Easy DIY Tote Bag Sewing Project
Join me as I navigate my sewing machine to make my own bag, which includes tips on how to attach straps to a tote and how to choose the right fabric for the project.
Easy DIY tote bag project & how to attach straps to a tote bag
Since 2015 is right around the corner, I figured I’d get a head start on my resolution by completing a simple project. My grandmother was a seamstress, and she still sews, so I had exposure to sewing in school. Since 2015 is right around the corner, I figured I’d get a head start on my resolution by completing a simple project.
If you want to make one yourself, here’s what you need:
I bought one yard of fabric, figuring I wouldn’t need it but figuring I’d mess something up if I didn’t get it right the first time, and ended up using more than I anticipated.
Step 1: Measure and cut the fabric
You’ll need two large rectangles for the bag’s body and two long, thin strips for the handles; I used measurements of 20 x 15 inches for the two body pieces and 38 x 2.5 inches for the strap pieces.
Step 2: Pin and sew the tote bag body
After you’ve sewn the three sides shut, trim the excess fabric from the seams and turn the bag inside out, it should look like the second photo below.
Step 3: Poke and press the tote bag corners
Poke a sharp pencil, a knitting needle, or the end of a round pen into the inside of each corner, then iron to flatten the seams on your newly created strapless bags.
Step 4: Sew a French seam
The next step is to make a french seam, which will give your bag a clean look around the edges; this is optional, but I think it adds a nice touch. When you’re done, it should look like the next two photos in this step-by-step guide.
Step 5: Hem the opening of the tote bag
Simply fold down the top part of the bag about an inch all the way around, pin or sew the fold in place, then sew one straight line around the entire opening, trimming the excess fabric from your seam.
How to attach straps to a tote bag
The most important part of a DIY tote bag is the body; the second part is making and attaching the straps, which isn’t difficult but requires a little more attention than the body. Here’s how to make tote bags with fabric straps instead of plastic.
Step 6: Create the tote bag straps
Fold each of the long sides of one strap on your ironing board/pad, then fold it in half and sew it shut using a straight seam down the entire length of the strap. Repeat with the second strap.
Step 7: How to attach the straps to the bag
To attach the straps to the tote bag, place your tape measure along the top (opening) of the bag and make small markings on the inside of the bag to indicate where to sew in your straps. Sew the end of each strap onto the bag with a straight stitch.
How long are straps on a tote bag?
Longer shoulder straps, usually in the 40-inch range, allow your bag to hang down near your hip when worn over your shoulder (depending on how tall you are, of course). For the petite person, this length can be used to wear your bag across your body, a position known as “cross body.”
How can I make my purse strap longer?
Connect the handbag chain to the purse strap’s disconnected end. Clip the original purse strap to the ring at the end of the handbag chain. Clip the opposite end of the handbag chain to the purse ring. Adjust the length of the purse’s original strap using the length adjustment clip on the strap.
How do you cover cording with fabric for purse handles?
What is the best way to make a corded bag handle?
- Cut two 17-inch lengths of cord.
- 5 mm cable cord. Make the handle.
- Fleece fused to fabric.
- Set a wide stitch.
- Sew the handle seams.
- Pressed seam.
- Mark the fabric.
- Edgeestitch along the length.
What can I use for tote bag handles?
Webbing is commonly made of cotton, nylon, polyester, and polypropylene, and it will unravel if the ends are not secured or finished in some way. When cutting a length of trim or webbing, it is best to wrap the area to be cut in tape and then cut through the tape to avoid fraying.
How do you make a Rouleau loop?
Gently pull on the needle as you feed it along the tunnel and out the other end, and the end where you tied the knot should begin to roll into the tunnel slowly. Once it does, gently pull on the thread, turning the loop out.
How do you dress up a spaghetti strap?
Sure, you can layer almost anything over a spaghetti-strap dress u2013 it’s just that the straps may be hidden u2013 but to make the most of the dress’s uniquely sexy silhouette, layer it with a sheer longline shirt or cropped open-knit cardi.