Learn to Sew a DIY Tote Bag

Learn to Sew a DIY Tote Bag

Learn to sew a Diy Tote Bag

If you follow Sew Very Crafty you know that we love handbags.  Sewing handbags is a favorite sewing project here.  I had this Mickey Mouse fabric and didn’t really know what to do with it so I decided that this DIY tote bag would be perfect.  This is an intermediate tote bag project but it is simple to make.  There is a zipper and a few pockets that take it out of the beginner range but a strong beginner could try out this project. To be honest I really like how this DIY Tote bag came out I know you will too.

I used some Mickey Mouse fabric that I purchased a long time ago from I think Fabric.com but you could head to JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores, Hobby Lobby or onlinefabricstore.net to get the perfect fabric for your DIY Tote bag.  I really like the contrast between the black and white in this project.  But you could go for a completely different color scheme if you like.  This project contains affiliate links that if you click on them and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

If you would rather purchase this bag than make it head over to my Etsy shop here.  

What you will Need: Learn to Sew a DIY Tote Bag

What you will Need DIY Tote Bag

Step 1: Cut your Fabrics

  • Main fabric – 1 piece at 17 3/4″ x 11 3/4″, 1 piece at 17 3/4″ x 12 1/2″
  • Canvas – 1 piece at 17 3/4″ c 4 3/4″, 1 piece at 17 3/4″ x 5 3/8″
  • Lining – 2 pieces at 17 3/4″ x 15 3/4″, 1 piece at 10 3/4″ x 12 3/4″, 1 piece at 11″ x 12 3/4″
  • Fusible Fleece – 2 pieces at 17″ x 15
Cut your fabrics

Step 2: Cut your Fleece

Using the pattern piece cut out the fleece.  You will round the corners and cut out the dart.  

Step 3: fuse the fleece

Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the large lining fabrics using a hot iron and following the manufacturers instructions.  

Fuse the fleece

Step 4: create the inside pocket

Take the 10 3/4″ x 12 3/4″ piece of lining fabric and fold it in half right sides together.  Stitch the sides and bottom using a 3/8″ seam allowance and leaving an opening in the bottom for turning.  Clip the bottom corners without clipping through the stitching and turn right sides out.  Press.  Top stitch two lines along the top folded edge.  

Create the pocket
Finished Pocket

Step 5: add the inside pocket

Find the center of one of the lining pieces and measure down 3″ from the top.  Place the pocket piece on the 3″ line and centered.  Stitch long the sides and bottom enclosing the opening in the bottom. 

Add the pocket

Step 6: add the magnetic snap

place one side of the magnetic snap on one side of the lining and the other side on the other lining piece.  To do this measure down 1 1/2″ from the top and centered and place the grommet that comes with the snap.  Mark the slits with an erasable pen.  Using a seam ripper or small pair of scissors open the small slits.  Place the prongs of the snap through the slits.  Place a piece of interfacing over the prongs for support.  Add the grommet and fold over the prongs to secure.  Repeat fro the other side.  

Add the magnetic snap

Step 7: Add the strapping to your tote

Measure two pieces of strapping. One that measures 30 1/2″ and one that measures 31 5/8″.  Add the 30 1/2″ piece to the canvas piece that measures 17 3/4″ x 4 3/4″ and the 31 5/8″ to the canvas piece that measures 17 3/4″ x 5 3/8″.  Do this by finding the center of the canvas pieces and measuring 3″ on each side. Mark using a heat erasable pen.  Place the strapping on the marks and stitch from the bottom until you reach 1″ from the top.  Stitch across then down and across the bottom in a large rectangle.  

Add handles

Step 8: Add the outer fabric

Place the 17 3/4″ x 11 3/4″ outer piece right sides together with the 17 3/4″ x 4 3/3″ canvas piece.  Stitch across using a 3/8″ seam allowance.  Top stitch along the seam on the outer fabric side.  

Add canvas to main fabric

Step 9: add the outer zipper to your tote

Take the second outer fabric piece and find the center.  Place the zipper in the center right sides down on the outer fabric piece.  Place the lining piece that measures 11″ x 12 3/4″ on top of the zipper centered with the right sides facing the right side of the outer fabric.  Stitch through all layers using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Turn the lining piece up and topstitch along the zipper on the lining side.  Fold up the lining from the bottom until it reaches the other side of the zipper and stitch the zipper to the lining bottom.  

Add the zipper
Add pocket piece to zipper

Step 10: Add the second canvas piece

Place the second canvas piece right sides together with the outer zipper.  Stitch together along the zipper. Open the zipper and topstitch. line up the canvas with the rest of the outer fabric piece and the sides of the pocket piece.  Stitch the sides of the pocket piece. Turn right sides out. The ends of the piece will still be unsewn.  Line everything up and top stitch from the side to the zipper and down to the bottom of the zipper on both sides.  

Add canvas piece to zipper and pocket
Finish the ends of the zipper side

Step 11: Stitch the Darts of your tote

Place the lining right sides together with the outer pieces to create the darts on the outer pieces.  Cut out the darts and rounding the corners using the lining piece as the pattern. Add a 3/8″ seam allowance to the darts on the outer pieces using a heat erasable pen.  With right sides together place the dart raw edges together and stitch using a 3/8″ seam allowance.  Turn right sides out.  

Layer lining and outer piece
Create the pleats

Step 12: stitch the two pieces of your tote

With right sides together stitch the outer pieces together and the lining pieces together using a 3/8″ seam allowance making sure to leave an opening on one side of the lining for turning the bag.  Turn the outer bag right sides out.  Place the outer bag into the lining bag so that they are right sides together. Stitch all the way around the top of the bag securing the two together.  Turn right sides out through the opening in the lining.  Stitch the lining closed.  Push the lining into the outer bag and press.  topstitch all the way around the top for a nice professional finish.  You have now finished your DIY Tote bag.  

Learn to Sew a DIY Tote Bag
Finished outer bag
Place outer bag inside lining

Clip the top of the bag
Learn to sew a DIY Tote Bag
Finished DIY Tote Bag

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Learn to sew a DIY Tote bag







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