Shopping Tote & Lunch Bag Tutorial & Pattern

anniescupboards 11 1:22 PM
I will show you how to make this lunch bag. You can also use this as a library tote.

First you need to gather your supplies. You will need a good strong thick fabric. I like to use canvas. It comes in many prints and colors. One yard for the tote. One yard for the lining. You can use the same fabric for the inside lining or you can use another color to add contrast. Also gather any bits of scrap fabric and vintage buttons, rick rack or what you choose for embellishment. I used my bird and yoyo circle from my felt bird pattern. If you are unsure on how to make a fabric yoyo please take a moment to visit my tutorial on this here. You will also need small elastic cord.

1 yard canvas fabric

1 yard fabric for lining

fabric scraps & buttons

elastic cord

large button

rick rack

Front and back panels: 16" x 8 1/2"

Side panels: 16" x 4"

Straps: 18"x 5"

Before you do any bag construction, you will need to sew on all your embellishments on your front and back panels.

Next sew on your side panels to the front panel.

Then sew on your back panel.

This is how it should look with all four panels sewn. I then went to my sewing machine and sewn the bottom of this so its closed.

Here it is sewn shut. Next you just stick your hand inside and give it a little push till it boxes out. It will form triangles on the edges. Sew each side on the triangle part going up and down. Then cut off the triangles. See next photo for example.

The top red fabric is how your fabric will look before you cut off the triangles.

After you cut off the triangles and turn the bag right side out, you will have then created the look you see on the bottom in aqua. That is how a box bottom is made.

You will need to do sew the lining the same way and then insert it into the bag. I then folded the fabric and ironed all the way around the bag. I did this for the lining as well. This helps to even the fabric all the way around the bag. Don't sew just yet. We need to add the straps, button and cord.

Take the straps and iron them into two parts.

Then I folded it over again, ironed and then sewn straight down so it would not open. Do the same for both straps.

You will need to line up your straps and pin them in place. I sewed on a large vintage plastic button in the center of the bag on the front panel. On the back panel I sewed the elastic cord. Make sure you sew them on at this point or you will see your sew marks afterwards. Sew in between the layers. Sew the button and the cord in the middle of the handle placement. You are then ready to sew everything in place. You will not be able to use your sewing machine to close shut the area where we sewed on the large button. You will have to use some needle and thread and just hand sew a straight stitch using small stitches.

Have fun making this. Feel free to make them and sell them and tell them where you got the pattern from. ME! Anniescupboards. Oh and you can gift these as well. I am. I am gifting BOTH of these bags! I hope they like them! XOXO Enjoy!

If you would like to make this bag use the following method I just taught you and use these measurements. Cut 2- 16" long by 12" wide for front and back fabric panels. Cut 2- 16" by 5" wide for side panels. Cut 2- 18" long by 5" for straps. Use the same measurements for the lining. Happy Sewing!


Oh Thank you Sherry for this tut! Me and my daughter are going to make one asap!! I am working on a yo-yo mat from your tut and Im almost done. I will email you a pic when its finished.
Thanks again!

Sherry....that tote bag is so stinkin' cute! Awesome tutorial too! You go girlie!

Thank you Ladies. I have been on such a tote making spree lately. Thanks for coming to play! XOXO

Great tote Sherry! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!
Deena Davis

What a great tutorial Sherry! Your talents are unending girl!!! Great job! I can't wait to try this!

Awesome I am so glad you posted this... I need to try one!!!

Oh Sherry, I love it!!! It's too cool, gonna have to try one. Thanks for sharing :) Mel

I love this tutorial and I will be trying to make one this weekend...Hugs Dianeb

Yes! Thank you Sherry for this EASY PEASY tutorial! I was able to make one in a snap! Very clear instructions!

Thanks for the a new sewer I found the pictures really useful in helping me make a bag for my niece - take a look at my pictures:
Thank you! :)

Thank you, I love this too, definitely give it a go :) I especially love the embellishments!

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Hi, I am Sherry. A mama with 2 boys, a wonderful hubby and the love for art, fashion and food. I am a primitive doll maker who is in love with all types of crafts. I love to make and sew with my Bernina sewing machine. You can find me shopping for vintage locally. I just adore all things vintage. Green crafting too. I love to repurpose items and I have a love affair with vintage Pyrex. Thanks for peeking in! Drop me a line anytime!


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