Monday, March 26, 2012

Tote Bag Recipe

Tote #2

Well hello there! Long time no see! Have you been well? I haven't - I've had the sinus infection from hell, which has totally knocked me for a six. However a week of antibiotics and early nights have fixed me up and I am back and ready for action with the tote bag recipe that a few of you requested.

Seatbelts on? Awesome - let's start revving up those sewing machines. Varoom, varoooooooooooooooooom!

Heavy weight cotton, measuring 114cm x 70cm
Calico or lining fabric, measuring 114cm x 45cm
Matching sewing thread

Total bag dimensions (not including straps): 45cm x 40cm

Note: The lining does not come all the way up the inside of the bag, as the outside bag fabric is folded down for 10cm. I always think bags look a bit nicer that way.

Step 1 - Cut out your fabric pieces. For the outside bag you will need to cut out two pieces of fabric measuring 57cm x 42cm.
For the lining you will need to cut out two pieces of lining fabric measuring 37cm x 42cm
For the bag straps you will need to cut out two pieces of fabric measuring 65cm x 10cm.

Step 2 - With right sides together, sew the long side seams of the outside bag fabric together, then sew the bottom seams together. Set aside.

Step 3 - With right sides together, sew the shorter side seams of the lining fabric together.

Step 4 - With right sides together, sew the lining fabric opening edge to the outside bag fabric opening edge. Press the seam towards the lining fabric, then topstitch close to the lining fabric seam edge.

Step 5 - Sew together the bottom edge of the lining bag fabric, then fold the lining fabric into the bag. The outside bag fabric will form the first 10cm of the lining. Press the top edge, then topsitch.

Step 6 - Fold each piece of strap fabric in half with right sides together, and sew the long edge seam together. Turn the strap right way out, and press, folding the top and bottom edges of the strap inside so that the raw edges cannot be seen.

Step 7 - Attach the straps to the bag by sewing a square with a cross in it, for extra strength. Ta da - all one!

And if all that doesn't help, here's the recipe card I'd written out for myself. Oh yeah, it's pretty high tech around at ol' Jorthy's place!
Tote Recipe Card


  1. Love it -- simple and a great alternative to a plain old plastic bag. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. Very cute! Thanks for sharing!

    By the way, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Participation is optional. Details on my blog :-) The Musings of a Dedicated Housefiancee

  3. Anonymous4:08 pm

    I have made similar bags in the past, and as I HATE ironing if I am not sewing, I nowadays line the handles with interfacing. That way, after a few washes they are still firm straps. Otherwise, I found they went all drooping and I refused to iron them!


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