Clearance Fabrics REDUCED FURTHER - Shop Now

How to Make a Tote Bag

This guide will show you how to make a tote bag, perfect to use as a reusable grocery bag while you’re shopping or even take to the seaside to use a versatile beach bag. If you’re looking for a beginners sewing project, this guide on how to sew a tote bag is perfect to get you started with.

We’ve used our woven Grainsack fabric that boasts a beautiful natural texture, but is also a great weight at 490gsm, perfect to be used to create a strong tote bag, but supple enough to be folded up when the bag isn’t in use. This bag is designed with an outside pocket, and a double pocket inside the bag – both optional.  

Tote bags can be a practical item or a fashionable accessory depending on your plans for the day. Whether it’s a beach trip or popping to your local store, Tote bags are durable, stylish and reusable. Follow our guide for an easy step by step tutorial on how to make a reusable Tote bag.  

Step 1

Step 1

Make templates for your bag using paper or lining fabric. For a medium sized bag, you’ll need 1 metre of your chosen fabric.  

Cut out the following pieces:  

  1. 2 x side panels - 60cmx44cm  

  1. 1 x bottom panel - 46cmx20cm 

  1. 2 x straps - 65cmx12cm 

  1. 1 x inside pocket - 30cmx45cm 

  1. 1 x outer pocket – 30cmx38cm 

If you’re using a patterned fabric, consider where you are placing your pattern pieces.  

 

Step 2

Step 2

Using your bottom panel, and two side panels, pin and sew the long edges of your bottom panel to the long edges of your side panels.  

Step 3

Step 3

Next, make the pockets for your bag. To make the inside pocket, get your inside pocket piece and fold it in half lengthways, right sides facing. Pin both sides together.  

On the raw edges, fold back the fabric by 1cm and pin and repeat on the other side. Now sew your pinned edges, to create your finished pocket.  

At the bottom corners of your pocket, inside the seam, cut the corner diagonally – this will allow you to get a sharper corner in your pocket.  Turn your pocket inside out, so the right side is now facing you. 

Step 4

Step 4

Now you need to decide where you’d like to place the pocket inside your bag. Bring your sewn side panels and bottom panel back to your workspace, place down with the wrong side facing you. 

Place the pocket where you’d like the pocket to be and pin the sides and bottom of the pocket – remember, do not sew the top of the pocket. Set aside.  

Step 5

Step 5

Now turn your attention to the outside pocket, bring your outer pocket piece to your workspace. To create your outer pocket, fold all edges in by 2cms, making a diagonal corner on the bottom two corners – use an iron to press the folds firmly.  

Sew the top edge of your outer pocket, to create neat edge. Your pocket is now ready to be sewn into your bag. 

Step 6

Step 6

Bring your bag pieces back to your workspace, now with the right side facing you. Place your outer pocket piece on the opposite side to your inside pocket, and pin in place.  

Now sew both of your pockets on using a sewing machine. 

Step 7

Step 7

Now your pockets are sewn on your bag, it’s time to sew your bag together. Start by laying out your bag panels with the right sides facing you.

Now, fold in half, so your back and front panels meet each other. Pin side seams together and sew.

Step 8

Step 8

Next, pin the corners of the bag together to create a box seam. Repeat on the other side and sew.

Step 9

Step 9

Finish the top of your bag, by folding the raw edge in by 2.5cms, pin and sew seam.

Step 10

Step 10

Now it’s time to add the handles onto your bag. Lay your strap pieces flat, right sides facing you, and fold each strap in half, lengthways. Pin the long edge and one short edge and then sew. Turn your straps inside the right way.

Finally, position your handles on to the top of your bag on both sides, pin and sew in place.

Enjoy your finished bag!

Enjoy your finished bag!

Now your bag is complete, and ready to take on its first adventure!

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations using #jfcreations on Instagram or upload them to our JF Creations here.

Just Fabrics
Hurry Summer Sale Ending Monday 2nd August!
We price match

Please get in touch with us on 01242 388390 and we can see if we can price match.