QUICK AND EASY TOTE BAG TUTORIAL.
This tote bag is quick and easy to make. You can use this bag for so many things, like a book bag, art bag, grocery bag, etc. You can also adjust the size very easily to the size you need. And having a cute bag is a lot of fun to carry around. This is a great project if you’ve never sewn a bag before. You’ll learn the techniques you need to know to sew a simple bag.
Are you ready to make your own? Let’s get started! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Material needed to make a Tote Bag
- Two coordinating fabrics
- Matching Thread
- Rotary cutter and ruler
- Wonder Clips or Pins
- Sewing Machine
How to make a Tote Bag
Step 1. Prepare Fabric
Wash, dry, and iron fabric to prepare for cutting. Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut out your pieces per the measurements below:
Lining: 13″ x 15″ cut two
Outer Bottom: 13″ x 10″ cut two
Outer Top: 13″ x 6″ cut two
Straps: 13″ x 2.5″ cut four
Step 2. Assemble pieces
We are going to start by assembling the outer layers and the straps. Staring with the outer layer, there is a top and bottom to each side. Place the top layer onto the bottom layer, making sure they are right sides together and the raw edges are lined up. Sew these together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seams open. Do this for both sides.
Then with the straps, place two pieces together, right sides together. Sew along the long edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn them right side out and press with an iron. Topstitch a 1/4″ from the edge.
Step 3. Create bag pieces
Take the two outer pieces and lay them on top of each other, right sides together. Make sure the seam is lined up and clip or pin together. Sew along the left and right edges and the bottom. Repeat this for the lining as well.
Now we are going to turn the corners into boxed corners. Take the corner from one of your bag pieces and grab the fabric from each side of your seam. Pull them apart from each other.
Then press the side seam and bottom seams together so they are touching and lined up.
Now, mark a line perpendicular to the seam, 1.5″ from the corner seam.
Sew along the line you just made, and then trim off the excess. Do this for all four corners. The two on the lining and the two on the outer fabric. This is how you get the boxed corners at the bottom of the bags.
Step 4. Sew it all together
Now we can put it all together and turn it into a bag! Get your lining and straps. Your lining should be inside out. Mark three inches in from the side seems.
Take your straps and place them like this on the inside of the bag. Center the mark you just made in the middle of one end of the strap. Then pin the strap in place.
Repeat on the other end of the strap. Turn your bag over and pin the other strap in place.
Now take your outer fabric and turn it right side out.
Place the outer fabric, inside of the lining fabric.
Line up the side seams of both bag pieces and pin in place. Then line up the rest of the raw edges and pin.
Sew around the raw edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a 3-4″ opening for turning right side out. When you get to the straps, go over them a couple times with the backstitch button, to reinforce the straps.
Next, turn the whole thing right side out.
Then stuff the lining down inside of the outer fabric.
Use an iron to press the top seam flat. When you get to the opening, make sure to fold over the raw edges about 1/4″ and press. Now topstitch around the whole top of the bag.
Here it is all finished. This bag measures about 12″ x 14″ when it’s done.