Easy Tote Tutorial with Custom Fabric

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Supplies + Giveaway Info

One of my favorite gifts to sew is tote bags. It’s an easy project that doesn’t require much time or supplies! To get started all you’ll need is:

  1. Half yard of fabric
  2. 1 1/2 yards of 1″ polyester webbing

I’m using a custom fabric I designed with My Fabric Designs. I’m using their premium cotton because I plan on just carrying a folder and notebook in my tote. For a sturdier bag use canvas. To learn more about My Fabric Designs and for a chance to win a $35 credit, visit this post! You could create a custom design or even design fabric with your logo or photo to make a personalized tote bag.

Tutorial

To begin, cut your fabric to an 18″ wide by 42″ long rectangle. Fold it in half lengthwise. Make yourself a paper template 3 1/4″ wide by 2 3/4″ tall (the bright green paper in the photo below). Place the 3 1/4″ side on the bottom corner along the fold. Cut out both corners.

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When you open your rectangle it will look like this.

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Now fold it in half, right sides together and sew both side seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish the edges with pinking shears. (You can also use an overcast stitch, a zigzag stitch near the edge, or use a serger.)

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Online Quilting Class

Now pull up on one of the bottom corners so the side matches up with the bottom.

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Pin the bottom and side edges together in both corners.

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Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then add a second row of stitching right next to the first. Trim away the excess with pinking shears making sure not to cut the side seam.

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Fold the top of the bag under toward the inside by 1 1/4″ and iron flat. Fold under 1 1/4″ again and iron.

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Cut the 1 1/2 yards of polyester webbing in half so you have two 27″ straps. Use a lighter to melt the edges so they don’t fray. Line up the straps on the inside of the bag 5″ away from each side seam. Line up the bottom of the strap with the bottom of the fold you created in the step above and pin in place.

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Flip the bag right side out. Sew all around the top 1/8″ away from the edge and again 1″ away from the edge.

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To make the straps stronger, sew an X around the end of each strap. You can click the photo below to make it larger to see how I sewed the X.

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And that’s all! I used this same method to teach a group of women who had various levels of sewing experience at my home and we were all able to successfully finish a tote in an evening. It makes for a fun and functional beginner project. Don’t forget to check out the giveaway for My Fabric Designs to get your own fabric!

The fabric was designed by me and provided by My Fabric Designs. As always, all opinions are honest and are my own.

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