11 Nov 2014

Sewing a tote bag

A while ago during the spring I made myself a nicely lolified apron. The fabric was tough cotton canvas designed by Kayo Horaguchi, and the purple fairytale theme print is so gorgeous Luckily I had some leftover, so I decided to make myself a small tote bag (and that of course is perfectly matched to a certain skirt and a certain accessory I made earlier this year, you can see the pictures for the coord sometime later :3)! And I got a bit carried away so, I ended up making another bigger minty tote bag using the leftover fabric from my new curtains and throw pillows (very much in love with that one too)!

Here's a tutorial to making these tote bags!

When making your own tote bag, be aware of your own height and adjust the length of the handles accordingly, otherwise the bag might reach low enough to hit the ground when full (yes, I learned that after having it happen a lot with my old bag when I didn't wear high heels). So my selfmade tote bags won't have that problem, since they've been measured to my height (I'm just 163 cm tall), but if you're shorter than me, you might want to look into making your bag a bit smaller, or at least shorten the handles of the bigger bag.

First I needed to decide how big I wanted my tote bag to be. Well obviously I had just limited amount of fabric available for the purple bag, so I cut it as big as I could, which was one piece of 40 cm x 62 cm, the handles were two pieces of 32 cm x 6 cm. The minty coloured big tote bag was made with two pieces of 48 cm x 46 cm, and the handles were 35 cm x 8 cm.

 After cutting the fabric, I zigzagged all the edges and sewed the bag part(s) together.

 Then I folded the bottom of the bag (as shown in the pictures) and sewed to make a nice and pretty shape to the bag. Believe it or not, it'll also hold more stuff when made this way :3

 I folded the mouth of the bag two times, first 1 cm and then 2,5 cm.

 Then I sewed it and turned the whole bag over.

Now it was time to make the handles. I folded 1 cm of both edges of the handles and then folded them over, needled and sewed.

I looked for the perfect placing for the handles, while running back and forth in front of the mirror, to see that they would be just right before sewing. This can be useful, because I almost ended up putting too much space between the ends of the handles at first, which made the whole bag look too baggy, sloppy and just out of shape. So be sure to check how it looks and try holding it in your hand in front of a mirror before sewing. After the handles had found their places, I sewed them by going around twice making square shapes, that way they'll hold greater weight and also last longer.

Easy and fast! The tote bags are very durable (especially when made out of tough cotton fabric or canvas) and such a cute addition to any outfit! They are both adorable and useful, and very much worth the trouble of sewing them! I often use the bigger one as my grocery bag :3 Here they are, my lovely bags, side by side:


  1. Ihana idea ja tosi selkee ohjeistus! :D Ihania kasseja! ♥
    Oon aina ihan kassialma ja sit ku lolitalaukut ei aina ole ihan tilaihmeitä, tarvii olla sitten toinen kassi lisänä ja senhän voi tehdä asuun mätsääväksi! ^___^

    ~ Frillycakes ~

    1. Näin juuri, ja ovat varmasti söpöydessään vaivan väärti (๑>ᴗ<๑) Mullakin vielä sopivasti verhojen ja essun ylijäämäkankaista väkerretty molemmat pussuttimet niin eipä kustannuksetkaan tunnu!

    2. Kaikki matskut käyttöön ja kierrätys kunniaan! :D