Tuesday, January 5, 2010


This is a tutorial orginally uploaded at Down To Earth.
I have shown this bag pattern made up in a previous post and decided it was time for a tutorial.

This tote was inspired by Amanda Soule (Soulemamma)
Level of expertise: Beginner

There are lots of free tutorials for bags in all shapes and sizes, I wanted to show you one that I love and use all of the time when I visit the markets or am doing a small shop at the grocery store.
This tote is perfect to sling over your shoulder or use messenger style (as I do). I usually sling a couple of totes full of fruit and veg from the markets over my kids heads and we all walk around with them.

Lets begin....
You will need:
24" of a heavy weight cotton with a width of 42". You can use recycle a tablecloth for this. I have been very fortunate in being given a heap of fabric sample off-cuts from an interior designer that he was going to throw out.
General sewing supplies
Sewing machine.
A 1/4" seam is used for this project.

Cut fabric:
(1) 14" x 3 1/2" piece for bottom panel
(2) 15" x 15" pieces for bag panels
(1) 34" x 8" piece for strap

Place the two 15" x 15" panel pieces right sides together. Pin the pieces down opposite sides.
Stitch together.
Take your bottom panel and fold in half

With scissors, cut a semi-circle on the raw ends opposite the fold.

Open out the fabric. Line up the middle of one curve to a seam of the main bag panels. Pin in place.

Line up the other curve and seam, pin, then pin all the way around the piece. It looks like over-kill but believe me it's easier to do this way.

Turn your bag the right way out then fold down the top raw edge 1/4" then fold again 1/2", press and pin.

Sew along the folded edge.

Now onto the strap
fold the 34" x 8" fabric in half lengthwise. Press with fingers to create a crease and open.
Fold lengthwise again bringing the outer edge to the centre crease.
Now bring the other outer edge in also and finger press both creases.
Leave folded.

Fold lengthwise again on the original centre crease.

Sew down both long sides with a 1/4" seam.

Fold the short ends of the strap in 1/4" to encase the raw edge, place the strap evenly across one of the inside seams of the bag and pin.
Do the same to the other end of the strap, make sure it is not twisted.

Sew into place with a rectangle to hold it more securely.

Well done, you're all finished. A perfect size for you or your kids to carry your goodies home in.


  1. Oy. You're going to make me have to pull out my sewing machine! ;) Awesome tutorial!

  2. the fabric in this tote is cool Sue. Great pic of you too :)

  3. Thank you for this! It is exactly what I need to use now that I am walking to the market every Friday!

    I will be making myself some of them this weekend.

    Be blessed,



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