09 March 2007 ~ 8 Comments

How to Make an Easy Tote Bag

Gingham Bag

Cat Can Sew…so…Yesterday, I made this cute diaper bag (every bag these days is some form of diaper bag!) I am by no means a “sewer” and had purchased a couple of easy patterns to try. However, when neither my husband nor myself could figure out from the instructions exactly what it was we needed, let alone decipher the pattern itself, I opted to wing it! It was so easy too!

Here’s how I did it: I cut two pieces of fabric, one denim and one gingham about 18 inches by about 40 inches and put them together, right sides of fabric facing in. Next I machine stitched them down the outside long edges, turned right side out, and pressed. Then, I turned them lining side out, and folded the rectangle in half to form the bag, pinned it, and sewed up the outside edges again, gingham (lining) side out. Once that was done, I turned the bag right side out, turned down the hem, pressed, and turned it down again, and pressed. To give it a finished appearance, I then machine stitched the gingham border in a swervy line to hold it in place. I added a small square of fabric, and pinned a daisy to the border to dress it up a bit! I haven’t sewn the handle on as yet (I cheated when I took this picture and just set it where I am going to stitch it later today. The handle itself is a long strip of fabric which I cut, sewed along the edge on the wrong side of the fabric, then turned right side out again. I turned the ends in, and pressed those too (more pressing than I’ve done in a while lemme tell ya!)

Voila! A cute little bag you can put your childrens’ diapers in, but not look silly whilst carrying around a Winnie the Pooh motif if say, suddenly, you are called to an important dinner party or night on the town, and can’t unload your kids’ stuff at home before the event, and…um…

Let’s just say it’s kinda cute, shall we!?! 😀

8 Responses to “How to Make an Easy Tote Bag”

  1. Gert Smith 11 March 2007 at 9:56 am Permalink

    Hi Catherine:

    Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoy your web-site. I love the photos of the children, and your recipes are very tasty. Len printed some of them for me to have on hand. So nice to see you sewing, as well as all your other endeavours. Not easy to have the time with 2 small children. I always loved to sew and made all the clothes for my children growing up, curtains, bedspreads, quilted blinds, you name it, and I have made it. It is like therapy for me, and I am so glad I can do this. My sewing machine is upstairs in front of a bright window, so I sure like my room. It is a wonder I don’t sew through my fingers as I am busy sewing, and looking at the view.
    Keep up the great news of your family. Love from Aunt Gert

  2. debb 6 August 2007 at 11:30 am Permalink

    Love your idea..and you are right they are easy and my favorite bags to make…in my Flickr group, “The Bag Lady” we always exchange bags and I ask for totes all the time…”

  3. debb 6 August 2007 at 11:41 am Permalink

    I have enjoyed your website and listed you on mine as a great sorce for making an easy tote. Keep up the great tips and visit me. http://crochetoholic.blogspot.com

  4. natalie 20 January 2009 at 7:34 am Permalink

    Hi, thank you for sharing this great idea. I’m looking to make a tote/library bag for my preschooler and this is ideal.

    I love the look of your site. It’s so vibrant and fresh!


  5. Alison 10 October 2009 at 10:05 pm Permalink


    I stumbled upon your site while looking for sewing project ideas…I’m about to purchase my first sewing machine. I haven’t sewn since 6th grade home economics class! But, your cute diaper bag has inspired me! Thanks for posting this 🙂

  6. Rhonda 15 May 2010 at 7:25 am Permalink

    Hi Cat! I was looking for an easy sewing project for a tote bag. Promised one of the grandsons I’d make him a bag to tote his quilt around in. And I stumbled upon your page. We share the same last name. Cute and simple bag. Easy instructions. Love it! Will explore some more of your page while I’m here. Visit my blog at http://quiltingchemoandquiettimes.blogspot.com/

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