This is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a tote bag in 30 minutes, this is great gift idea for a friend, relative or even for mothers day. Combine this personalised tote bag with a few goodies like chocolates and bath bombs, your mum is bound to appreciate her gift. This is also a great way to get personal, your base is simple and nothing too complicated, try applique or embroidery to get creative and personal.
Equipment and Materials
- Fabric Scissors
- Sewing Machine- if you don’t have a sewing machine yet and are looking check out my post on how to choose your first sewing machine.
- Tape Measure
- 1/2 Metre of Fabric
- Bias Mouse – These come in a pack of four of different sizes which is really useful for a multitude of projects.
To get started on your 30-minute tote bag, make sure your fabric is pressed and ready to go. Measure out your main rectangles for your bag, I used an old tote bag to use for size which worked out at 16 inches by 18 inches. Cut out 4 strips of fabric to create the straps, the fabric is better doubled up to create strong straps. The straps can be as long or short as you want them to be, I made mine 23 inches long and 2 inches wide. Remember to add 1/4 inch for seam allowance on all sides of your fabric pieces.
Lay your straps lengths on the ironing board, right side facing down. Fold the fabric piece in half and press, then open up the fold, the pressed line should be down the middle. Now fold both sides inwards to meet the pressed line. This is also a cheats way to create bias binding without using the mouse, but you can use the mouse if preferred. Iron the folds into place and lay 2 layers together with the folds on the inside. Pin together and sew down the very edge of the strip, so you are top stitching the lengths together.
To place your straps onto the fabric, start by folding under the raw edge and place down on the top edge of the rectangle, make sure you are placing the strap so that the fabric length is off the edge of the rectangle. Repeat for the other end of the strip and for the other rectangle piece. Make sure when sewing on that you create a square roughly 1-inch all around and a cross in the middle, this will help with durability and stability.
To create the neat edge at the top of the tote bag, take both pieces to the ironing board and fold over roughly 1/4 inch and press, then fold over again to create a 1-inch fold. Press into place and pin, Sew the line so you are creating a top stitch along the edge.
Put together your 2 rectangle fabric pieces right sides together and pin into place. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and press the seam. Turn the bag right sides out and press again, make sure you cut off the excess fabric from the corner to give a neat point. You have finished your very own tote bag!
I would love to know what you did to make your tote bag unique and your own? did you find some harry potter fabric or some really cute trimming? let me know in the comments where you find your best bargains and ideas.