Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial

This is a fun, easy and relatively quick project. You can make this tote in about 1 1/2- 2 hrs start to finish.

By the way, don't you love the Joel Dewberry fabric????!!!!

You will need:

* 1/2 yard of cotton fabric (print a)

* 1/2 yard of cotton fabric (print b)

* interfacing (optional)

* 1 yard of heavy cotton webbing (for handle). Cut it in half.

* thread to match

* Sewing supplies such as machine, scissors, etc.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric A and 2 pieces of fabric B. (Of course wash the fabric first and iron it!) In the above example I cut the fabric about 14 inches high and 17 inches wide. Fuse the interfacing to the 4 fabric rectangles according to manufacturers directions. (This step can be skipped, but the interfacing will give added stability to the fabric). Now determine how deep you want your bag. I made the photographed bag 4 inches deep. You will cut a square out of the bottom left and bottom right section of your 4 pieces of fabric. Cut them 1/2 of what you want the depth to be. For example, since I wanted a 4 inch deep bag, I cut my squares 2 inches x 2 inches. If you want a 3 inch deep bag, cut your squares 1 1/2 inches x 1 1/2 inches.

Place both pieces of fabric A right sides together (that means the nice, printed sides together and the ugly sides facing out) and do the same with both pieces of fabric B. Stitch the right, bottom and left sides (not the top). (In the next photo, the sides marked with the scissors and ruler are the sides you would want to sew). Do this with both fabrics A and B.

Now grab the front and back of Fabric A and pull it apart, making the side seams and the bottom seams come together . Do this with fabrics A and B.

Sew down these new edges. Be sure that your seams are open and laying flat as you sew over them. Do this with Fabric A and B.

Now you will have 2 inside out bags with nice bottom edges. Leave one inside out and turn the other one right side out.

Stick the wrong side out bag into the correct one. Now turn the top of bag A down and in between the bags about one inch. Do the same with Bag B. Pin all the way around. Use LOTS of pins! I think it is helpful to start at the 2 side seams, and pin there, making sure they are flush with each other.
Pin the ends of the webbed handles in place, making sure they are even with each other on each side of the bag. Now sew all around the top of the bag! You are done!!!!

Please comment and be sure and let me know if you have another way of doing this. I know there are lots of ways to achieve the bottom edges of a tote and I am open to all ideas!

If there is something you need me to clarify, please contact me with the sidebar email button!



  1. Love the fabric and the tutorial is great. You have been awarded the "Kreativ Blogger" award...check my blog for details. Congratulations!

  2. I do love the fabric and the tutorial! I have always wanted to make my own bag, but haven't tried. You make it seem simple enough I just might do it....THANKS!


  3. I never realized how easy it is to make such a nice looking bag! The fabrics you chose are gorgeous! I love the birds. Thanks for the awesome tutorial!

  4. Thanks for the tutorial, so well pesented!

  5. Very cute tote, and yeah, love the fabric!