A tote bag is absolutely a must, a perfect type of bag for everyday. You can make it in any size you want and it’s really simple to do on your own. I’ve seen a lot of tutorials about totes but in the end I decided to do it my way.
Since it’s one of my first DIYs, when I finished it I was moderately satisfied but there were a couple of things I’d do differently next time. I always loved my mom´s old embroidered napkins so I used them for the outside of the tote.
• Decorated embroidered napkins ( 3x 17″ x 17″ ) ( or Heavy fabric )
• Lining fabric ( 2x 17″ x 17″ ).
• Cotton thread to match your fabric
• Sewing machine
First measure and cut two 17-inch tall by 17-inch wide panels for the outside of the tote and two for the lining, I used the third piece to make the handles.
You don’t have to make the handles my way ( my napkin fabric wasn’t long enough ) but just cut two fabric stripes 28 inch long and 4.1 inch wide or buy some.
Next fold the fabric edges to the center and secure them with pins like in the picture, fold again so that the raw edges are enclosed and the folded edges meet, iron and stitch along in one or both long sides close to the edges. Handles should be approximately 1″ wide.
Attaching Handles. Turn the panels to their wrong sides, add the handles at inch 4.3″ and 12.1″ that means they are 6″ apart and pin the handles 1 or 1.5 inch deep.Test it out and adjust if necessary by either shortening the handles or moving them closer to the center if you prefer. Topstitch a square and an X (I forgot the X) at the bottom of the handles to secure them to the bag.
They should look something like this.
Next add the lining pieces on the wrong side of the two panels. Stitch around the sides and bottom using a ¼” seam.
It’s now time to sew the bag together. Pin the two panels together, right sides should face each other. Sew along each side and bottom using a straight stitch, finish with a zigzag seam.
Next pinch the bottom seam and the side seam until they are lined up. If you’re sure that the seams are lined up, measure 1.5″ from the corner and draw a line, sew along the line, in the end cut the excess fabric.
Turn the bag right sides out press the corners and you’re all done