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Tote Bag

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
I'm a freelance writer & poet; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page' from tinyurl.com/pgyyx76
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tote bag

You can make your own stylish and unique tote bag cheaply and easily with a few remnants of material.

Art and Craft Supplies

Approximately 140cm x 60cm fabric
Cotton or polyester thread
Straight pins
Tape Measure
Sewing Machine
Iron & ironing board


tote bag

1. Iron out your fabric, then lay it out flat.

tote bag

2. Cut out a piece 45cm x 60cm for the main body.
3. Cut out two pieces 100cm x 7.5cm for the straps.
4. Cut out a piece 19cm x 47cm for the pocket.

5. To make the pocket, bring the right sides of the material together, and sew the short sides of the the pocket together.
6. Press the seam so that it sits in the middle of the side which is to form the back of the pocket.
7. Turn under the edge of the top of the pocket. Press. Stitch along the edge of the fold.
8. Turn the pocket right side out, and press.
9. Position the pocket in the middle of one half of the right side of the pain piece of the material. With the open edge of the pocket parallel to the long side of the material. Sew through both thicknesses of the pocket along both sides and across the bottom. Sew through the rear top edge only to complete the pocket.
10. Iron to smooth out.

11. To make the main body of the bag, bring right sides together, and sew the material long the side and bottom edges. Press the seams open.
12. Turn under the edges to of the top of the main body. Press. Stitch along the edge of the fold, and press again.

13. To create a gusset at the base of the bag, turn the bag inside out.

14. Where the side and base seams meet, fold the material to form a triangle measuring 5cm from fold to point with the point in line with the side seam. Press, and sew along the fold. Repeat this process for the other corner.

What the bag looks like from inside.

What the bag looks like from outside.

14. Turn the bag the right way out.

15.To make the straps, sew the right sides together along its length. Press the seams so that it runs along the spine of the material, and not the edge.
16. Turn the straps right side out.
17. Close the ends of the straps with a zig-zag stitch to neaten it off.
18. Pin the straps to the inside of the bag, approximately 13-15cm from the corners, and 3-4cm from the top. The strap seam should sit on the inside. Take care not to twist the straps.

19. Try hanging the bag over your shoulder for size, and adjust the length if necessary. Once happy, sew the straps in place.


Approximate measurements for a tote bag are 50cm W x 38cm H x 13cm D. Standard seam measurements are 15mm width.

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I love all the things we get on the site. To me there are choices of what you can make according to your knowledge and like me, not having much grip in my hands. The tote bag is definately a BIG try, even if it is not perfect, to be able to finish something is a great award. Thank you for everyone who contributes.

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