Patchwork Strips Tote Bag
Make an easy tote even easier by choosing a great focal print and using precut 2-1/2"-wide fabric strips for the remainder of the bag. Use rickrack, eyelets, and a button for a polished patchwork tote.
Inspired by Double Up from designer Sherri K. Falls of
This and That Pattern Company
1/3 yard blue print (bag)
3/4 yard total assorted prints and stripes in green, orange, and red (bag)
1-1/8 yards muslin
1-2/3 yards green print (bag, bag lining, pocket)
1/2 yard orange stripe (bag, handles, button loop, ties)
2-18x24" batting rectangles
25x35" heavyweight fusible interfacing
2/3 yard 1"-wide rickrack: orange
2-1x30" strips cotton webbing (handles)
7/8"-diameter button: blue
Finished bag: 18x14x4"
Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Cut pieces in the following order:
From blue print, cut:
From assorted green, orange, and red prints and stripes, cut:
From muslin, cut:
From green print, cut:
From orange stripe, cut:
From heavyweight interfacing, cut:
Assemble Bag Front
1. Referring to Diagram 1, baste orange rickrack along bottom edge of blue print 10-1/2x22-1/2" rectangle. The bottom half of rickrack will extend past the edge of rectangle.
2. Sew together five assorted green, orange, and red prints and stripe 2-1/2x4-1/2" rectangles and one 2-1/2" square to make a pieced row (Diagram 2). The pieced row should be 2-1/2x22-1/2" including seam allowances. Press seams toward 2-1/2" square. Repeat to make a second pieced row.
3. Join two pieced rows to make a pieced unit (Diagram 3). Sew pieced unit to bottom edge of Step 1 rectangle. Add a green print 2-1/2x22-1/2" rectangle along bottom edge (Diagram 4). Press seams in one direction to make bag front.
4. Lay a muslin 18x24" rectangle right side down on a flat surface. Top with an 18x24" batting rectangle, aligning edges. With right side up, center bag front on batting.
5. Quilt as desired.
6. Trim bag front to 22-1/2x16-1/2". Machine-baste a scant 1/8" inside all edges.
Assemble Bag Back
1. Referring to Assemble Bag Front, Step 2, and using remaining assorted green, orange, and red print and stripe 2-1/2x4-1/2" rectangles and 2-1/2" squares, make seven pieced rows total.
2. Join pieced rows, alternating the position of 2-1/2" squares, to make a pieced unit. Add remaining green print 2-1/2x22-1/2" rectangle to pieced unit (Diagram 5). Press seams in one direction to make bag back.
3. Referring to Assemble Bag Front, steps 4–6, use remaining muslin 18x24" rectangle and 18x24" batting to quilt and trim bag back.
Assemble Bag Body
1. Layer bag front and back with right sides together; sew together along sides and bottom (Diagram 6).
2. To shape flat bottom for bag, at one corner match bottom seam line to side seam line, creating a flattened triangle (Diagram 7). Measure and mark seam allowance 2" from point of triangle. Draw a 4"-long line across triangle; sew on drawn line. Trim excess fabric. Repeat at remaining bottom corner to make bag body. Turn bag body right side out. Press.
1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse interfacing 22-1/2x32-1/2" rectangle to wrong side of green print 22-1/2x32-1/2" rectangle.
2. Fold green print 22-1/2" square in half with right side inside to make an 11-1/4x22-1/2" rectangle. Sew along long edge to make a tube. Turn tube right side out and press to make pocket.
3. Fold green print 22-1/2x32-1/2" rectangle in half to find vertical center; press. Referring to Diagram 8 for placement, position pocket on green print rectangle 2-1/4" from center; pin in place. Edgestitch pocket to green print rectangle along pocket's bottom edge. Stitch 5" from outer edges to create three pockets.
4. Fold green print rectangle in half along center fold. Sew together side edges, leaving a 6"-wide opening along one side.
5. To shape flat bottom for lining, refer to Assemble Bag Body, Step 2, to make bag lining.
Assemble and Attach Handles and Button Loop
1. Fold an orange stripe 4x30" strip in half, wrong side inside. Press, then unfold. Fold long edges in to meet at center; press again (Diagram 9). Open one long edge and place a cotton webbing 1x30" strip inside along fold line.
2. Refold long edge toward center of strip. Referring to Diagram 10, fold in half lengthwise, matching folded edges. Topstitch long edges to make a handle.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make a second handle.
4. Referring to Diagram 11, pin and baste handle ends to bag front and back 5" from side edges.
5. With wrong side inside, fold and lightly press orange stripe 2-1/2x6" strip in half lengthwise. Open strip and press long edges under 1/4". Refold strip; press. Topstitch long edges to make button loop strip (Diagram 12).
6. Fold button loop strip in half, matching raw ends (Diagram 13). Press folded end to form triangle tip; topstitch across long end of triangle to make button loop.
7. Aligning raw edges, center and pin raw ends of button loop to top center of bag back; baste in place (Diagram 14).
1. Insert bag body inside bag lining with right sides together; the handles and button loop should be between bag and lining. Align raw edges and seams. Stitch together top edges of bag body and lining, backstitching over each handle for reinforcement.
2. Turn bag and lining right side out through opening in lining; hand-stitch opening closed.
3. Insert lining back into bag and press top edge. Topstitch 1/4" from upper edge of bag.
1. Referring to Diagram 15 for placement, make a 1-3/4" pleat, through both layers, at side edge of bag front; pin. Following manufacturer's instructions, add a 7/16" eyelet in center of pleat, about 1-1/2" from top of bag. Repeat, adding remaining three eyelets to opposite side of bag front and to both side edges of bag back.
2. With wrong side inside, fold and lightly press under short edges of an orange stripe 2-1/2x22" strip; press strip in half lengthwise (Diagram 16). Open strip and fold long edges in to meet at center; press again. Refold strip at center, matching folded edges. Topstitch all edges to make a tie. Repeat to make a second tie.
3. Thread one tie through both eyelets at one side edge of bag (see photo); tie in a bow. Repeat with second tie.
4. Sew blue 7/8"-diameter button to bag front 1" from top edge to complete bag.