IMG_1072Tote Tutorial

I have a bit of an addiction to bags. I love all kinds,shapes and sizes. It is by far my favorite gift to give, both personal and useful. They don’t have to be expensive, I use remnants as much as possible. The design process is always fun! What fabric goes with which accent and where do I put the pockets or zippers … Oh the possibilities are endless. That’s why there is always more bags to make. Experiment with the process, these basic instructions can be altered to change the size and functionality to suit your needs. This bag features contrasting pocket with snap closure, a lining , personalized with embroidery, and boxed corners on the bottom to give depth to the bag.  Happy sewing!

Sewing machine
Marking tool
Embroidery machine and snap press optional
1/2 yard face fabric for the outside
1/2 yard lining
1/4 yard contrast fabric for pocket

Getting started

Cut 2- 25″ x 14″ one of liner one of face fabric
Cut 1 pocket 25″ x  8″
Cut 2 handles 28″ x 4″


IMG_1049Hem one long side of pocket by turning 1/2″ two times and sewing. (Sorry no picture here)

Sew down the center of the pocket to create a front and back pocket.
Baste the two short sides and the bottom to the body of the bagIMG_1050

you can use a closure on the sides,  or sew down the center of each sides to create a total of 4 pockets .


If you plan to personalize the tote find the center of half the piece and centered between the pocket and the top edge.


I like to float my embroidery instead of hooping it. this is a useful tutorial.

If you have a snap press, place a snap centered on each side.


If you have a snap press, place a snap centered on each side.


Fold lining right sides together in half matching the short side. Sew down the the side and along the bottom. Leave an opening in the bottom for turning out.

Repeat process for outside of the bag. ( Sew bottom completely closed.)



To create the bottom of the bag pinch corners to match the bottom and side . Sew across creating a point. The pencil line indicates where you would sew.


Do this on both lining and outer.


Make the straps of the bag by one of 2 ways. You can fold right sides together, sew down the long side and turn right side out.


My fabric was bulky so I folded in 1/2″ on the 2 long sides and fold wrong sides together.


Top stitch down both sides.


Turn out side of the bag right sides out.
Stitch the straps in place on the outside of bag, about 2 to 3 inches from the sides.


Bring lining over the outside of bag pin the tops together and sew around to close.


Turn right sides out through the bottom.


Stitch bottom closed


Top stitch the top of the bag being careful not to catch the handles.