavy articles.

Sew the strap onto the bag, removing the pin as you go. Repeat the steps on the other side of the bag with the other strap.

Now we need to attach the lining onto the bag.

 

 

Keep the lining on its wrong side and the bag on its right side and slide the lining over the bag. Make sure to align the seam lines of the bag and the lining.

 

 

Align the upper edges of the bag and the lining and pin all around.

 

 

Sew the lining onto the bag, removing the pin as you go. Take care to leave a 6 to 7-inches gap to pull out the bag.

 

 

Now slip your hand down the opening and pull out the bag fabric as shown above.

 

 

Push the lining into the bag.

Press around the inside of the bag to make it neat and crisp.

 

 

Topstitch around the upper edge.

 

 

Now sew small rectangles with two diagonals, just below the point where the straps are attached to make it strong and sturdy. Make sure to catch the ends of the strap in the rectangle.

Our bag is almost done; we need to attach the snap buttons.

 

 

Mark a point along the lower center of the strap on its wrong side and sew the snap button using a needle and thread. Now close the strap and see where the button would fall and mark a point on the bag. Attach the complimentary snap button at that point.

 

 

Our tote bag is ready!

If you love it, please share it using one of the social media buttons below. Thank you!

12 Comments

  1. September 3, 2013 / 6:48 pm

    These are very cute! I love the flowers!
    Gina @ Gina's Craft Corner

  2. September 3, 2013 / 7:04 pm

    Thank you for a great pattern. I'll look forward to making this!

  3. Anonymous
    September 4, 2013 / 1:13 am

    Cute bags! I really like the black and white bag. I pinned this, so I can make one later! Thanks for sharing!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

  4. Anonymous
    September 4, 2013 / 9:03 am

    Lovely! Thanks so much 🙂 /Vera

  5. September 5, 2013 / 3:06 am

    Great bag and pattern! I love how you can make it so personal! Thanks for the free pattern!

  6. September 5, 2013 / 5:33 pm

    This is a wonderful pattern! I love your art! Thank you.

  7. September 7, 2013 / 4:43 pm

    Very cute. I may have to actually break out the sewing machine for this one:) I am pinning it for later.

    Nicole
    HoldtheOffice.com

  8. September 15, 2013 / 6:40 am

    The blue bag looks so dreamy! Thanks for sharing at CAL link party 🙂

  9. September 17, 2013 / 3:11 am

    thank you so much for the pattern! Just made my first one for one of my daughters and love it! Making two more for my other daughters, and maybe one for me 🙂

  10. September 17, 2013 / 3:12 am

    Thank you so much for the pattern! I just made one bag for my youngest daughter, and going to make 2 more for my other daughters…and maybe one for myself..super cute!
    -Hannah

  11. May 8, 2014 / 11:27 pm

    Very nice bags, I love to make it….

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