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21 Free Tote Bag Sewing Patterns

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Check out these free tote bag sewing patterns, which range from the simplest single fabric tote to complex designs with pockets and adjustable straps. These tote bag patterns are ideal for anyone looking to make use of leftover scraps or a brand-new yard of fabric.

tote bag pattern

What is a tote bag?

A tote bag is a large bag with two handles that is easily accessible or not closed. Canvas bags, cotton bags, patchwork bags, jute bags, and so much more are all common kinds of tote bags.

Tote bags have been popular since the 1960s. They are well-known for being fashionable and spacious enough to carry your essentials everywhere. Not only that, they even serve as eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags. The versatility of a tote bag makes it a practical choice for any occasion, from a relaxing beach day to a quick trip to the grocery store.

What you need to know before you start

Before beginning sewing a tote bag pattern as a beginner, we recommend that you acquire a reliable sewing machine. As hand-sewing items can be fairly time-consuming, it would greatly simplify the procedure. Check out our recommendations for Sewing Machine for Beginners – Tips for Choosing the Best, where we explain the structure, the many types of sewing machines, and the considerations to consider before purchasing a sewing machine.

Some tote bag sewing patterns may require hand-sewing throughout the process, so if you’re new to sewing, we strongly suggest you check out our How To Hand Sew to become acquainted with hand-sewing fundamentals and the basic tools required. This would be extremely beneficial for any beginner who wishes to attempt diy tote bag by sewing.

Materials and Tools you may need

  • sewing machine
  • rotary cutter and mat/ scissors
  • measuring tape, fabric marking pen, sewing pins, clips
  • exterior fabric
  • lining fabric if you’re hoping to make a lined tote bag
  • interfacing/ stabilizer
  • fusible fleece
  • zipper/ magnetic snaps/ metal grommets

How much fabric do I need to make a tote bag?

The length of fabric needed would depend on the size and pattern of the tote bag you intend to sew. For a large-sized tote, for example, it is best to prepare 1.5 to 2 yards of fabric (about 54″ – 72″ x 54″) for the bag body and handles. A medium or smaller-sized tote would require approximately 1 yard or less of fabric (approx. 36″ x 64″).

How to make a tote bag?

  1. Read through the sewing pattern, make sure you understand the instructions, and feel confident that you will be able to complete it.
  2. Get everything you’ll need. Prepare more fabric than is asked for in case something goes wrong and you need a spare.
  3. Wash and iron your fabrics. The main reasons for washing your fabric before using it are to preshrink it, test its colorfastness, and remove any chemicals.
    Read more on how to pre-wash your fabric.
  4. Download and print out the sewing template if there is any.
  5. Follow the instruction closely to cut the fabric pieces and stitch them up.

What’s Next:

21 Free Tote Bag Patterns To Sew

Looking into the wide variety of different tote bag sewing patterns may seem intimidating at first, but once you've got the measurements and pieces of fabric laid out, trust the process and you'll eventually end up with a cute tote of your own!

Now that we've settled the basics, let's hop right into our compilation of tote bag sewing patterns for you to choose from!

classic tote bag sewing patterns

quilted tote bag sewing patterns

Reversible tote bag sewing patterns

sturdy tote bag sewing patterns

Market tote bag sewing patterns

leather tote bag sewing patterns

easy tote bag sewing patterns

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