Simple Tote Bag
Sew a simple tote bag to carry school supplies, sewing notions, or farmer's market finds. Fabrics are from the Crossroads Denim collection by Amy Barickman for James Thompson.
Designer: Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction
2-15×20" rectangles of light aqua denim (bag)
4-2-3⁄4×45" strips of dark aqua denim (handles)
Thread to match fabrics
Pink thread for topstitching handles
Iron, ironing surface
Water-soluble marking pen
Click on "Download this Project" above for the pattern pieces. Cut out template on drawn lines (photo 1).
Fold a light aqua 15×20" rectangle in half to make a 15×10" rectangle. Place paper template on fold; pin paper template to fabric. Carefully cut around template to make bag front. Repeat with remaining light aqua 15×20" rectangle to make bag back. Finish side and bottom edges with zigzag stitch if desired.
With right sides together, sew together two dark aqua 2-3⁄4×45" strips along each long edge, leaving short ends open. Repeat with remaining dark aqua 2-3⁄4×45" strips (photo 2).
Turn one set of strips right side out through one short end to make a handle. Repeat to make a second handle (photo 3).
TIP: Use a large safety pin attached to one end to turn handle right side out or baste end and use turning tool.
Pin one handle to bag front as marked on pattern, 2-1⁄2" from center, lining up ends of handles with bottom edge of bag front. Repeat for bag back.
Set machine to the largest width and length for a zigzag stitch. Starting at bottom of bag, zigzag stitch along both edges of each handle, stopping about 1" from the top of the bag (photo 4).
TIP: Ask for help setting the sewing machine to a zigzag stitch.
With right sides together, pin bag front to bag back, aligning edges at sides and bottom. Using a 1⁄2" seam, sew together pieces along side and bottom edges.
With bag still wrong side out, tuck handles inside, then fold down unstitched top edge 1⁄4", and then 1⁄4" again; press and pin. Topstitch pinned edge, being careful not to catch handles in the seam (photo 5).
Finish zigzag topstitching along handle edges, securing handles to top edge of bag as you sew.