D.I.Y. Hand Sewing Tote Bag

Supplies Needed:

  • Fabric-Canvas or Duck. I used 3 fabrics-one for the top, one for the bottom and one for the inside. You need about 1/3 yard of your bottom fabric and about 1/2 yard each of the top and inner fabrics
  • (Optional-fusible fleece interfacing to line the straps. You will only need about 1/4 yard for this.)

Cutting Guide:

  • From your bottom fabric cut 2 pieces that are 17 inches wide by 8 inches long
  • From your top fabric cut 2 pieces that are 17 inches wide by 12 inches long
  • Wait to cut your inner fabric
  • For your straps (from whichever fabric you prefer), cut 2 pieces that are 31 inches by 4 inches
  • (Optional-if you feel like you want to straps sturdy, line them with a fusible interfacing like fusible fleece)

Cost: $15 (Without Tools)


Cut out the pieces mentioned

Place top fabric on the bottom fabric with right sides together and sew them together.

Do this for both pieces and then iron the seam flat.

With one of your pieces that you just sewed, place it on your inner fabric and use it as a guide to cut out the inner fabric to match what you just created. Cut 2 of your inner fabric.
Sew the two inner pieces together around both sides and the bottoms with right sides facing.

Sew both of your outer pieces together around both sides and the bottom with right sides facing.
Now you are going to create box corners on these. To do this, grab the bottom corner of the bag and turn it so that that the fabric is laying like this:
Sew a seam across the top tip of that triangle a few inches down from the tip:

Then snip off that tip:

Do this with both outer corners and both inner corners.

Set these aside while we make the straps.
Take your long pieces and fold them in half the long way with right sides together and sew up the long side.
Turn right side out (this will be a little tricky and time consuming. I use a chopstick or pair of scissors to help push the fabric though. And I watch a good show while I do it.)
Press straps flat with seam in the center of the back:

Now, turn your inner fabric right side out but leave your outer fabric inside out. Put the inner bag down inside the outer bag. Slide your straps inside the bag in between the two fabrics, making sure that the seam on the back of the fabric is facing the inside of the bag and pin everything in place like this so that the fabric is even all the way around and the strap ends are between your inner and outer layers of fabric on both sides and have the ends poking out slightly.

Sew all the way around the top of the bag leaving a 4 inch opening to turn it. *Make sure that opening is not where a strap is. You need to get those sewn in place.

Turn bag right side out and tuck inside into outside.

Press the whole bag. Fold the opening in and press that as well so that it looks just the same as the part that was sewn.

Top stitch all the way around the top of the bag. This will also close your opening.
And throw some stuff in your bag and hit the town!


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