Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tote Bag Tutorial

Someone is getting MARRIED!! My friend Alison is getting married on Cinco de Mayo of this year and Saturday was the Bridal Shower. A trio of us got together and wanted to provide her with something truly unique. So we got the brilliant idea to get her a "day of the wedding" bridal bag. We made a bag and filled it with tons of random fun things that are essential to any bride on her special day. Below you will find the instructions and photos that should help you be able to create your very own tote bag.

Tote Bag


  • 1 yard of 45" fabric (home-decor weight)
  • 1 spool of coordinating thread

Measure, Mark, Cut (Place "tall" dimension along the grainline of the fabric)

  • Bag exterior: 36" tall x 19" wide
  • Bag interior: 36" tall x 19" wide
  • Handles: 18" tall x 4" wide
Make it!

With right sides facing, fold the exterior piece i half to make an 18" x 19" rectangle. The folded edge will become the bag bottom. Stitch both sides and the folded bottom leaving the top open.

Measuring from the raw edge, mark a 3" square in each bottom corner of the exterior piece. Cut out the square corner of the exterior piece. Cut out the square corners and press side and bottom seams open.

Pull bag sides apart at cutout and pinch side and bottom seams together, lining up seams and raw edges. Stitch across corner of bag to create gusset and zigzag stitch within seam allowance to reinforce gusset. Leave exterior wrong side out. Repeat with lining piece to make lining. Turn lining right side out.

Handles: With wrong sides together, fold one strap piece in half lengthwise and press. Open the strap and fold the long raw edges halfway (1/2") toward the crease on the wrong side and press. Refold the strap in half lengthwise, press, and edgestitch all around. Repeat for the second strap.

Position the Handles: Pin one handle to the right side of the lining, positioning each end of the strap 6" from each side seam, aligning the raw edges of the strap ends with the raw edge of the exterior. Allow 4" in between handle ends. Be sure the handle is not twisted and is bending toward the bottom of the bag. repeat with the second handle on the other side of the lining. Stitch the handles in place with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Add the lining: Place the lining inside the exterior with right sides together, sandwiching he handles in between the two layers. Align the side seams and top raw edge. Stitch around the top of the bag back stitiching on each handle for reinforcement, laving an opening at least 4" wide on one side between the handles for turning.

Finish the seams: Turn the bag right side out and tuck the lining inside the exterior. Fold under the raw edges of the bag opening 1/2" and press the top edge. Hand sew this closed.

Here is the finished tote filled with all kinds of goodies that a bride needs for her big day!

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