Looking for a great, all-purpose tote bag? Make this one in just an hour or two! This free tote bag sewing pattern comes in 2 sizes, for you and a kid. It’s also reversible, so grab some fabric and get started on the simple tutorial!
Hey all! I’ve got a quick, fun bag tutorial for you today. These are seriously so easy and super addicting to make! While I’m usually all about making clothes for me and the rugrats, bags place a close second on my list of addicting projects. If I let myself, I could sew up more bags than a girl could ever use in a lifetime!
My aunt emailed me a while ago with pictures of a bag just like this that she bought on vacation. She said she used it all the time and was really hoping to recreate some at home for gifts. I was happy to help her figure it out and came up with this cute shopper tote. They’re perfect for the library, grocery store, soccer practice, ballet class – you name it! Plus the reversible factor just makes it that much more fun. In fact, I think I’ll whip some up for Halloween treat bags!
I’ve already made 5 of them…the 3 not pictured were sewn up in an annoying My Little Pony fabric that my girls INSISTED I buy. I’m such a sucker! I’ve included a downloadable pattern for the adult size I’m holding here and the kid size Kira has. My girls really loved the smaller size and I like to pack mine full of as much crap as possible.
FYI: The tutorial has LOTS of pictures…not because it’s hard but just because it’s easier that way! Ready??
*Printed pattern (Download HERE, see instructions for printing below)
*Total of about 4 yards of quilting cotton: 2 yards of fabric for outside of bag PLUS another 2 yards for lining. (You’ll need considerably less than this if using 60″ fabric or making the small bag).
Instructions for printing pattern:
Download and open THIS PDF pattern using Adobe Acrobat or Reader (NOT in a browser!). On the left side of the program, you’ll see a symbol that looks like 3 pages stacked on top of each other. Click this symbol and choose which size tote you want to print. If you’re printing the SMALL bag, make sure the eyeball icon is visible next to the layer labeled SMALL and not visible next to the LARGE layer (and vice versa if printing the LARGE tote). If you have them both visible when you click print, it will look very confusing!
Make sure your printer is NOT set to “scale” or “fit to page”. You will need to print all 5 pages for the large tote, but only pages 1, 2 and 4 for the small tote. Double check the 1″ calibration box after printing to make sure your printer didn’t scale the pattern. Overlap the margins of each page, matching up the alphabetical squares on the edges and tape together. Cut out pattern.
- Fold your fabric in half, place pattern on the fold line and cut out. You will need to cut out TWO pattern pieces of each fabric and TWO bottom rectangles (measurements on the pattern). You will have a total of FOUR tote pieces and TWO bottom pieces.
NOTE: If you’d like to add pockets, you can do that now! Simply cut out a rectangle or two of your preferred size, fold under the raw edges and topstitch the sides and bottom of the pocket to your tote pieces wherever your little heart desires!
2. Beginning with one fabric, lay your two tote pieces right sides together and sew ONLY along the side seams on both sides. Press your seam allowances open.
3. Take your bottom rectangle piece and fold it in half lengthwise to find the center of the short sides. Mark with pins.
4. With right sides together (RST), match this pin up with the side seam of your bag you sewed in step 2. Pin bottom and side seam together; repeat with opposite side.
5. Begin sewing tote and bottom together at side seam. Before you get to the first corner, clip both fabrics at a 45 degree angle, about 1/4″. This will ensure that your corners lie flat when bag is turned right side out.
6. When you get to 1/4″ from the corner of your bottom piece (where the slit is), leave the needle in the fabric, raise the presser foot and pivot your fabric so that you can continue sewing the two fabrics together. Continue this way, clipping each corner, until you return to where you started.
12. Fold one strap half over on top of the other half so that they match, RST. Sew these together, with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat with the lining on this side, and both lining and exterior on the other strap. (Be sure to not twist the straps before sewing!) Press seams open.