5 steps to create your tote bag

Tote bags are definitely very popular among people of all ages. I’m almost sure that each of you has at least one canvas tote bag at home. Am I wrong? Are you sure? Mmm… search carefully into your drawers.

Anyway, whether or not you have already one, I thought I’d show you how to make a new one following 5 simple steps. Now, I understand it could seem a girl-oriented activity, but it’s not. Men, don’t think like that. We are living in the XXI century: no limits to creativity, please!

Accessory: 42cm x 37cm bag
Estimated time: less than 1h if you are a tailoring wizard, 2h if this bag is among your first creations

  • fabric size 91cm x 39 cm. Choose the type of fabric you prefer: it could be canvas but also denim, velvet… If you feel you cannot really contain your creativity use a one-color fabric so that you can paint or draw it once the bag is finished;
  • two 51cm x 8cm pieces of the same fabric or a different one for the straps. Of course the length of the straps can vary to meet your needs. The measurements given are for 44cm x 3cm finished straps;
  • thread to match your fabric. Contrasting stitching is also very nice. Think about it even if I would say it is a big challenge… you have to be very precise while sewing;
  • scissors;
  • sewing machine;
  • pins.

1. Fold the length of the front in half; sew the sides, right and left, using a 1cm seam allowance; apply a seam finish to the seams. 2. Along the top edge turn under 1cm then 2,5cm to the inside of the bag; pin in place; stitch the edge in place as close to the edge as possible.

3. Take the fabric already sized for one strap, fold it in half; fold over another 1cm each side; sew a straight line along both edges of the strap. 4. Find a good position which is comfortable for you and place the straps (ex. 10 cm from both sides); fold over 1 cm at the bottom of each strap; pin in place. Reinforce each strap by stitching a square around its edge where it overlaps the fabric.

5. Turn the bag right side out and that’s it!

Further decorations, applications, drawings are up to you!

Now, I don’t know if it is better to follow descriptions or drawings but I can promise you that it is much more easier than it seems to create your own tote bag!

Final suggestions before I go: measurements can change to suit your needs and desires. Before cutting the fabric I suggest you draw the bag in pencil on a piece of paper, so that you are free to rub it out, draw it again, make it bigger or smaller, until you find the size you like.

Have fun! 😉



leave your comment