Oh, the tote bag. Let’s be honest: Even if we have a dozen of them, there’s always room for one more. Whether it’s for the beach or the market, a tote bag is a must, turning any pile of stuff into something tidy and chic. And once you learn how simple it is to make your own, you’ll be toting everywhere!
- (2) 12×18 in. pieces of fabric for the bag (Something medium or heavy like canvas works nicely.)
- (1) 8×10 in. fabric for the pocket
- (2) 29 in. straps (You can buy straps by the yard at your craft store.)
- Sewing machine (with a good sized needle) and thread
Step 1: The Pocket
- Fold in 1/2 inch on sides B, C, and D, starching and ironing to keep in place.
- Fold in 1/2 inch on side A, then another 1 inch to make a hem. Iron and sew side A only.
- Place the pocket on one of the main pieces of fabric about 4 inches from the top, center between the two sides, and pin in place. Sew sides B, C, and D to the fabric.
Step 2: The Bag
- Hem the top (side A) of each piece. Do this by folding in 1/2 inch, then another 1 inch. Iron, pin, and sew.
- With right sides together (the pocket will be on the inside), pin around the three un-hemmed sides. Sew along sides B, C, and D together.
- Here you may want to zigzag stitch the seam.
- Boxing out the bottom gives a little more structure to your bag. Do this by starting at one of the bottom corners. Pinch and pull so that the bottom seam and the side seam are lined up. It should make a triangle.
- Once you have made this triangle and the seams are lined up perfectly, flatten it out, then measure 1.5 inches down the seam. Make a mark.
- Draw a line from each side to form a perfect triangle through the mark. Sew along the line.
- Do this to the other side, making sure the measurements are precise. If done correctly, you should have little “ears” now, as well as a boxed out bottom.
Step 4: The Straps
- Fold in each end 1/2 inch and sew to prevent unraveling.
- Pin one strap to one side of the fabric 2 inches in from the side seam. Take the other end of the strap and pin it to the same piece of fabric on the other side, 2 inches in.
- Do the same thing with the other strap and other side. Test it out and adjust if necessary by either shortening the straps or moving them closer to the center.
- Sew the strap ends to the material by sewing a box and then an X for extra support.
- Do the same to the other side and then…you’re finished!