Today we’re wrapping up the Sew South Tote Bag tutorial.
You can find the first two parts of this pattern below:
We’re moving on to assembly and handles so we can finish the bag. This bag has a flat bottom that is easy to make. Let’s get started!
Tote Bag Pattern
1. Place both lining panels right side down on the table. Mark 3.5” x 3.5” squares on each bottom corner. Cut away the squares.
Repeat for both outer panels.
2. Place the lining panels right sides together and pin in place. Make sure the accent band seams match up.
3. Sew along both sides with a ⅝” seam allowance. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
4. Sew along the bottom leaving a 7” gap for turning. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches.
5. For the outer panels, repeat steps 1-4 but use a ½” seam allowance, omitting the gap in the bottom.
6. Press all seams open.
Box the Corners:
1. To make the bucket sit flat, pinch together the bottom and side of the lining. Line up the seams and sew across the edge with a ¼” seam allowance. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
2. Repeat for other side of the lining then for the outer panel.
3. Turn the outer bag panel right side out. Place the outer bag inside the lining with right sides together.
4. Sew around the top raw edges with a ½” seam allowance. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
5. Gently pull the outer bag through the gap in the lining.
6. Shimmy the lining into place inside the bag. Hand or machine stitch the gap in the lining closed.
7. Using a JEANS/Denim needle, topstitch along the edge of the bag with a ⅛” seam allowance.
Finishing Up the Bag: Handles
1. To make the handles, take the (2) I pieces, 5.5” x WOF. Cut each strip to 5.5” x 21.”
2. At the ironing board, fold the strip in half length-wise, wrong sides together and press.
3. Open then fold the short ends over .5” and press.
4. Fold the raw edges of the long sides in to meet the center crease. Press.
5. Fold the strap along the center crease once again, enclosing the raw edges. Clip or pin the handles and topstitch along all sides with a ⅛” seam allowance.
*Optional: To create the decorative fold over on the handles like I did, measure 5.5″ inches in from each strap end and fold the handle in half lengthwise. Topstitch along the edge on top of the stitches already in place. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
6. Pin handles on the bag on the accent band 4.5” in from each side.
7. To sew on your handles, follow the diagram below.
*If using quilting fabric instead of linen blend or home decor fabric, you may wish to add Thermolam interfacing to your handles first. See this tutorial on how to do that.
Ta-da! Your new bag is complete! Please be sure to tag @ellisonlane and #sewsouthtote on social media so I can check out your bag. I’d love to see it!
Stay tuned for some more Sew South Travel Handmade posts with patterns, tutorials and inspiration!