Travel tote bag [Tutorial]

You know what? I have never made a bag! That was about to change when I received my fabric from the stitch swap we hosted with our crafty bloggers Facebook group. I really love the fabric I received! Thank you so much for sending it to me from the other side of the world! What else could I make of it than a nice bag? :) Since it’s my first bag I wanted to keep it simple, so I made a tote bag, no zippers, no buttons, easy peasy. (Oh nd I made a cute little tiny version.)

Bag tutorial fabric

So this is the fabric I received. I added some gray fabric for the lining and bottom of the bag. Besides fabric, you would only need some batting or interfacing. I used vlieseline/vilene to stiffen the grey fabric and a cotton batting to give the bag a bit more body.

Lets start cutting some fabric!
(All measures are with 0.75cm (1/4”) seam allowance)

  • twice: 25 x 30 cm (10” x  12”) Travel fabric
  • twice: 12 x 60 cm (5” x 24”) Travel fabric
  • Small piece for a pocket in Travel fabric
  • 15 x 30 cm (6” x 12”) Grey fabric
  • 62 x 30 cm (25″ x 12”) Grey fabric
  • 65 x 32 cm (25.5″ x 12.5”) vliseline/viline
  • 65 x 32 cm (25.5″ x 12.5”) batting

Now we start sewing..
Sew the small grey piece in between the two travel fabric pieces of 25 x 30 cm. This will give you a piece of 62 x 30 cm in total. Now add the batting to the back of this and quilt it through. I used only straight lines, horizontal over the travel fabric and vertical over the gray fabric. But you could just stitch this however you like.

Bag tutorial quilted

When you want to add a pocket to the inside of the bag, this is your moment. Just take a small piece of fabric (I think I use something like 15 x 20 cm.) Fold and press the edges and sew over the top fold.

Bag tutorial pocket

First add the vlieseline/viline to the grey fabric. The short side of the grey fabric will be the top of the bag.

Than you can pin the pocket on the grey fabric and sew around the sides and the bottom of the pocket. I created two extra compartments for pencils by sewing over the pocket.

Bag tutorial pocket

After you sewed in a pocket you fold the grey fabric in half, right sides in and sew along the sides. Do the same for the outer piece of the bag.

Bag tutorial inside out

Now we will square the bottom of the inner and outer bag. Take a corner and fold it flat. Mark the corner on about 4 cm (1.5″) from the tip of the triangle and stitch over this line. Repeat this for all of the corners of the inner and outer bag.

Bag tutorial corners

This will give you the nice pointy corners at the bottom of the bag.

Bag tutorial

For the handles we will use the 60 cm strips of the travel fabric. Fold and press this piece in half. Fold open and then fold and press the edges to the center line. Fold it in half and you will have a 3 cm wide handle. (Does this make sense? Just fold it like you would when making bias tape!) Do this for both handles.

Sew along the sides of the folded strips.

Bag turorial handle

Turn the outer bag right side out and sew the handles to the top with a small seam allowance.

Bag tutorial handle

Now place the outer bag (right side out) in the inner bag (right side in). Match up the seams and pin it in place.  Stitch around the edge with a normal seam allowance.

Bag tutorial assembly

This is what we have now. Rip the seam of the inner bag at one of the sides to be able to turn everything right side out.

Bag tutorial assembly

Now close the hole we just made and place the inner bag inside the outer bag. You can stitch around the top to keep everything in place.

Bag tutorial assemby

And there it is, my first bag! So proud of it! What do you think? The size is just perfect to take a good book or crochet cotton and needle to the beach ;) I also made a mini version, cute isn’t it?

Bag tutorial

Have a wonderful day,
Irene

You can read all of the others posts on the Stitch swap here:

Monday July 21st
Stephanie — Swoodson Says
Jamie — Salutations Louisville
Ashley — Sewing Sober
Kathy — Handmade Dress Haven

Tuesday July 22nd
Tasha — Friends Stitched Together
Janelle — Emmaline Bags
Kim — Sew & Tell with Mama Eggo
April– Open Sky Creations

Wednesday July 23rd
Amy– Friends Stitched Together
Danica — The Sewing Sparrow
Bethany — Two Novembers
Jessica — The Berry Bunch

Thursday July 24th
Chrissy — Muse of the Morning
Fenna — Fabulous Home Sewn
Melissa — Rebel and Malice
Irene — Sugaridoo

Friday July 25th
Jess — Gracious Threads
Emily — Tangible Pursuits
Roxanne — Pensebrox
Megan — Upcycling? Refashion That Idea.

 

1 reply
  1. Megan says:

    Irene,
    I loved what you have done with the fabric! It looks amazing and it will definitely be fun to carry it around. I really liked how you showed the process step-by-step and your photographs are flawless. Great job! :)

    Reply

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