New Project: Tote Bags

I’ve wanted to make myself a tote bag for a while now.  I had an October shopping trip planned for some time so a zippered tote was in order. Unfortunately, my plans changed but by then the tote bag was well on its way so I finished it up. After all, I’m sure there will be other shopping trips! 🙂

I’ve only ever made one bag but decided it couldn’t be that difficult to sew up a tote bag. Right?

Since I wanted to save my $$ for our trip I started searching through my fabrics to see what I could use. I found a Classic Minis charm pack by Darlene Zimmerman that was perfect. Paired up with Kona Charcoal for the lining, I think it was a great combination.

Fabric pull for Zippered Tote

I started by making two nine patch blocks.  I wanted the tote to be a bit bigger so I added a strip of the Charcoal along the bottom.

9 Patch Tote Bag with Zipper

I didn’t want a heavy quilted bag but wanted something with a little structure to it. I ended up using interfacing on both the front and back panels. You can kind of see how the interfacing makes the fabric a bit ‘crinkly’, especially on the white pieces, and I don’t like that look.  I think I probably used one that was a bit too heavy.   When I make this bag again, I’ll try a lighter interfacing.

Zipper on Tote Bag

I like to be able to close my bags and thought a zipper would be better for me than snaps. But, the one thing I’ve NEVER done is put in a zipper. On anything. So I searched around and found a great tutorial for a recessed zipper by April of Sewing Novice. I tell you, if you want a zipper tut that’s easy to follow, you’ll love this one!

Recessed Zipper Tote Bag - Nine Patch

I made the handles a bit longer than on a normal tote bag so it could be carried more easily on my shoulder.  The handles are made from the same fabric as the lining.

I didn’t have a pattern to use, but overall this was an easy bag to make and I’m really happy with it. It’s a great way to make use of a charm pack and I already have plans to make a few more. I had it done in an afternoon. They’ll make great Christmas presents if you need something quick and easy.

When I make the next tote I’ll try to remember to take progress pics and write up a tutorial on how I make it, so you can make your own. 🙂

This coming week I hope to make some good progress on the churn dash quilt I’m making; I think this one will be waaay better than my first attempt.  What are you working on this week?





About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
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8 Responses to New Project: Tote Bags

  1. Great work! So glad you were able to easily follow my tutorial! I’m impressed with how your whole bag turned out. Thanks for sharing my tutorial. I really appreciate it.

  2. Kathy Dye says:

    Love it…… Christmas gift idea for your sister. You know, the one that wants the Chocolate and Cherries quilt. Good job.

  3. I’m so impressed that you put that all together without a pattern especially since that’s your first zipper. It looks AMAZING! Congratulations 🙂

  4. Melissa says:

    Please share how you did this, it’s pretty awesome! Great work.

  5. Jasmine says:

    This looks great! Especially your zipper. I need to go check out that tutorial.

  6. Oh wow your recessed zipper looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing the tute 🙂

  7. This turned out great, and I love that you created it on your own. A tutorial would be awesome, when you have the time!

  8. Cheryl says:

    What a beautiful tote. I would love a tutorial, especially showing how you put the zipper in the tote.

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