Mama's Pocketbook Purse Images
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Free Tote Pattern
- by Dianne Prather -


Enjoy My Free Tote Bag Pattern and Tutorial!
It is free for you to use however you wish - Be Creative


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!

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PAGE 2 of 2 Free Tote Pattern Instructions

Click Here for Easy Printable Instructions Page

Click Here for Printable PDF File

Click Here for How to Make Boxed Corners

Click Here for To Return to Page 1. of Free Tote Pattern Instructions


  • 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)

Pink October Tote Pockets

  • Sew The Pockets - Believe it or not, the pockets take the most time of the entire project! Ok, you have pressed 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 in sides.
  • Place pocket 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.

Pink October Tote Supplies

  • 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 down.)
  • You may choose to finish the edges of your side and bottom seams now to prevent fraying

Pink October Pattern Body

Pink October Pattern Body

  • Sew the bottom corners - fold the bottom corners by matching the centers of the side and bottom seams and creating a triangle as shown below. Stitch 5/8" across the corner edge
  • Now it's time to press all your seams open. Turn outer shell right side out. Turn lining right side in. Make sure to press your bag pieces well now to create a nicely formed shape.

Pink October Tote Supplies

  • 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 and pin to markings at top edge of outer body shell
  • Stitch straps in place securely

Pink October Tote Straps

Pink October Tote Sew Straps

  • STEP 10.- Finishing up! - Insert outer shell, right side out, into the lining (which is turned right side in), be sure the straps are down inside and in place. Pin side seams together and centers of each body piece. Stitch around the top of the bag, finish seam to prevent fraying.

Pink October Tote Sew Top

  • 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.

Pink October Tote Turned

  • 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!

Pink October Tote Final

COPYRIGHT: While this tote is not difficult to make, I did put a good deal of time and energy into creating it and creating a pattern with the fewest pieces and 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.

To that end my design and instructions are free to use and share, use in a sewing class, or to create gifts, or if you are "sew" inclined, go for it... make and sell your own designs with my blessings... there's plenty to go around!

I do ask though, that where 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 dianne@mamaspocketbook.com with any questions or requests. Copyright 2006 - 2015



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