For some, tote bags may not be symbols of high fashion but they sure are handy and if you sew them yourself, you can make them as high-fashion as you like! Here are lots of ideas for making your own…many are very simple in design and easy to make while others offer a few crafty design features. Lots to choose from in this bunch!
Quick Note: If you’re wanting something to use for groceries, you’ll find some goodies in the list below that will do the job but make sure to also check out this collection that I put together (a must-see list that features free sewing, knitting and crochet patterns).
Ruffled: Made of soft cotton with a cascade of ruffles. This is one of my favorites!
Easy: This is unlined and uses french seams to create a nice, neat inside with no exposed seams.
Reversible Bucket Style: Sweet design with a flower embellished button for the closure, use a different print for the inside so you can alternate looks (reversible).
Scrunch Style: Lined and a leather belt (with buckle) is used for the strap, each side is gathered first before assembling.
Fold-Over: You’ll need material for the exterior, lining and scraps for pocket, double fold bias tape, medium weight fusible interfacing, cotton webbing and grommets.
Secretary: Nice and big and measures 15″ x 14″ so it’s large enough to carry a laptop, files and whatever else you like.
Ruffly Ribbon Handles & Ties: A simple lined, box-bottom style, featuring fun double-ruffle ribbon accents. This is lined and has a small inner pocket.
Braided Handle: Made with a sturdy cotton duck canvas, features a clean tear drop shape and side snaps…so simple yet gorgeous.
Compact: Folds up neatly into its own little pocket and is the perfect size to fit into a bike basket and to pick up groceries from the farmers market or corner store.
Denim: Cut up old jeans to make this, nice & sturdy.
School: Nice ‘n big with a button & strap closure. Handles can be made with same material or just use nylon strapping.
Freezer Paper Designs: Stencil any design you like using freezer paper and paint (no tutorial for the tote itself).
Fat Quarter: Uses every bit of a fat quarter to make this, make sure the piece is squared and true.
Library: Whether you like things scrappy or streamlined, this is ready to go when you are. Take it to the library or to the park, it’s big enough for all the essentials.
Simple Six Pocket: Surprisingly easy to make and cleverly incorporates outer pockets for everyday necessities.
Basic Booty: Unlined and made from jeans or other pants.
Piano Style: Fun design and perfect gift idea for piano students.
The Weekender: Here is a fun choice in a cotton waxcloth outer with leatherette base and trim, perfect for the do-it-yourselfer.
Gorgeous Lined Handbag: Made with medium weight wool suiting, upholstery vinyl, lining, muslin, Peltex and covered buttons.
Dishtowel: This is made from a dishtowel and is lightweight enough for your little reader, but sturdy enough to carry a small stash of library books.
1 Yard, 1 Hour: Make this quick and simple project in about an hour from one yard of material. A lightweight material such as quilter’s cotton is recommended.
Two Kates: Nice for holding and carrying project supplies.
Summery: Made with two coordinating rectangular dishcloths and a yard of webbing (twill tape style).
Sweet Sac: Based on a project found in a Japanese craft book with added patchwork and yo-yo embellishments.
Made With A Pillowcase: They are super easy and quick to make, involving only straight line stitching. Made with a thrifted pillowcase.
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