This is a fun and functional bag making project that anyone with basic sewing skills can make. This summer tote bag is great for the beach or pool. It is also a terrific way to start bag making if you haven’t made handbag’s before. This particular beach tote bag is a beginner bag making project. The rope handles give it that perfect summer vibe that you need for that beautiful summer day. So if you are heading to the pool or beach this summer it’s time to create this terrific summer tote bag to take along with you.
I used some striped utility fabric for the outside of my beach tote and a bright yellow Kona cotton for the lining. I love bright colors and they are perfect for the lining of any bag. These fabrics were purchased at JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores but you could head to Hobby Lobby, Fabric.com, or onlinefabricstore.net to get exactly what you need for your beach tote. I also used some 1/2″ cotton rope for the handles for that beach/pool vibe. You can get that at Amazon. 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 Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
What you will Need: How to Make a Summer Tote Bag
- 1 yd each of outer and lining fabric
- 2 x 39 1/2″ of 1/2″ cotton rope
- 4 1″ curtain grommets
- Kam Snaps
Step 1: Cut your Fabrics
- From the outer and lining fabric cut two pieces each that measure 17 1/2″ x 15″.
- From the outer Fabric cut two pieces that measure 11″ x 15″
- Cut two lining pieces measuring 8 5/8″ x 8 5/8″
Step 2: Cut the Corners
From both the outer pieces and the lining pieces cut a square from all of the bottom corners that measure 2 3/8″ x 2 3/8″.
Step 3: Create the Outer Pockets
Take the outer fabric pieces that measure 11″ x 15″ and fold them in half widthwise and press. Stitch along the sides and bottom using a 1/4″ seam allowance but leave an opening in the bottom for turning. clip the corners. Turn the pieces right sides out and press. Topstitch along the top folded edge.
Step 4: Stitch the side of the Outer Summer Tote Bag
Place the outer pieces right sides together and stitch along one side using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam open.
Step 5: Add the First pocket
Place the first pocket piece in the center of the side seam about 3/8″ from the bottom. Stitch from one side to the other enclosing the opening in the bottom as you go.
Step 6: Stitch the other side of the Outer Summer Tote
Place the pieces right sides together and stitch the side using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Add the second pocket piece in the same way you added the first.
Step 7: Box the Corners
Turn the bag wrong sides out. Stitch the bottom. Pinch the bottom and the sides. Stitch along the seam line using a 1/4″ seam allowance on both sides.
Step 8: Create the Lining Pocket
Take the lining pocket pieces and place them right sides together. Stitch all the way around leaving an opening on the bottom for turning. Turn the pocket right sides out and press. Topstitch along the top edge of the pocket piece.
Step 9: Add the Pocket to the Lining
Find the center of one of the lining pieces. Place the pocket piece 3 1/8″ from the top and centered. Stitch from side to side enclosing the opening in the bottom.
Step 10: Create the Lining
Place the lining pieces right sides together and stitch along the sides and the bottom leaving an opening in one of the sides for turning. Box the corners in the same way you did for the outer bag. Add the magnetic snaps by placing one side of the snap on each side of the right side of the lining. Find the center of the lining and measure down 1″ form the top and place the snaps according to the manufacturers instructions. I like to place a piece of Peltex interfacing to the back of both sides of my snaps for extra sturdiness.
Step 11: Add the Outer Bag to the Lining
Place the outer bag into the lining bag so that they are right sides together. Stitch all the way around the top using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn the bag right sides out through the opening you left in the lining. Close the lining using ladder stitch. Press. Top stitch all around the top of the bag.
Step 12: Add the Grommets
Find the center of the bag. Measure 3 1/8″ on each side and down 1 1/2″. Using the template for the curtain grommet draw the holes. You should have four holes, two on each side of the bag. Cut out the holes and snap in the grommets according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 13: Add the Kam Snaps
Measure 2″ from either side of the side seams and 7/8″ down from the top and make a mark. There should be four marks total. Insert the Kam snaps on both sides of the bag following the manufacturer’s instructions or you can follow this video.
Step 14: Add the Rope
Cut the rope in half and insert into the grommets and tie a knot to secure. You have now finished your beach tote bag.
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