My coworker carries a great bag like this that you can fold up into the cute accent pocket. I knew it couldn’t be too hard to make one for myself, so I measured her bag and got to work. It’s the perfect size to fit into my bike basket and to pick up groceries from the farmers market or corner store.
And it can be stuffed into the pocket so I can carry extra with me for shopping. Cute, eh? I put together a tutorial so that you, too, can make foldable (er, stuffable) tote bags!
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need:
- 2 14″x16″ rectangles of main fabric
- 2 2″x27″ strips of main fabric
- 1 10.5″x10.5″ square of accent fabric, cut in half on diagonal to make 2 triangles
- 32″ cord
- Cord stop
Step 2: Make Straps
With right sides together, fold long strips in half hot-dog bun style. Sew 1/4″ from raw edges. Flip rightside out and iron.
Step 3: Attach Straps
Pin straps to top of main bag pieces 4″ in from each side. Baste 1/4″ from raw edges.
Step 4: Hem Top Edge
Iron down 1/4″ and then 1″. Sew close to bottom fold.
Step 5: Finish Top Edge
Fold straps up and sew all the way across, 1/4″ from top. Set main bag pieces aside.
Step 6: Prep Pocket
Iron one corner of one triangle 3″ up one side (wrong sides together), flush with the edge. Iron the other corner of one triangle 1.5″ up one side (wrong sides together), flush with the edge. Do the same thing with the other triangle, but on opposite corners. The triangles should be mirrors of each other.
Step 7: Hem Pocket
Iron down 1/4″ then 3/4″ of hypotenuse. Sew close to bottom fold.
Step 8: Add Cord
String the cord through both triangles, with pointy tips of triangles touching. Tails on either end should be about the same length.
Step 9: Sew Around Bag
Line up all pieces of your bag with right sides out. The triangles will fit on either side of the bag, like a tote bag sandwich. Sew around sides and bottom, 1/4″ from edge. Be sure not to sew over your cord tails.
Step 10: Finish Bag
Turn bag inside out and iron flat. Sew around sides and bottom, 1/2″ from edge. Be sure not to sew over your cord tails.
Step 11: Cord Stop
Turn bag right side out and pull out corners with a pin. String cord stop onto the tails. Tie the tails into a knot and trim ends.
You’re done!! Now you have a super cute bag that can be stuffed into the pocket so that you can go from this…
Look at that! I have an extra one tucked inside my bag. Check back next weekend for a chance to win that extra bag! (Hooray for Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day!)