for my "Pink October" Basic Tote - Page 2.
Even a very simple pattern with only
three pieces can be turned into a beautiful tote like
this one quick & easy!
Instructions for Your "Pink October" Tote Bag
This is a very easy, quick project pattern around that turns out a beautiful
totebag you can embellish in hundreds of ways. Use your
imagination to make unique gifts and to use your scrap
fabrics and trims to create a new bag for every mood!
This pattern is completely free, however if you would
like to make a donation to benefit the Susan G. Komen
For the Cure® foundation you may do so here. Thank
you for your kindness!
STEP 6.- SEWING!! - I know prep is tedious, but it does make for a professional result... but now the fun part - SEWING IT UP! (Click image to see a larger version)
Sew The Pockets - Believe it or not, the pockets
can take the most time of the entire project!
FOR UNLINED POCKETS: You will need to press down
all your pocket edges, you may choose to finish your
pocket edges with serging, pinking shears, or with
fraycheck (a liquid glue that prevents fraying.
Next, starting at the top edge of your pockets,
stitch down the 1/4" hem on the pocket top. Then,
making sure the side edges are pressed firmly inward,
turn down the 1 & 1/4 fold at the top of the pocket
to the inside of the pocket; topstitch the facing
on the outside of the pocket catching in the turned
Center pockets on body pieces and pin in place.
If you want your bag to be reversible, be sure to
position the pockets so that one is on the front of
the outer shell, and one is on the back of the inner
shell. You may also choose to add pockets to both
front and back of the outer shell, and to both sides
of the lining if you like a lot of pockets. Sew pockets
to body pieces along each side and bottom edge, reinforce
stitching at upper edges. TIP: I always slide the
upper edge of my pockets in a scant 1/8" on each side
so that the pocket is not tight against the body fabric.
This creates a slight gap that makes it easier to
use the pockets.
FOR LINED POCKETS - Place pocket pieces with right
sides facing and stitch each of three sides of the
square together. On the 4th side stitch 2 inches along
the sides from each corner, leaving a 4 inch opening
along that side. Reinforce stitching on corners, turn
pocket right side out through the opening left on
one side, push each corner ou and press your pocket
to make it a nice flat square. you can choose to handstitch
the openind close, but I just stitch it down when
I sew the pocket on to the the tote.
Center the pockets on the appropriate tote fabric
pieces (front outer piece and back inner piece), pin
in place and edge stitch it in place, reinforce top
corners with back stitching
STEP 8.- Sew the Body - Sew the
outer shell side seams to the markings at the notched
corners, sew the bottom seam to the markings at the
notched corners. as shown below.
Sew the lining side and bottom seams, being sure
to leave an opening in one side of the lining for
turning the bag right side out later. (see 2nd picture
You may choose to finish the edges of your side
and bottom seams now to prevent fraying.
One of the side seams is sewn abotu 2 to 3 inches from
the top edge and again from the bottom edge, leaving
an opening in the middle of the side seam. This is so
that when you sew the outer shell to the lining all
around the top edge of the tote, you will be able to
turn the tote right side out through the side opening
in the lining. once it's turned you will stitch the
- Sew the bottom corners - fold your bag so that
the side seams are in the center of the bag.
This will help create the bottom corners. Match the
centers of the side seams to the centers of the bottom
seams creating a flat angled corner as shown.
Stitch 5/8" across the corner edge. Press all your
seams flat. Turn outer bag right side out. Turn lining
right side in. Make sure to press your bag pieces
well now to create a nicely formed shape.
STEP 9.- Prepare and Sew Straps
- Press 5/8" in on each side of straps, then fold
strap in half, being careful to match edges closely,
Press well to create strap.
Sew close (1/4") to folded in edges, then sew close
to folded edge on each strap, top-stitch 1/4" in from
outer edge stitching (this is the easy way, no difficult
turning of long tubes necessary!)
Press straps flat. It's hard to tell from the photo,
but you pin the straps to the outside of the body
of your tote (not the lining) and baste them in place
1/4 inch from the edge. I usually put them 2 to 3
inches in from the side seams.
Baste stitch the straps in place securely along
top edge of front and back of tote. Be sure straps
are not twisted. What you see below is one strap pinned
to the right side of the front of your tote and underneath
the other strap is pinned to the right side of the
back of your tote. I just folded the back strap up
in the photo so you could see that they are matched
up at the same positions on each side.
STEP 10.- Finishing up! - Insert
outer bag into the lining with right sides facing.
Be sure the straps are tucked down in between the
right sides of the lining and outer bag. Match side
seams and pin together and pin centers of each body
piece. You will sew all around the top of the bag,
sewing acrosse the straps again as you sew the lining
to the outer bag, sew around the top twice for reinforcing
the seam, especially across the straps. Finish seam
edge to prevent fraying.
Turn bag by pulling outer shell through the opening in the side of the lining
Press all edges well. If you plan to use your tote as a reversible one, you may choose to handstitch the opening in the lining closed. If you prefer you can stitch the opening closed by machine.
Finish by topstitching 1/4" from the edge all around the top of your tote.
Add trimmings, embellishments, flower pins, jewerly, buttons, or any other items you desire to personalize your tote ... AND VIOLA - You are done! ENJOY YOUR TOTE!
this tote is not difficult to make, I did put a good
deal of time and energy into creating it as a pattern
with the fewest pieces and I tried to write clear, but
complete, simple to follow instructions for constructing
a precision product that can be personalized in infinite
ways. But because it is such a simple design, it would
be silly to claim a restrictive copyright - I think
everyone should enjoy using it.
that end my design and instructions are free to use
and share, use in a sewing class, or to create gifts,
or to use for fun swaps, if you are "sew"
inclinded, go for it... make and sell your own designs
with my blessings... there's plenty to go around!
However, please do not reproduce the copyrighted instructions
or images on any electronic media, websites, blogs,
cd's, videos, newsletters or other media. You may link
to these pages as you wish.
Whereever copyright is expressed, here or anywhere,
please respect and support copyright law, as well as
the small arts and crafts profession. To turn my designs
or free patterns into finished products for sale now
your perogotive, however the instructions are copyrighted
and should not be recreated for commercial gain. Mama's
Pocketbook finished designs, one of a kind orginals,
and written instructions are the intellectual property
of Dianne Hadaway. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions or requests.