A reusable tote bag is awesome! I see them all over the place. Some bags are more appealing than others. What if you could sew your own bag? You could choose the fabric, making it customized to your taste.
This bag is actually a gift for one of my friends who has her own business. We see her at local farmers’ markets all the time. She makes granola that is delicious, and you can share it with your dog! No kidding! We love it here at the Mountain Farmhouse, and Finn does, too.
I thought it would be nice to make her a tote for when she goes to the Farmers’ Markets, or for any other purpose she sees fit. I found this cute fabric, which is where I got my inspiration.
I chose to make the bag lined. It could be considered reversible, also. Here is how I made the bag.
1 Yard of a sturdy cotton, canvas, or cotton blend, 44″-45″ wide
Before You Begin
Note– I always make sure the fabric I buy is machine washable. Before I cut it, I run it through a wash and dry cycle.
Laying Out and Cutting the Fabric
1- Fold fabric crosswise so the selvages are on the side edges. Keep the folded edge on the bottom.
2- Measure and cut 2 – 18″ widths of the folded fabric.
3- Open the last piece of fabric flat. It will be narrow. This will be for the straps. Cut it lengthwise down the center.
1- Fold each strap piece in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch a 1/2″ seam along the length of the fabric.
2- Turn each strap piece right side out.
3- Press the strap pieces flat.
4- Turn top edges of bag under 1/2″ and stitch down. Do this on both the bag and bag liner pieces.
5- Turn edges down 1/2″ one more time and stitch.
6- Keeping right sides together, fold bag in half, matching cut edges. Do this for both the bag piece and the liner piece. Then stitch one side of the bag, using a 5/8″ seams allowance.
7- Stitch a second time at 3/8″ from the cut edge. Then, zigzag stitch the raw edges.
8- Fold the seam allowance over to one side. Stitch along the seam allowance for 1/2″ from the top edge of the bag, backstitching a few times. Do this on both sides of both the bag and the liner.
Bottom of the Bag
9- With bag turned wrong side out, fold the bottom corners with the stitched side seam lining up with the center of the bag’s bottom. This will form a triangular, pointed end. Measure 3″ from the point and mark with pencil or chalk.
10- Now draw a 6″ line straight across (at this 3″ mark) to actually make a triangle. This will be your stitching line.
11- Keeping the bag side seam lined up with the bag bottom, stitch through all thicknesses along the 6″ line you just drew. Stitch a second line very close to the first one on the side nearest the point, for reinforcement. Turn bag right side out and fold the points inward toward the middle of the bag. For the liner, keep it wrong side out. Put the pointy ends toward the middle as well (on the “outside”). Now, insert the liner into the bag, wrong sides together.
12- Pin the bag and liner together at the top edge, matching up the side seams. Measure 4 1/2″ from each seam edge on each side, and insert the handle piece ends between the bag and liner edge.
13- Stitch one more time about 1/4″ below top stitching line.
14- Trim the excess threads, and your bag will be complete!
This really only took about an hour-and-a-half to make from start to finish. It is very sturdy since it has the lining layer, plus all of the reinforcement stitching. Isn’t the fabric just adorable?
I hope my friend likes it! Let me know if you make this bag, or what are the things you like to sew?