I have too many bags…said no woman ever. Seriously. Especially this woman. There is no such thing as too many tote bags. They’re just so useful. I always keep an empty one handy for when I have to run out the door with an arm full of stuff. With my toddler I need all the extra hands I can get! Grab some fabric and a sewing machine and you’ll be able to add to your bag collection too.
Cut your fabric 18″ wide by 31″ long. Fold it in half with the right sides facing together. I’m actually using a canvas drop cloth as my fabric. Its texture and durability are a perfect match for my tote bag. With the folded part at the bottom, cut a rectangle in each bottom corner. Cut in 2 1/2″ from the side and 2″ from the bottom. Set it aside while you prepare the straps.
For the straps cut two strips of fabric 3″ wide by 23″ long.
Fold the width of the strap in half with the right sides facing together and iron. Sew 1/2″ away from your raw edge. To give the strap some extra strength, sew again between the last seam and the raw edge.
Turn the strap inside out and top stitch on each side. Repeat for the other strap.
Grab the piece you’ve set aside for the bag. Prepare your top edge by ironing it under 1/2″ and then again 1″. Repeat on the other side.
Measure 4″ from each side of your bag. Place one edge of the strap underneath.
Fold it up and pin. Repeat for each strap.
Sew along the top of the bag 3/4″ from the edge. Sew again closer to the top. Repeat on the other side.
Fold your bag right sides together and pin along the sides. Sew each side using a 1/2″ seam. Sew again using a 1/4″ seam to strengthen and keep the edges from fraying. Do not sew where you cut out the corners.
For the bottom corners you’ll pin the edges like you see in the picture below. The bottom fold should meet the side seam. Sew using a 1/2″ seam and then again at 1/4″.
Now all you have to do is turn your beautiful bag inside out and admire it! I went ahead and stenciled the seashells and the phrase “If you want to know how much I love you – count all the waves of the sea.” onto the front using my Silhouette and fabric paint. If you have a Silhouette you can find the phrase and seashells in the online store.