01 of 12
This free sewing pattern creates an eye catching, two tone tote bag with exterior pockets and the possibility of more pockets on the lining. Don't let the idea of a lining scare you off! This pattern is the perfect way to make your first lined item.
- Pocket, Top and Handle Fabric (the dark fabric in the photo) - 1 1/3 yard of 45" wide fabric or 3/4 yard of 60" wide fabric
- Body fabric (the lighter floral fabric in the photo)
- Lining fabric - 1/2 yard of 45" or 60" wide... fabric
- Thread to match your fabric How to Choose Thread Color to Match Your Sewing Fabric
- Optional - Craft weight interfacing to stiffen fabric
- Optional Zipped Lining Pocket Directions
Continue to 2 of 12 below.
02 of 12
Cutting Out the Pieces
To cut out the pieces for this two tone tote bag, I suggest that you use rotary cutting tools to assure that all of the pieces are truly squared off and will align with each other. (Learn more about How to Use Rotary Rulers and Cutters)
- For the Pocket - Out of dark fabric -- Cut two 18" by 14" rectangles. (18" is the width of the bag)
- The Bag Top - Out of dark fabric - Cut two 18" by 10"
- Straps - Out of dark fabric - Cut two 36" by 4"
- The Body of the Bag (the floral or... lighter fabric)- Cut two 18" by 16"
- The Lining - Cut two 18" by 16"
Continue to 3 of 12 below.
03 of 12
Prepare the Straps
- Fold each strap in half, lengthwise, with wrong sides together.
- Press well to create a center fold in each strip, being sure to keep the edges aligned as you fold and press.
- Unfold and bring the long edges in to the center fold, keeping the wrong sides together.
- Re-fold the original fold and make sure all folded edges are aligned. Re-press if necessary to keep all edges aligned and the strap even the entire length of the straps.
- Sew the layers together, sewing as close to the aligned folded edges as... possible.
- Press well.
Continue to 4 of 12 below.
04 of 12
- Fold the pocket pieces (18" by 14" pieces) in half so they measure 18" by 7".
- Press well.
- Lay the pocket on the bottom of the body piece, aligning the bottom and sides.
- Baste the edges to hold them in place.
- Measure 6" in from each edge and mark the pocket.
- Sew a straight line of stitching to divide the pockets on the 6" marks, back-stitching at the top of each row of stitching to reinforce the top edge. How to Sew Straight Lines
Continue to 5 of 12 below.
05 of 12
Attach the Straps
- Fold the top sections (the 18" by 10" pieces) in half so they measure 18" by 5".
- Press the fold to create a strong crease.
- Unfold the piece and mark 3" in from the ends on one edge of the fabric. (This will be the bottom of the outside section of the top which shows on the outside of the bag.)
- Align the ends of the straps on the inside of the marking, and the bottom edge of the fabric.
- Baste the straps to the edge of the fabric.
- Repeat for the second section.
Continue to 6 of 12 below.
06 of 12
Attach Top Section
- Lay the body piece with the attached pockets on a flat surface.
- Lay the top piece with the straps attached on the body piece,with the right sides together, on the 18" edge without the pocket,aligning the edges.
- Sew the edge using a 1/2" seam allowance.
- Repeat for the second side.
Continue to 7 of 12 below.
07 of 12
Sew the Seams
- With the right sides together, place the two section with the right sides together, aligning the edges.
- Match the seams and top of the pocket sections.
- Pin in place.
- Sew all but the top edge using a 1/2" seam allowance.
- Sew again using a scant 1/2" seam allowance to reinforce the seams.
- Apply a zigzag seam finish to the seam allowance.
Continue to 8 of 12 below.
08 of 12
Optional - Sew in optional inside pockets as described in the pocketbook lining pocket directions.
- Place right sides together and align the edges.
- Sew the two 16" sides using a 1/2" seam allowance.
- On the bottom 18" edge, using a 1/2" seam allowance,leaving a 6" section open in the middle.
- Apply a zigzag seam finish to the area where seams are sewn.
- Press well and turn right side out.
Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12
Sew in the Lining
- Place the lining inside the bag, so the right sides of the bag and the right sides of the lining are touching.
- Align the seams and edges.
- Pin in place.
- Sew the lining to the bag, using a 1/2" seam allowance.
- Sew again, using a scant 1/2" seam allowance.
- Apply a zigzag seam finish to the edges of the seam allowance.
- Turn the bag right side out, through the opening in the bottom of the lining.
Continue to 10 of 12 below.
10 of 12
- Fold the top section on the pressed crease.
- Align and pin the seams at the bottom of the top sections and the side seams.
- Press well.
- Top stitch 1/4" from the top section seam, on each side of the seam, moving the strap out of the way so you do not stitch it down at this time.
Continue to 11 of 12 below.
11 of 12
Stitching the Handles in Place
- Pin the handles so the are perpendicular to the top stitched seam line.
- Mark the handles 3" from the top stitched seam line.
- Sew the handles to the bag, sewing along the side edges and pivoting to sew across the top at the 3" mark.
- Sew across the top, just under the 3" mark to reinforce the handle.
- Repeat for all of the handle locations.
Continue to 12 of 12 below.
12 of 12
Close the Lining
- Press the seam allowances of the opening in the lining.
- Hand sew the lining closed using a hand sewn slip stitch or by top stitching very close to the edges with the edges aligned.