Reversible Tote Sewing Tutorial

My Christmas mantle decorating has come to a screeching halt. I cannot find my ice skates. I bought a five dollar pair of white ice skates at a thrift store two years ago…last year all our belongings were in storage, and I couldn’t use them to decorate with…this year I can’t find them anywhere. In light of this catastrophic and dramatic turn of events, I have been sewing madly to sooth my troubles. Reversible tote sewing to be exact. What could be better than two bags in one? (Besides if you found my ice skates, naturally.)

reversible tote sewing tutorial by chapter37

If you can sew a straight line, you can make these totes. Whip one out for yourself or for a gift, you just can never have too many bags.  At least I can’t. Since these are a basic shape, with no pockets, I chose a nice suede fabric for both layers. Either which way you use them, they are clean and classy. I used suede for the orange/cream one above, and I also used black pleather on one with good results. (Make sure you switch out your sewing needle to a heavy duty one. Regular needles don’t care much for heavy fabric!)

Start by making yourself a pattern. Draw a rectangle as long and as wide as you want your bag. Cut out 2 inch squares at the bottom corners of your pattern. (if you are making a particularly large tote, you’ll probably need 3 inch squares.)

how to sew a tote bag by chapter37

Cut out two of these of one fabric, and two more out of another coordinating fabric. Put the right sides together, and sew along the straight edges.

how to sew a tote by chapter37

Squish your corner together so that the seams line up neatly.

sewing tutorial for tote bag chapter37

Sew across the line. You should have a tidy boxed corner.

free tote sewing tutorial by chapter37

Do the same to the other corner. Follow the same steps with the other two pieces of fabric you cut. Slide one “bag” into the other, with the right sides facing each other.

how to sew a reversible tote by chapter37

Set the bags aside and cut two 28 inch lengths of cotton strap. (or you could make your own straps out of fabric)

how to sew a tote by chapter37

Slide the straps in between the layers of your bag. Measure over 3 inches from the side seam and pin the straps in place.

how to sew a lined tote by chapter37

Flip the bag over and pin straps to the other side as well. Sew all the way around the top of the bag. Leave four to five inches un-sewn.

how to sew a lined tote by chapter37

Pull the bag through the hole and stuff one side into the other. Close up the hole as you top stitch around the opening.

reversible tote bag sewing tutorial by chapter37

What a marvelously simple and relaxing sewing project, don’t you think?

reversible tote sewing tutorial by chapter37

These three tote bags are available for purchase in my shop HERE. Do make yourself one, or ten, and let me know if you have questions. I’ll be happy to help if I can. In the mean time, I’m off to rummage through every dark and creaky corner of this old house for a white pair of magical ice skates. Ta-ta!

Psalms 34:10   The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. 

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About Abby

I'm a mom and blogger. I love all things creative! Follow along at
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One Response to Reversible Tote Sewing Tutorial

  1. laurie says:

    Great looking bags. I feel your pain. I can’t tell you how many times I find myself looking for something. I usually don’t find it until I give up and use something different! Good luck with the hunt. laurie

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