Patchwork Tote Tutorial

I enjoy making totes out of my needlework projects. So many cute quilting fabrics to accent the great hand dyed flosses. This is a very easy and quick project. It uses 1 yard of fabric, most of the time I select four different fat quarters that coordinate well. If you are using a needlework project as your focus piece trim it leaving a 1 inch border around. You can make the tote any size you want adding pieces to the sides and top/bottom until you like it. I put a 2 1/2" wide piece on each side first. Then add a 2 1/2" wide piece to bottom and top. You can make it even more patchwork-like with smaller pieces sewn together for each side, thin strips, etc.

After you have the size of front you like cut a piece the same size for the back and two pieces for the lining.

Right sides together sew the front to the back using a 1/4" seam. Sew the two lining pieces together using a 1/4" seam and leave a 4" opening on one side for turning.

To square the bottom of the bag, right sides together still, put the corners together and match seams creating a triangle shape. Measure in approx. 1 3/4" and sew a straight line. Do this for both the lining and the outer bag.

Using leftover fabric make two handles. Sometimes I piece mine as above if I've several smaller pieces of fabric left. Cut the fabric at least 3" wide to make a nice size handle width. Cut the length however long you'd like it. Press in 1/4" along each long edge and fold in half. Sew a seam down the long edge of the handle fairly close to the edge.

Turn outer bag right side out and put inside the lining so right sides of lining and outer bag are together. Put handles inside placing them approx. 2" from each seam edge and match them on both sides. Make sure they aren't twisted before you pin in place. Tuck the handles down inside so they don't get caught in the seam. Place a few more pins to secure outer bag and lining in place. Sew a 1/4" seam around the top of the bag and make sure handles are caught in seam.

Pull the outer bag through the opening in the lining and check to make sure handles are secure in seam. Press bag seams and if everying looks great and hand sew the lining opening closed. Top stitch around the top edge of the bag for a nice finish and fill the tote with all your fun necessities.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial, please leave a note if you have comments or suggestions. Thank you! I'd love to see your project,


Hi Cathie,
Love your tote and thank you for the tutorial.
Isn't it fun just to take off and build something.
Your stitcheries are beautiful.
Keep Stitchen'
What a lovely idea!! I will have to have a go at this sometime, there are so many possibilities. The centre panel could be appliqued, patchwork, quilted, or as you have done, embroidered. Great tutorial!!!

Have a lovely week : )

Sharon xx
Tammy said…
What a great tut! The bag is gorgeous too!
Priscilla said…
Thank you!! I do love your tutorials, they are easy for me a beginner to follow! I hope to make one of these soon...

Prscilla x

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