Fabric Tote Bag Tutorial
This roomy tote bag is easy to make and very practical. You can change the size of the bag to suit your needs simply by altering the measurements but make sure that the measurements are still in proportion.
What you will need
Three co-ordinating fat quarters 2 from one design and 1 from another design (I used Botanicals from The Cotton Craft Company)
2.5 metres of webbing
1.25 metres of 25mm wide ribbon or lace
2 fat quarters co-ordinating lining fabric
1m medium weight fusible interfacing
Tailors chalk and tape measure
Step 1 - Cut out the fabrics
Before cutting the pieces, I always press the fabric to ensure that there are no creases. From fabric 1 cut four pieces measuring 40cm x 20cm. From fabric 2 cut two pieces measuring 40cm x 15cm. From the lining fabric cut two pieces measuring 40cm x 55cm and then repeat for the interfacing.
From the four pieces you will need to cut a square from the bottom corner measuring 7cm x 7cm. Cut two squares from the right hand pieces and two squares from the left hand pieces. These will form the box bottom on the bag. You will also need to cut out the corners on the interfacing.
Step 2 - Making the bag
(a 1cm seam allowance is used throughout unless otherwise stated)
Take one of the outer pieces and the middle piece and sew the two pieces together along the longest edge. Next take the other outer piece and sew that to the middle piece. Make sure that the two outer pieces have the cut out piece on each end of the bag. Press your seam allowances open. Make the other side of the bag in the same way. You now need to add the interfacing. Place the interfacing on the bag shiny side down and press with a hot iron to ensure that the interfacing adheres to the fabric.
Next, sew the two pieces together along the bottom edge and press.
Step 3 - Attaching the Webbing
Take your webbing and cut the piece in half. Take one half and lay it flat long the seam on the front where the two fabrics join starting at the bottom seam slightly overlapping it. Place the other end on the other seam as before again, starting at the bottom. Make sure that the webbing is not twisted. Repeat for the other half of the bag.
Measure 12cm down from the top of the bag on each handle and put a pin or mark with tailors chalk, this will be as far as you will stitch. Stitch the webbing in place close to both edges and securely stitch the two ends together on the base.
Next, join the two bag halves together by stitching down the side seams. Press open. You now need to make the box bottom. Taking the bag, open out the corners so that side seam joins the bottom seam like this.
Stitch from edge to edge, repeat for the other side then trim seams.
You now need to make the lining. Join the side seams and part of the bottom seam leaving a gap about 6 inches open for turning the bag right side out.
Turn the exterior bag right side out and the lining inside out. Place the exterior section inside the lining matching side seams. Pin together around the top edge of the bag.
Stitch around the top of the bag with a 1cm seam allowance trim seam. Turn the bag right way round through the gap in the bag bottom. Slip stitch the opening closed.
Give the bag exterior and interior a good press ironing out the creases. Place the lining inside the bag making sure that the stitching of the seam is uppermost and iron around the top edge and pin.
Step 4 - Finishing the bag
Take your ribbon and pin all around the upper edge of the bag folding in one of the ends on top of the other end so that there are no raw edges visible. Stitch the ribbon on the bag on both edges close to the edge.
Bring handles up and stitch remaining edges of handles in place close to the edge.
Now admire your handiwork and enjoy your bag!
Made by Gill Rich for The Craft Cotton Company 2018