6.09.2010

The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial

This bag is great for toting stuff around during your summer endeavors. This is a quick and easy bag with limited sewing involved. Pick out a cute fabric pattern and make one yourself!

The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain



Materials:
  • 1 yard of fabric (36X44 inches). I used 100% cotton; you can use heavier fabric for a thicker bag.
  • ¼ yard of fabric. This will be the lining of the bag straps.
  • Eyelet kit (size 7/16”). You will need 4 eyelets.
For this project, start and end all your stitches with a backstitch.

Step 1 - Fold your yard of fabric in half once, then again
Your yard of fabric should measure approx. 36”x44”. With wrong sides facing together, fold the yard of fabric in half width-wise so that it measures 36”x22”, press flat with an iron. Then, fold it in half width-wise again so that it measures 18”x22”, press flat with an iron.

Step 2 – Cut fabric for the straps
Along the 18” non-folded side, cut a 3 inch strip as shown below. After unfolding the strip, it will give you 2 36” long strips. Set these aside to be used later for your bag straps.

The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

Step 3 – Pin and sew the raw, non-folded edges
After cutting the 3” strip, the main folded piece should measure approx. 18”x19”. There should be two sides that have raw, non-folded edges. As shown below, pin these sides down to keep in place and then sew a ¼” seam along both sides.

The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

Step 4 – Create the ‘base’ of your bag
At this point your folded piece of fabric should look more bag-like: 3 closed sides (1 side is the main fold, and the other 2 sides you stitched closed in step 3), and an open side with folded edges. Follow the 4 steps below to form the base of the bag:
  1. Position the bag so the opening is at the top. On the bottom LEFT corner of the bag, mark a line 3” over and 3” high, as shown below. This marked line should be parallel with the sides of your bag. Flip the bag over and mark the same line (3” over and 3” high) in the same corner.
    The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

    The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain


  2. As shown in the 1st picture below, puff the corner of the bag out so you can see both lines previously marked. Align the marks so that they connect to form a straight line. Press the corner puff flat with an iron. As shown in the 2nd picture below, sew along the line.
    The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

    The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain


  3. Repeat step 1 and 2 above, but on the bottom RIGHT corner of the bag.
    The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain
  4. As shown below, trim the left and right corners off. Don’t trim too close to the stitch (when you trim, leave at least ¼” of space between the stitch and your cut).
    The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

Step 5 – Turn the bag inside out, press flat. Install Eyelets
As shown in the first picture below, turn the bag inside out and press flat with an iron. Install the eyelets, 2 on each side of the bag. I placed the eyelets 4” over and 2” down from each side. There should be easy instructions on the back of the eyelet kit on how to install (you will need a hammer, and a sturdy/hard surface to hammer on).

The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain



Step 6 – Make the straps, and you’re DONE!
From Step 2, you should have two 3”x36” long strips. From the ¼ yard of fabric, cut 2 more 3”x36” long strips to line the strips cut from step 2. With right sides facing together, pair 2 strips together and pin to keep in place. Sew a ¼” seam along the perimeter, leaving one 3” side open. Turn inside out through the opening (it helps to use a ruler). Press flat with an iron. Close the 3” opening by folding a ¼” seam inward, press flat, and then top stitch with your sewing machine. As shown below, finish the strap by top-stitching a ¼” seam along the perimeter.

The ‘Anywhere Tote’ – Tote Bag Tutorial - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

Take one strap and put each end through an eyelet on one side of the bag, then tie each end of the strap with a single knot. Do the same with the other strap, but on the other side of the bag.

YAY! You’re done!!

12 comments:

  1. Two thumbs up! I really like the fabric you chose, too!

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  2. Great Job ......Looks like fun !!

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  3. Jera, I *love* this bag!!! It is so great. I use these kinds of bags all of time. Im sorry I didn't see this post sooner. So cool!

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  4. Wow! I love the fabric! Where did you get that?

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  5. Hey Jera - just found your blog and love it! Great tutorials for a somewhat beginner - they are very clear. Going to JoAnn's this morning to buy the eyelets! This bag will make great quick gifts. Thanks again!

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  6. cute bag! i was gonna make one just like this but my sewing machine was broken :( by the way do you have any instructions for a waist apron with ruffles??? i've always wanted to make on :)


    thanks :)

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  7. Thank you so much! I used your instructions to make tote bags from novelty print fabrics to give as Christmas gifts. I am having them monogrammed also. Thanks, again!

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  8. Thank you for the great tutorial!! Your instructions were very easy to follow and understand......my tote came out beautifully!!!

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  9. wow i am a bit of a sewing freak myself.
    i love this bag and take it to work everyday..especially when we're shooting masterchef. all the contestants love it and always joke about it saying 'get it out of here' and 'it's the ugliest thing ever.' haha they are hilarious if you ask me!
    love george calombaris

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  10. I love this bag! But I can't get my eyelets to stay attached? Any ideas on how to help? I'm new to all this crafting goodness

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  11. What is the strap format called? Would really like it if someone could reply really soon!

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