Canvas Tote Bag Pattern
- Mustard Canvas 2 x 20″ by 20″ = 50 cm by 50 cm for outer and lining panels
- Striped Canvas 2 x 20″ by 20″= 50 cm by 50 cm for outer and lining panels
- 2 Strips of mustard canvas fabric 26″ by 5″ = 67 cm x 13 cm for handles
- Interfacing 2 x 20″ by 20″ = 50 cm x 50 cm (this and this are good options but for a super stiff, sturdy bag use this)
- Bag Pattern available to purchase here
- Sewing machine (I used this one)
- Zipper foot for when making the handles (tutorial here)
- Jeans/Canvas needle of 100/16 or 110/18 (recommended)
- Heavy duty thread in color of choice
- Fabric marker
- Cording for handles
- Pins or clips
- Tips for sewing with canvas found here.
Cut the fabrics
- Wash, dry and iron your fabric.
- Print your pattern pieces from here.
- Assemble the pattern for the top piece and the bottom piece.
- Place both top and bottom pattern pieces on the striped fabric and cut around the patterns. Do the same for the mustard fabric.
Prepare fabric pieces
- Then mix and match. Match the bottom pieces of the mustard to the top pieces of the striped fabric and the bottom pieces of the striped fabric to the top pieces of the mustard. I used the mustard top/ striped bottom panel as lining but you can choose which ever one you like.
- Place the pattern pieces on the interfacing and cut accordingly. You will only need 2 pieces for the bottom and 2 for the top as you’ll only use interfacing for the outer fabric panels.
- Fuse interfacing to the outer fabric as instructed on the package.
Sew the bag pieces
- Take the outer panels and match them at the straight line, facing together then sew with 1/4″ seam allowance. Do the same for the other outer panels and the lining panels.
- Now you’ll have 2 big outer fabric pieces and 2 big lining pieces.
- Take the 2 outer fabric pieces, pin at the sides and the bottom then sew a 1/4″ seam.
- Do the same for the 2 lining pieces.
Box the bags
- Box the lining fabric. In the corner, measure 2″ = 5 cm away from the side and the bottom and mark with a fabric marker.
- Now pinch the top fabric and match the side seam to the bottom seam, lining them up to make a nice triangle. Stick a pin if you need to.
- Sew a straight line perpendicular to the corner and do a backstitch at the beginning and at the end.
- When boxing the outer bag you may find it difficult to pinch and match the seams so draw the 2″ mark and cut the fabric out then match the seams as above and sew with 1/8″ allowance, backstitching at the beginning and the end.
Insert the handles
- Make the corded handles as indicated in this tutorial.
- Take your handles and place them on the outer bag as indicated in the image below, 4″ away from each side and 1/8″ outside the rounded top. Pin in place and sew to the bag with 1/8″ allowance.
Assemble the bag
- Take your lining and outer bag and place the outer bag into the lining bag, facing right sides together. (I added some simple pockets to my lining before so that’s what shows in the image below)
- Match up the top side seams and edges, pin, and sew leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance around the top of the bag.
- Don’t sew all around the bag. Leave an opening in between the handles on one side of the bag, to leave room to turn the bag right side out.
Finishing the bag
- Turn the bag right side out through the gap. If you use really stiff interfacing this will prove a bit tricky. Spray some water on your outer bag to make the interfacing moist then turn the bag right side out. This will also help with ironing which is the next step, once the bag is right side out.
- Place the lining down into the bag, iron your top edges, and top stitch as close to the edge as possible.
- Use an ironing board or the back of a chair to smooth out the wrinkles easier. If you didn’t spray any water on the previous step, you may want to do it now or use a damp cloth.
- Done! Enjoy your new super duper, super roomy and super summery tote bag!!
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