Here’s a free tote bag pattern!
This mini tote bag measures 6 inches wide x 7 inches tall x 2 inches deep.
It’s the perfect size for packing your lunch, carrying a few books, or toting some toys.
And it’s easy to make!
You can decorate your bag any way you like. For that adorable bunny bag (perfect for Easter egg hunting) I used one of the blocks from this Woodland Critters quilt pattern, with the size reduced.
If you’re looking for free bunnies, I’ve got those too. Click here for the free Mix & Match Bunny applique pattern with several super cute bunny appliques. For all of these you’ll need to print the pattern pages at 60% to get the right size for the bag.
If you’re using a different pattern or your own design (or maybe a child’s drawing for an extra special bag) just make sure that the image is no more than 5 inches wide and 6 inches tall.
On the sample bag I used for the step-by-step photos below, I embroidered one of my favorite birds from this Bird Sampler pattern onto a solid fabric before sewing it up in Step 3. You’ll see the pretty bird in the final step. 🙂
You could also use a fabulous print that needs no extra fancification.
Choose a fun coordinating color for the lining and you’re ready to sew!
It’s a totally versatile tote bag pattern that you can use in so many different ways. Have fun with it!
What You’ll Need
- one fat quarter of the main fabric
- one fat quarter (or less) for the lining fabric
- any additional materials you want for optional embellishing
We’ll start with the handles. Cut two strips of the main fabric, each 5 x 12 inches. Fold one of the fabric strips in half the long way, right sides facing out. Press. Open the strip back up and fold each long edge in toward the center fold. Press.
Fold in half again along the center fold so that you have one long strip, four layers of fabric thick. This makes a nice, sturdy strap. Press.
Topstitch along both long edges, about 1/8 inch from the edge.
Repeat for the second handle.
Now for the bag. Cut two 9 inch squares from the main fabric, and two from the lining fabric. If you’re going to embroider your bag (or embellish it in any other way) do this now before you sew the pieces together.
Pin the two main fabric squares right sides together. Using 1/4 inch seam allowance, stitch around both sides and the bottom of the bag.
Is this your first sewing machine project? This video will show you how to sew straight lines and turn corners. 🙂
Repeat for the lining pieces.
Open out one bottom corner of the bag so that the side seam and center bottom seam line up, and the corner of the bag makes a point. Measure up one inch from the tip of the stitching (NOT the tip of the fabric triangle) and stitch a line perpendicular to the side seam.
Repeat for the other corner.
Repeat for the lining.
Turn the main bag right side out. Leave the lining inside out.
Pin the edge of one strap to the top edge of the bag, 1 1/2 inches in from the side seam.
Repeat for the other end of the strap.
Repeat with the second strap on the other side of the bag.
Put the main bag (right side out) inside the lining (wrong side out), with the straps sandwiched between the two layers.
The bag and lining should be right sides together.
Line up the side seams and pin the layers together around the top edge of the bag.
Using 1/4 inch seam allowance, stitch almost all the way around the top edge of the bag. Leave the space between the two ends of one handle unstitched, so you can pull the bag through the opening.
The easiest way to do this is to start sewing right at the inside edge of one handle. Sew through that handle, around the side seam, through both handles on the other side, around the second side seam, and through the last handle. Stop as soon as you sew over the last handle.
Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching. This is a pretty small opening and there will be some pressure on the edges as you pull the bag through.
Reach into the opening and pull the main bag through. Pull through the handles, then pull the lining right side out and tuck it into the bag.
Press around the top edge, being especially careful to press the open edges evenly.
Topstitch around the bag, about 1/8 inch from the top edge.
Be sure that the folded edges of the opening you used for turning are lined up and that you catch both layers in the topstitching to hold them together. No hand stitching needed. 🙂
Here are several free patterns that work with my basic 10-inch applique squares – no resizing needed!
- Make a Wall Hanging with a Wonky Churn Dash Frame
- Trick or Treat Bag (medium tote bag)
- Quilted Tablet Cover
- How to Turn Any Quilt Block into a Pillow
- Fast and Easy Placemats
- Fancy Felt Frame
- Receiving Blanket
Here are several free patterns that work with just some simple resizing. This post about making coasters has info about resizing an applique pattern that can be applied to any of these projects.
- Free Bib Pattern
- Simple Christmas Stocking
- Mini Bunny Tote Bag
- Turn Any Quilt Block Patterns into Cute Coasters
- Cozy Bear Coasters
- The Big Bag (applique on the pocket)
- Cloth Book for Babies