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As seen in the new book "Hand in Hand"

How to make a tote bag

Surprise Me!

Here is a simple way to make a tote bag and it is even reversible. The best part it is even reversible. You might also like to make a darling pleated zippered pouch to go with your new tote! You will be surprised at how easy it is to put in a zipper with this zippered pouch tutorial.

Tote Bag Supplies

2 pieces fabric 13 1/2 inches X 14 inches (outside)

2 pieces fabric 13 1/2 inches X 14 inches (lining)

1 piece 4” X  about 44″ long

How to make a tote bag

First lets start by making the straps. You will be surprised at how easy it is to make a reversible tote bag! You will be making them for every activity. They make great gifts too!

1. Cut a piece of fabric 4″X 44″ long. Press fabric in half lengthwise.

2. Open fabric up and press each outside edge to the center.

3. Fold fabric in half and press.

4. Top-stitch down each side of strap close to the edge. Cut fabric in half so you have two straps about 22 inches long each.


Now lets make the tote bag.

Cut four pieces fabric 13 1/2 inches X 14 inches.


Sew lining fabric right sides together on three sides and then also sew outer fabric right sides together on three sides. For this bag the bottom is 13 1/2 inches wide and the sides 14 inches long.  The bag can be made any size.


3. Pinch bottom corner together and stitch across 1 1/2 inches from corner. Do this for the lining and also the outer fabric.


4. Repeat until all four corners have been sewn.


5. Place lining fabric inside the outside fabric right sides together. I slipped the lining fabric up a bit so you can see how it slips in.


6. Place straps in between right sides of fabric on each side about two to  three  inches from the side edge.


7. Pins straps and top edge of bag well. Stitch around top of bag 1/2 inch from edge. Leave a 2-3 inch opening for turning bag (I usually leave this on the side).


8. Turn bag inside out.


9. Push lining inside the bag and top stitch all the way around the top of bag. This will close up the opening used for turning.


Finished! How exciting! You did it. I hope you make tons of totes!


You might be interested in making a matching pocket tissue holder and zippered pouch to go with your tote!

The fabric is from Heather Bailey. I used Pineapple Brocade in green and Zag Stripe in gold (I think).


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