Saturday, November 23, 2013

Basic Tote Bag

There are some things that I only make about once or twice a year, but when I want to make it, I can never find my notes or I'm going to start keeping them here.

My budding ballerina needed a bag to keep her gear in, so of course, Gramma to the rescue!

I fell in love with this print months ago, and bought it because I knew that Zoey would end up in dance, but I had no idea that they had classes for 2-year-olds!   Zoey insisted on holding her magic wand for her first pictures and when I made the bag tonight I noticed the little ballerinas doing the same.

When I make tote bags for the little ones, I like to include a zippered pouch so important things like library cards and emergency contact doesn't get lost when they swing those bags around!
Sorry the colours are out of whack, but it's nighttime and I'm delivering this bag first thing in the morning.  I also made one for Alex a couple of months ago and realized I didn't take a single picture, so I'm going to have to get some next time I see him.
Information I'll need to make another one:
1/3 yard of fabric for outside of tote
1/2 yard of contrasting fabric for lining, bottom and handles.
1 short zipper
Batting - 1 piece about 15 x 36 and another piece 2" x 44" for handles (I use my trimmings for this piece)
Cut outside fabric 11 1/2" x 28 1/2", use remainder to make pocket liner or a separate patch pocket.
Cut contrasting fabric as follows:
1 piece 4 1/2" x WOF (put aside for handles)
1 piece 2 1/2" x 28 1/2" - Attach to bottom of outside fabric piece
1 piece 11 1/2" x 28 1/2" for lining
Attach 2 1/2" contrasting piece to bottom of outside fabric.
Layer on top of batting piece, quilt as desired.
Trim to size.
Sew side seam and bottom.
Box corners.
Make handles.
Baste to top of bag.
Make pocket. For this one, I did it as a patch-pocket so I could use one of those cute little ballerinas.  If you make a patch-pocket, attach it before going to the next step.
Fold lining fabric right-sides together.  Sew bottom and side seam, leaving a gap about 6 " wide on the side seam for turning.  Box corners. Do not turn bag (leave inside-out).
Place quilted bag inside the lining bag so that right sides are together.  Sew around top edge.
Pull quilted bag through opening in side seam.  Press and topstitch edge, catching handles in seam for added strength.  Hand-stitch opening in side seam closed.


  1. Gramma did a wonderful job! Looks perfect for the budding ballerina!

  2. I have done the same thing -- typed instructions on my blog so I wouldn't lose them! I think I will remember but I never do! Lovely bag and such appropriate fabric.


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