Make a zippered tote bag out of leftover fabric scraps
Most free tote bags are made of cheap, boring fabrics with logos on them; however, making your own tote bag is simple and doesn’t require a large amount of material; you can upcycle leftovers from other projects into something useful and personalized.
Cut your pieces
Cut 2-by-2-inch squares from the bottom corners of the outside fabric and muslin. These two pieces will give your tote bag its dimensions, so decide what height and width works for you. Add seam allowance, which is the margin between the stitching line and the fabric edge. The latter pieces can be cut from the outside fabric or lining fabric.
Flat line your fabric
Sewing a bag entails sewing around all of the edges of two layers of fabric and ironing all of the pieces to remove any creases. If you’re adding a pocket, flat line your fabric before lining it with muslin.
Attach the webbing handles to the bag fronts.
Pin the two 50-inch long pieces of webbing in place so the inner edges are along the lines you drew; this is where the stitching will stop, and this is where it will stay when ironed.
(Optional) Attach the pocket
Steps 1-4: Pin and sew the pocket in place 3 inches from the top edge of the lower lining pieces, staying an eighth of an inch from the edges. The pocket will be on the inside of the bag and attached to a lower lining piece.
Attach the zipper
Position the zipper facing up on the top edge of a lower lining piece (one of the two you cut out in Step 4) and sew along the edge, going through the fabric layer and seam allowance to secure everything.
Put the bag together
Lay out the bag on a flat surface and sew the lining pieces together with a half-inch seam allowance, leaving a 4-inch opening in the lining side to pull the bag right-side out when you’re finished.
The final touches
Turn your bag right-side out and pull it through the 4-inch opening in the lining. Fold the open seams inside the lining and stitch along the edge. Sew all the way around to finish your new tote bag.
How do you put a zipper on a pouch without dented corners?
Without Dented Corners: How to Make a Zip Pouch
- This zipper technique does require hand sewing, but it is well worth the extra effort.
- Determine Zipper Length.
- Sew Side Seams.
- Hand Sew Corners in Place.
- Slip stitch the ends in place.
How do you make a messenger bag?
Sewing Instructions for the Messenger Bag Pattern
- Step 1: Cut out the bag fabric pieces.
- Step 2: Make the lining bag.
- Step 3: Make the outer bag.
- Step 4: Make the messenger bag flap.
- Step 5: Attach the flap to the outer bag.
- Step 6: Make a long strap for the bag.
- Step 7: Baste the strap.
What is a WIP bag?
The FQS WIP (work in progress) Project Bag is a quick, easy, and enjoyable way to keep a project’s pieces safe and sound until it’s time to finish them.