Remnant Fabric Tote Bag

Photo Dec 04, 3 46 20 PM

A frequent sewer, I often have remnant fabric…1/2 yard of this, a yard of that. Not wanting it to go unused, I’m always glad when I find a way to create something with my remnants. I was especially happy to come across a tutorial for a tote bag that not only used what I had lying around, but was aesthetically pretty stylish with the panels.

Photo Dec 04, 11 23 58 AM

I do recommend that you use a heavier, more durable fabric for the bottom panel such as a canvas. Also, if you don’t have a serger (I don’t have one), I do recommend using a French seam as it will give your tote bag a more professional look and completely hide all the raw edges.

Instructions:

  • I followed the tutorial exactly, except as I don’t have a serger I used French seams. Directions for a French seam will have you sew a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance, and then trim the seam allowance to 1/8″ (3 mm). To save time, I just sewed a 1/8″ seam allowance. Also, steps #10, 11 & 12 are kinda tricky with the French seams, so I’ll walk you through those steps here.
  • Remember with a French seam, you sew wrong sides together first and then right sides together. When you get to step #10 in the tutorial, you’ll be sewing the middle panel to the top panel, but you also be adding the straps. It’s important that you do not pin the straps between the fabric. Rather, you’ll want to pin the straps to the outside of the middle panel, onto the right side of the fabric as show below.

Photo Dec 03, 10 38 55 AM

  • Then pin the wrong sides of the middle panel and upper panel together. Sew together with a with a 1/8″ seam allowance, press open, then finish the French seam by folding the right sides together and sewing with a with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Photo Dec 03, 10 39 28 AM

  • Press open, and voilà, the straps should be in the right place. 🙂

Photo Dec 03, 10 51 25 AM

The finished tote bag measures, 15″ wide x 16″ tall. Should you want a smaller/larger, skinnier/wider or shorter/taller bag, simply adjust the pieces that you cut (perhaps cut the panels 18″ wide instead of the 16″ recommended if you want it to be wider).

As always, please let me know if you have questions.

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