Sewing: Reversible Tote Bag With Adjustable Strap {Tutorial & Pattern}

Reversible Tote - Style 1

Reversible Tote - Style 1

Picture 1 of 2 (Click arrow for more pictures)

Having a reversible tote bag is like having 2 bags in one, now with the adjustable strap, you can have even more styling with it. Be it full length till your hip and sling across your chest, or shorten it till just below your armpit, inside out or outside in, style it with your mood and base on your outfit.

I made this bag with one of my favorite fabrics. It is actually a lightweight upholstery material normally use as curtain or drape. The silver flower printing caught my eyes and I can’t go home without taking a few yards with me. For all my favorite fabrics, I will make sure I sew something good out of them. This explained why I constantly crave on fabrics, buy them and keep them until I am convinced enough to sew a good project. For this fabric, not only that I am 100% satisfied with my reversible tote design but I also feel happy that I got them sold for a good cause.

Let’s get to the tutorial and pattern on how to sew this reversible tote bag with adjustable strap after this jump….

Difficulty: Intermediate Skill
Time required: 2-4 hours

1. Main Fabric – 1 yard
2. Lining Fabric – 1 yard
3. Fusible Interfacing (medium weight) – 1 yard
4. Square ring – 2 pcs.
5. Matching color sewing thread

1. Sewing Machine
2. Hot iron
3. Paper, pen & ruler
4. Scissors
5. Sewing kits
6. Carbon and tracing wheel

Paper Pattern For Reversible Tote BagDownload the pdf pattern. The pattern is scaled to 25%, blow it up to 4 times to enlarge it. Otherwise, you can draw it out on the paper, all dimensions are included.
Cut out paper patterns from the drawing.

How To Sew Reversible ToteFold fabric as indicate in the drawing, place and pin the tote pattern on top of the fabric. Make sure the folding is on the right hand side of the pattern. Cut fabric with 1/2″ seam allowance.
Cut all patterns according to drawing.
Cut Lining and cut fusible interfacing too.
You might need to patch up the sling strap in order to get the required length.
Mark sewing lines with carbon and tracing wheel.

How To Sew Reversible ToteWith right-side facing each other, align sewing lines, pin , sew side and base of the tote.
How To Sew Reversible TotePress open side and bottom seams, fold at the corner to form a triangle and sew the 2″ depth of the base.
Trim excess fabric and leave only 1/2″ seam allowance.

How To Sew Reversible ToteFuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining fabrics, the pockets and the stand alone ring holder.
With right-side facing, sew around the pocket, leaving about 1″ opening at the bottom of the pocket. Clip corners. Turn the pocket right-side out, adjust corners and press. Top stitch top hem about 1/8″ and 1/2″ from the edge.
Place the pocket onto the lining and top-stitch the sides and bottom edges.
Fold the lining with right-side facing each other, sew the side and bottom seam. Leave about 3-4″ opening at the bottom, we need this hole to turn the tote inside out later.

How To Sew Reversible ToteMake a snip on the seam allowance 1″ below seam (b). Remark: I reserved 1″ seam allowance for (b), but I trimmed it to about 1/2″ later.
Fold in the side seam and press. Top stitch near side edges (a).
Slot in square ring either on tote side of lining side, with right side facing, sew alone seam (b).

How To Sew Reversible ToteBring the holder down with wrong side facing each other, top stitch (c) around 3/4″ below (b). Remember to tack the thread at the beginning and end of the stitching by performing a few back stitches to keep the seam from unraveling.
How To Sew Reversible ToteRepeat the same to the other side of the ring holder which is not attach to the tote.
How To Sew Reversible ToteAgain, top stitch at (c), about 3/4″ below seam (b). Note that I left a larger seam allowance at bottom but 1/2″ is sufficient.
How To Sew Reversible ToteWith right-side facing each other, slot the tote into the lining. Keep the ring and holder facing down.
Place the detached ring holder upside down between the tote and the lining, pin in place.
Sew alone the curve (red line), around.

How To Sew Reversible ToteClip curve about 1/2″ apart. Becareful, don’t snip the sewing thread.
How To Sew Reversible ToteTurn the tote right-side out from the opening at the bottom of the lining.
How To Sew Reversible ToteAlign the base corners of the tote and lining, carefully bring them out from the opening and sew on the wrong side to hold them together.
Insert them back through the opening.
Slip stitch to close the opening.
Top stitch about 1/4″ from the edge of the top hem of the tote.

Sew the sling strap by placing 2 fabrics right side facing each other, sew around and leave an 2″ opening at the center. Turn the strap right side out, Slip stitch to close the opening. Top stitch near the edge, around he strap.
Insert the strap into the square ring and tie a knot at each corner.
If you want a shorter length, double fold the strap through one ring and tie on the other.
Adjust to your favorite length.

Tagged as:
Print Friendly and PDFPrint / Download PDF

Highlights from Our Partners

35 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Hi!

    Thanks for the pattern and the tutorial! They’re great!

  2. Muchas gracias!!!! Excelente tutorial, preciosa bolsa. :)

    Translation (by Google):
    Thank you very much!! Excellent tutorial, nice bag.

  3. Whoa… what a fabulous bag! Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  4. Oooooo LOVE THIS! Asymmetrical AND reversible…my two favorite things!

  5. Thanks for such a great tutorial! I added it to my November listings for Free Tote Purse & Bag Tutorials at

  6. I love this bag! I downloaded the pattern and I’ll make it very soon.
    I also leave in SG. I bought some cute fabrics in Spotlight and I hope I can make a nice bag like yours.
    That will be my first bag! I’m really excited!


    • Thanks for liking the bag, Angelie :)
      I was at Sportlight last Wed and bought some nice fabrics too. That was my first trip to Sportlight which my Singaporean friends recommended that I have to go there if I happened to be in the country. And yes, I was crazy and wanted to take the whole shop back.

  7. super cute the smart design & color..

  8. I’m impress…I like your blog, the craft…I gained a lot…

  9. thanks for the pattern. I made one for my sis

  10. thank u, I will let my little one know about the lion…she will be pleased

  11. I love this bag and can’t wait to make it! I have read and reread the tutorial several times and am slightly confused about the bottom of the bag. I can’t figure out where I sew the bottom with the way it’s cut out with the 2″ notches…I feel like I am missing something very simple.

    • It is very simple, indeed. After you have both side and bottom seams sewn up, press seam open. Bring side seam to meet bottom seam, you will see the triangle as shown in the picture.

  12. Any idea how I might print off the entire pattern blown up four times on a mac. I seem to be able to blow it up but then it prints just one little portion and nothing else.
    Super excited to make this, even if I end up having to estimate the pattern.

  13. What a wonderful job you’ve done! Thanks for sharing your pattern and writing such a great tutorial.

  14. tanks, i like u’r tutorial

  15. I great tutoral i am so excited to try out this pattern but i can’t seem to understand the part you say we must cut on the fold but the pattern appear slant at the bottom.i am a bit lose when it comes to where to sew and how to cut

    • Hi Keisha, the fold is on the side and yes, it is on the slant. If you look at the pattern, there is a fabric grain direction, fold your fabric according to the direction which is parallel to the slant slope. Hope this help.

  16. thank you i finaly figured it out than you very much gonna do it tomarrow.thanks alot

  17. I love that it’s reversible. You can show off two awesome fabrics!! Thanks for the tutorial – you make it look fun and enjoyable!

  18. HI there,
    I have a question about the base of the bag. On the pattern it has a 2″ x 2″ indentation on each side but your pics of cut out materials don’t have that. Am I misreading the pattern? I can’t figure it out.

    Thanks for your help,


  19. Help!!!!

    I found this purse on pinterest and fell in love – it is the only one I’ve ever cared to make but I’m stuck!
    I do not understand the steps starting at 5 where the ring holder begins. I have invested a lot of time and really need detailed help.. Is that something you would be willing to do. I quilt & sew lots of other things, but never utilizing hardware.


    • It is not difficult, all you need to do after folding in the edges of the 2 fabric handle, put in the hardware then sew the seam to join the 2 fabrics up and seam b.
      Hope this help to clear up your question marks :)

  20. Hello, I love this a lot and I have decided this as my first sewing project.
    I cut my fabric but I’ve also cut the part on the bottom 2″ at the both sides. I guess I shouldn’t have done so. Now I am stuck. Is there a video how to make this kind of bottom?

  21. Hi,

    Just found your site. I really like this bag pattern especially like the strap. I own a small home sewing business. I have an etsy shop and do craft shows. Do you allow your patterns to be used to make and sell items? I would not sell the pattern just the finished product. I did not see a place to open the FAQ.



  22. I’ve made 2 of these bags and about to make my 3rd one – my girls absolutely love them!! Thank you!!

  23. Pingback:Reversible Tote

Leave a Comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the editor has approved them. Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! If you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>