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Easy Tote Bag {Kids Sewing Project}

Posted by  ·  March 28, 2013  ·  Last Updated: March 28, 2013

Welcome to our third kids sewing project with Singer. Today Bella and I are making a tote bag. I do hope you are sewing along with us! If you are, please email us a picture of your projects so we can show them off!

Bella is rockin her new tote. It always fun to make something you can use!

Singer has a pattern download for you.

SINGER & Skip to my Lou Kids Series Tote Bag Project


We did follow their pattern however I did iron the straps a bit differently. Up to now Bella has been choosing fabric from my stash, but for this project we made a trip to the fabric store. It was fun to  see what she picked out. I must admit it was sorta hard to not pick it out for her. I gave her a few things to “think about’ though (without  trying to be to pushy haha). I reminded her a tote gets alot of wear so a darker color might be nice. We laid her choices out so she could decide which went together best. She did a great job!

You will need:
1/2 yard of sturdy woven fabric for the main part of the bag and handles
1/4 yard of the band

Cut one 10” X 20” main tote fabric
Cut two 5” X 20” main tote fabric for handles
Cut one 8” X 20” band fabric

Fold the 10” X 20” fabric in half to make a 10” X 10” square. Make sure the right (pretty) side is inside the
square.  Choose a stretch overcast stitch from your machine. We used a stitch that made  a seam and overcast stitch all in one. Sew along the non folded side (picture).

Now sew along the botton of the tote.The bottom of the tote depends upon the fabric you choose. If the fabric has a definite up/down pattern, make sure you sew the opening so when you turn the tote inside out, the pattern is going in the proper direction.

Fold the 8” X 20” piece of band fabric in half to make an 8” X 10” rectangle. Make sure the right (pretty) side is inside the rectangle. Sew along the non folded  8″ edge.

Fold the band in half lengthwise with the wrong (back) side in and the right (pretty) side out so you
have a 4” X 20” circle of fabric. Press. (I am still doing the ironing for Bella).

Place the circle band fabric around the top of the main tote piece. Line up the side seams on both the band and the tote. Also line up the top raw (unfinished) edge of the tote and the raw (unfinished) edge of the band. The folded edge of the band will be pointing down toward the
bottom of the tote. Pin the band to the main tote. Place the pins perpendicular to the raw edges. Remind kids to NOT SEW OVER PINS! Remove the pins as you sew. 

If possible set you machine for the Free Arm sewing. Pull off the accessory tray or follow sewing machine owner’s manual for how to set for a Free Arm. The free arm makes it easy to sew in circles and smaller places.

Sew on the band and through all 3 layers of fabric with the same stitch used to make the seams.

Flip the band up and press.

Now it is time for the straps.  Press the 5″ X 20″ strips in half.

Next, open up the fabric and bring each side to the center and press.

Now, fold  if half. Press.

Sew along each side. I forgot about the ends being raw. So when the straps were  done, we turned each end up about 1/4 of an inch and sewed. (make sure when you are attaching the straps place the unfinished edge of the strap towards the tote).

Lay the tote folded in half on a surface with the seam on the left side of the tote and the opening to the top. Place the side of the strap over 1 inch from the side and the other end of the strap one inch over from the other side. Place 1” of the strap end under the band to the inside of the tote. Pin. Flip the bag over and  align the back handle the same way with 1” of the handle inside the tote and 1” from each side of the back.

Starting at a side, sew around the whole top of the tote, making sure the tote handles are flat as you sew over them.  When you finish the seam, stitch over your beginning sewing by 3 or 4 stitches. Sew another line of stitching around the top of the band, aligning the first row of stitching with the right side of the presser foot. These two seams will hold the handles securely.

Take out your tote and trim your threads.


You might also like this tote bag with a lining tutorial. It is even reversible!

Thanks for sewing with us! How is it going? Any tricks or tips for us?

Leave a Comment


  1. Pocket Person
    Sunday, June 10th, 2018
    I wanted to add a pocket, but how? Anyways, it's awesome!! :)
  2. Friday, February 16th, 2018
    Wow!! Wonderful tutorial. Brilliant work. I like it.
  3. Cindy
    Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
    My girls both have machines, I see where you have dot to dot printables for them to start learning the machine, where can I find them. Thanks
  4. Ashley
    Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
    Helps to re-read a few times then it sunk in. Was going to blame it on Chemo Brain but decide it was just me. I finally made my very first project thank you so very much
  5. Ashley
    Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
    I am very new to sewing so please forgive my ignorance. I take it that you sew the band to make the circle complete. Where I am confused when you place that around the bag so the folded side is toward the button what or how do you close the unfinished top raw edges. If the handles go between the layers how do you do finish all around the top of the tote bag. Bella probably already knows the answer to that :)
  6. Monday, March 31st, 2014
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  8. Aliza
    Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
    Would it be possible to sew the top band part to the lower bag part before you do the first step of sewing? That is how I make my pillowcases.
  9. Saturday, January 18th, 2014
  10. Thursday, November 28th, 2013
    What's,I read your blogs named "Easy tote bag tutorial | Skip To My Lou" on a regular basis.Your it up! And you can look our website aboot Louis Vuitton Black Friday 2013,Louis Vuitton Black Friday Sales,Louis Vuitton Black Friday Deals,Louis Vuitton Cyber Monday
  11. Saturday, October 26th, 2013
    My brother recommended I might like this web site.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann't imagine simply how
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  12. Nancy
    Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
    My twins are four, they see me sewing and ask when I will let them sew... I love this, makes me want them to grow so I can start sharing with them! I have a boy and a girl, so I take boys would like to do some bags to keep their little treasures...
    Thanks for sharing, this projects are cute!
  13. Grace
    Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
    This is fun and easy to make. I wish there were more like it!
  14. Caroline
    Friday, May 17th, 2013
    Thanks for the tutorials! I'm looking forward to teaching my 9-year old to sew this summer and its really hard to find cute, up-to-date patterns. I have some older books, but the items in them don'r interest her as much. I hope you keep the series going with more patterns. Easy doll clothes, skirt, shirt etc.
  15. Kat In Hawaii
    Friday, April 19th, 2013
    I love how when Bella smiles, her whole face lights up!!
  16. Monday, April 15th, 2013
    I love this tutorial! Thanks for sharing! XO
  17. Saturday, April 6th, 2013
    So cute! Thanks for posting. I've been looking for simple projects to do with my DD :)
  18. Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    So cute!! I would love for you to link up at SHOW-licious Craft Showcase! Just follow this link......http://sew-licious.blogspot.com/2013/03/show-licious-craft-showcase-25.html.

  19. Olivia Mclaughlin
    Monday, April 1st, 2013

    I just wanted to know what sewing machine should i buy?? what other supplies should I always have on hand. i'm just learning how to sew & teach my daughter. Please help
  20. Cheryl
    Friday, March 29th, 2013
    Easy pattern for my grand children to produce so they may carry there books to school.
  21. Thursday, March 28th, 2013
    Soooo much better than using a basket to collect Easter eggs! Thanks!
  22. Thursday, March 28th, 2013
    Those colours are so springy. What a sweet bag Bella! :)
  23. Jenny
    Thursday, March 28th, 2013
    Beautiful, Bella! This is a great project and your tote is super cute! You and your mom are amazing!