The Tote Bag

When I started sewing, a few years ago, I only sewed accessories (bags, pencil cases etc ...) with beautiful canvas cottons found during my travels in Latin America or the beautiful fabrics of my Grandmother ! After several tries, I was still not 100% satisfied! So I was inspired by some existing tutorials to create the perfect tote bag that I use every day! I share it with you here.


Materials needed for this project:

  • 2 canvas squares for the outside of the bag measuring 47x47 cm
  • 2 squares of 100% cotton fabrics for the inside of the bag of 47 * 47 cm
  • 70 cm of straps (2 times) for the handles
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • pins
  • matching tread

Step 1 : Make your square pattern with a sheet of 47 cm * 47 cm.
Install it on your fabrics and cut 2 pieces of canvas fabric and 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabrics. 

Step 2 : Cut a 5x5 cm square at the bottom of each of the 4 fabrics.
PS. Only at the bottom to make the bottom of the bag and not at the top of the bag.

Step 3 (optional): If you want to apply a label, use the zigzag stitch on your machine and apply it before stitching your fabrics together.

Step 4 : Place your fabrics right sides together. Do the same steps for the canvas fabric (exterior) as well as the 100% cotton fabric (interior). Sew the sides and the bottom of the bag 1 cm from the edge. Then overlock or do a zigzag stitch if you don't have an overlocker.
WARNING : For the inner part of the bag (100% cotton), leave a space of 10 cm on the seam of the bottom of the bag to be able to turn it over later.








Step 5 : Flatten the angles, pin and sew them together to close the bottom of the bag. Sew a seam 1 cm from the edge and overlock. (Or do a zigzag stitch) to prevent the fabric from fraying. Repeat for the inside of the 100% cotton bag.










Step 6 : Turn the canvas fabric right side up. Pin the handles 12 cm from the edge of the fabric of both
sides of the bag and sew. I always prefer to sew an X so that the handles are solid and hold without tearing the fabric. Repeat the same steps for the 4 ends of the handles.
** Make sure that the handles are not turned over before sewing the X's in the squares to avoid having to unstitch.


Step 7 : When finished, leave the canvas side up and leave the 100% cotton lining inside out. 

Slip on the bag through the lining, right sides together.
Slide your handles well to the bottom between the two fabrics.
Check that your two bottoms of the bag are touching.
Pin the side seams facing each other then pin all around.
Sew 2 cm from the edge or lower than the square seam where you made the Xs to secure the straps then overcast in a zig zag or overlock.

Step 8 : Slip your hand through the hole in the bag and turn it outside.

Step 9 : Tuck the fabric of the hole inward then pin.
Sew straight stitch along the hole 3mm from the edge.

Final step :
Push the liner to the bottom of the bag.
And there you have it
If you want you can iron the top of the bag for a nicer finish!