I often find myself leaving the library with heaps of books in my arms so I wanted to make up a few canvas totes to keep in the car for trips to the library. So I sewed up a couple. The finished tote measures 15 1/2 X 15 inches and is a good size to hold a couple of books, a few toys for a kiddo to take in the car, or a few groceries from the market.
Here’s the tutorial so you can make one too:
For each tote you will need:
- 1/2 yard of duck canvas fabric
- 1 1/2 yards of (1 inch wide) cotton webbing for the handles
- coordinating thread
- sewing machine and needles for heavier fabric
- rotary cutting set
Step 1: Wash, dry, and iron your fabric. Then cut out a rectangular piece that measures 18 inches by 32 inches. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise.
Step 2: Pin and sew across the bottom and the open side, sewing 1/4 inch from the edge.
Step 3: Trim the bottom corner.
Step 4: Turn the bag inside out. Iron it nice and flat. Pin and sew across the bottom and up the side, sewing 1/2 inch from the edge. We are doing this so that the raw edge of the fabric will be fully encased. Duck canvas frays really badly so we don’t want a raw edge exposed.
Step 5: Fold the top of the bag down about 1 inch and press. Then open the fold up and fold the top down to the crease and press again. Fold it down so that the raw edge is inside the fold, pin, and sew all the way around the top of the bag. Alternately you could fold down twice from the top, press, pin, and sew all around the top edge.
Step 6: Cut the cotton webbing to 26 inches for each strap. Pin each side of the strap about 3 inches from the outside of the bag, with 1 inch of the webbing overlapping with the inside of the bag. Sew a square with an X across it on each end of the strap to secure them down.
You’re done! Head to the library. Or the grocery store. Or the market. Wherever you need a little tote bag.