How to Make a Six Pocket Tote Bag

There is nothing like a simple six pocket tote bag.  You can carry everything you need in one of these.  And, they are super simple to sew. The fun part about this simple six pocket tote bag is that you can use a variety of different colors and patterns of fabrics for a fun and unique look that you can’t find anywhere else.  This is a fun and functional sewing project for any beginner sewist.  It is the perfect beginner bag making project for those of you that want to get into bag making.  I highly recommend giving this simple project a try.

Three different fabrics were used for my six pocket tote bag but you could use one if you like.  I purchased all of my fabrics at JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores as remnants which you can get for 50% off.  If you like you can head to your local fabric store or fabric.com or onlinefabricstore.net to get exactly what you need for your tote.  This post contains affiliate links that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.  

If you would like a video tutorial of this project head over to YouTube and check out my video.  While you are there subscribe to my free YouTube channel.

What you will Need: How to Make a Six Pocket Tote Bag 

Step 1: Cut Your Fabrics

  • Straps: 2 pieces that measure 4″ x WOF (width of fabric)
  • Outer bag pieces: 2 pieces that measure 17″ x 15 1/2″
  • Lining: 2 pieces that measure 17″ x 15 1/2″
  • Pockets: 4 pieces that measure 13″ x 15 1/2″
  • Fleece: 2 pieces that measure 17″ x 15 1/2″
  • Fleece: 2 pieces that measure 13″ x 15 1/2″
Cut your fabrics

Step 2: Assemble the Straps

Take one of your strap pieces and fold it in half lengthwise with the wrong side inside, and press. Open and fold the long edges into the center, then press again. Refold the strip in half and press so that the raw edges are enclosed. Topstitch on each side.  Repeat for the other strap.

Create the straps
Finished Straps

Step 3: Fuse the Fleece

Fuse the fleece pieces to the outer bag pieces and the pocket pieces on the wrong side following the manufacturer’s instructions and using a hot iron.  

Fuse the fleece

Step 4: Create the Pockets

Place two pocket pieces right sides together and stitch along the top using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Turn right sides out and press.  Topstitch along the stitched edge.  Repeat for the other two pocket pieces.

Create the pockets
Finished pockets

Step 5: Add the Pockets

Take the outer bag pieces and place them right sides up on your work surface.  Place the stitched pocket pieces on each of the outer bag pieces so that the bottoms match. Pin or clip. 

Add the pockets

Step 6: Add the Straps

Measure 5″ from each edge and place the strap piece so that it forms a handle and the bottoms match and pin.  Repeat for the other outer bag piece.  Topstitch along the straps through all layers to secure the straps.  Stop stitching about 1″ above the top of the pockets.  

Add the straps

Step 7: Assemble the Outer Bag

Place the bag pieces right sides together.  Stitch along the sides and bottom using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Box the corners of the bag by cutting 2″ squares from the bottom corners.  Match the bottom seam to the side seam creating a straight line and closing the hole you just created.  Clip.  Stitch across the straight line using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  

Place outer bag right sides together
Finished outer bag

Step 8: Create the Lining

Create the lining by placing the lining pieces right sides together.  Stitch the two pieces together along the sides and bottom using a 1/4″ seam allowance but this time leave an opening in the bottom for turning.  

Finished lining

Step 9: Add the Lining to the Outer Bag

Place the outer bag into the lining bag so that they are right sides together and the straps are sandwiched between the two.  Pin or clip the top together.  Stitch around the top using a 1/4″ seam allowance making sure not to catch the straps.  Turn the bag right sides out through the opening you left in the lining.  

Place outer bag into lining

Step 10: Finish the Bag

Stitch the opening closed using ladder stitch or your machine.  Stuff the lining into the outer bag and press.  Topstitch all the way around the top to secure the lining.  You have now finished your simple six pocket tote bag.  

How to Make a six pocket tote bag

I hope you enjoyed this simple six pocket tote bag project.  If you would like more sewing and crafting projects sign up for our newsletter and receive your free eBook of 15 handbag patterns and tutorials taken from the blog.  


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How to Make a six pocket tote bag




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  1. Enjoy this site so much, appreciate the fact you recognize the rosary, prayers and God in our life. I am interesting in reading the article for making “The Six Pocket Tote Bag” for Christmas Gifts. Being today is November 1st, I start to organize, then shop for supplies need to complete my selected projects. Now the best part sewing with my cup of tea and music on.

    1. There is currently a problem with my website that I am trying to fix, Hopefully it will be fixed soon so the instructions for the project will be up. I will send everyone an email when the content is back up. Thank you for your patience.

  2. 6 Pocket Tote. Length of straps has me confused. Straps are 4 inches wide, Got it! WIDTH of fabric pieces is 15.5”. So straps are cut out and measure 62” (15.5×4) by 4 “. I am sorry I am so confused about this.

    1. No. You need to cut 2 pieces that are 4″ wide X the width of your fabric which should be about 42″. When I say the Width of fabric I am referring to the width of the fabric you are are cutting as the strap fabric which should be 42″ x 44″ wide. It will be folded in half so you can cut it on the fold. When you open it up it will ultimately measure 4″ wide X about 42″ long one you have removed the selvedges. I hope this makes sense.

Looking Forward to Reading your Thoughts on this Project

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