How to Make a Patchwork Tote Bag
Create a practical sewing gift with this simple patchwork tote bag. The easy square design makes it perfect for beginners to quilting and patchwork!
Designed by Visage Textiles.
- 2 packs. Fabric Palette Paris Charms (or 20 5″ x 5″ pieces of fabric) »
- 3 Fabric Palette Singles (18″ x 21″) » – 2 matching for lining & 1 for handles and tabs
- 19″ x 45″ Fusible Fleece »
- Coordinating thread »
- 1 Sew-on snap (large) »
2 Singles: 2 – 18″ x 21″ (lining)
1 Single: 2 – 4″ x 21″ (handles); 8 – 2″ x 2 ½” (handle tabs); 1 – 8″ x 18″ (cardboard bottom cover)
Fusible Fleece: 2 – 18″ x 22 ½”
1. Refer to Diagram A to arrange the Charms in four rows of five each as shown or arrange as desired to make the Tote front. Sew the Charms (RST) in rows; press. Sew the rows together, nesting the seams; press. The pieced tote front should measure 18″ x 22 ½”. Repeat to make the tote back.
2. Place the tote front and back wrong side up on a flat surface, layer the fusible batting (18″ x 22 ½”) glue side down on each. Fuse according to the manufacturer’s directions (Dia. B).
3. To cut the tote shape, fold the front side edges together and press a crease to mark the center. At the top edge, measure 10 ½” from the center on each side and make a mark. At the bottom edge, measure 9 ½” from the center on each side and make a mark. Draw a line from the top to the bottom mark on each side and cut along the lines. Note: The cut piece should measure 21″ top width, 19″ bottom width and 18″ side length. Repeat for the Tote back (Dia. C).
4. Repeat Step 3 to cut the lining pieces the same size (Dia. D).
5. Pin the tote front and back (RST) around the sides and bottom so the Charm seams match; sew and press seams open. Repeat to sew the two lining pieces, leaving a 6″ opening in the bottom to turn right side out (Dia. E).
Use a rolled up towel inside the bag to press the seams open.
6. To box the bottom, bring center bottom seam to the side seam RST. Mark 2 ½” from the point and stitch from edge to edge. Trim the point to a ½” seam (Dia. F). Repeat for the other side. Turn bag right side out. Press the bottom edges square. Repeat to square the bottom of the lining.
Note: Do not turn lining right side out.
7. Press a handle piece (4″ x 21″) in half, wrong sides together so long edges meet. Open and press the long edges to the center fold. Fold the handle so pressed edges meet and topstitch close to both edges (Dia. G). Repeat for the second handle.
8. Measure in ¼” from each side of a handle tab along the bottom edge and make a mark. Draw a line from the mark to the top corner on each side. Cut along the drawn lines so handle tab measures 2″ along the bottom edge. Repeat for a total of eight. Place two shapes RST and sew with a ¼” seam around all sides; trim the corners. Carefully cut a “plus” in one side only. Turn right side out through the cut opening. Gently push out the corners; press flat. Repeat to make a total of four (Dia. H).
9. Position the ends of the handles 1 ¾” from the top edge and 3 ¼” from the center on each side. Pin and baste in place (Dia. I).
10. Center one handle tab over the ends of each handle with the wide edge facing the top of the tote and the cut “plus” face down. Pin in place; topstitch close to the edge around all four sides to secure the tabs and anchor the ends of the handles (Dia. J).
11. Place the tote inside the lining RST matching the side seams; pin and sew around the top edge. Note: Check that the handles are kept free of the seam. Turn right side out through the opening in the lining (Dia. K). Sew the opening in the lining closed.
12. Press the top edge flat then topstitch ¼” from the edge, keeping the handles free (Dia. L).
13. Center the two sides of a large snap on each side of the lining ½” from the top edge, sew by hand to attach.
14. Wrap the cardboard bottom cover (8″ x 18″) around the back of the piece of cardboard (5″ x 14″); glue in place. Place in bottom of tote.