So, I made these cute little tote bags way back in May to give to my kids’ teachers at school and always thought in my mind that I would call them the Summer Tote Bag. Then life happened and the summer flew by and now it is autumn. Maybe I shouldn’t call them a Summer Tote anymore…maybe Autumn Tote bags…well whatever you want to call them, here they are! I think they turned out pretty well and the kids’ teachers really liked them.
Here they are both together. They really do look summery, don’t you think? I don’t think I could bear to call them Autumn Totes. I’ll have to get some fall type fabric and make some more!
I’m sure you want to make a summer tote bag (in the fall) of your own, 🙂 so, here is your step-by-step guide to making these lovely little things!
First, gather up all of your supplies. You’ll need fabric. About 1/2 yard of the top fabric, 1/2 yard of the bottom fabric, and then about 1 yard for the lining. This amount will probably give you lots of extra fabric too. You’ll also need about a yard of fusible fleece interfacing.
After you have your materials, then you’ll have to make a pattern. Doesn’t that sound exciting?! To draw the pattern I taped two pieces of paper together and drew the line on the right side about 15 inches long. Then the bottom line is about 18 inches long and the top line is 14 inches long.
Does that make sense? Then the line on the right side will be on the fold of the fabric.
Now you’ll want to cut out the pattern and then cut out your two pieces of interfacing, and your two lining pieces. Then cut the pattern in half like the picture below. Then cut out two top pieces from your fabric, and two bottom pieces, for your main bag pieces. (When I cut my main bag pieces out of my fabric I added about 1/2 inch to the length of each piece for the seam allowance.)
Also cut out the fabric for the straps. I cut out two strips (3 in.x 45 in. ) of each type of fabric I used, so a total of 4 strips for the straps.
This bottom picture shows all the pattern pieces for the two bags that I made. Obviously, if you are making only one bag, you would have only half this amount of fabric.
First, we’ll work on the straps. Put two of your pieces of fabric with the right sides facing each other and sew up each side.
After it is sewn up, then turn the strap right side out.
Then set it all up to be ironed.
And iron it so it is nice and flat.
Then top stitch down both sides of the strap. Repeat these steps for your other strap.
Now for the main bag part. Line up your fabric like the picture above.
Then lay the top fabric on top of the bottom fabric with right sides together as shown in the picture above.
Then sew along that edge, unfold, and you have this.
Next, put your interfacing on the ironing board with the rough side up (follow the directions that come with the interfacing) and then place your fabric piece on top and iron.
Then trim any parts that need a little trimming. Repeat these last few steps with the fabric for the other main bag piece.
After you have your two main bag pieces ready. Lay them together with right sides facing each other and sew along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open and then set aside.
For the lining of the bag, sew along the two sides and bottom and set aside.
Next, we’re going to box the corners. Pinch the bottom corner as shown in the picture above and draw a line about two inches up from the point.
Then sew across your line and cut off the excess. You’ll want to do this with the other side of the main bag piece and also to the bottom corners of the lining.
Now turn your main bag piece right side out as shown.
Then tuck your lining piece inside. It should look like the picture above.
Then fold the raw edges in and pin all the way around.
Insert your straps at this point and pin.
The last step of all is to top stitch all the way around your bag. This finishes off the top and attaches the straps to the bag.
Isn’t it darling?! I really liked how they turned out. So nice and summery! I think we need to make an autumn one too, though. They are just too cute not to.
Making two was a lot of work, but so worth being able to show my kids’ teachers how much they are appreciated!
If you have any questions about the tutorial, let me know. I worry that I am not as clear in my instructions as I would like to be :).
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!