How to sew a cat-patterned fabric tote bag (sewing pattern is not necessary)

Today’s handmade item is a “DIY cat-patterned fabric tote bag (with flat bottom and lined)". It is a tote bag without a zipper, so it is easy to make. It has a gusset, so the usability is good. The size is also affordable, and I think it is just right for everyday use.

I think that it’ll come in handy when taking a stroll in the neighborhood and shopping at convenience stores. The finished size is about 26cm x 33cm. The gusset length is about 9cm. The exterior fabric is oxford fabric. For the lining, I used brown canvas fabric.

tote bag with cat pattern

Materials

The 2 pieces of fabric for the exterior are 33cm x 45cm. (Seam allowances are included, interfacing to be attached)

outer fabrics

Fusible interfacing gives the fabric firmness, and helps to keep the shape of tote bag.

The 2 pieces of fabric for the lining are 32.5cm x 44.5cm. (Seam allowances are included)

inner fabrics

The 1 piece of fabric for the bottom patch is 19cm x 45cm. (Seam allowances are included)

bottom patch

Handles are 2 pieces of 2.5cm x 48cm. The handles can be made from any fabric you like, but I recommend using acrylic webbing, available at craft stores. (This way is easier and more convenient.)

handles

How to make the bag body (exterior bag)

1. Place the exterior fabrics with right sides facing each other, and sew the bottom. Then press seam allowances open. (Right side means the front sides of the fabric are lined up with each other.)

sew the bottom
press seam allowances open

2. Fold the edges of bottom patch (1cm), and sew the exterior fabric together.

fold the of bottom patch
sew the outer and bottom patch

When making creases, it is recommended to use a hot sewing ruler to iron. (hot hemmer) It will make the creases tighter and the finished product more beautiful.

3. Fold the exterior fabric in half with right side together, and sew the side seams.

fold the outer in half
sew the side seams

4. Cut the extra fabric, and press seam allowances open. Then make gusset, and sew. (The gusset will determine the thickness of the bag.)

cut off extra cloth
make gusset
sew the gusset

5. Baste the exterior fabric and handles together.

baste the outer and handles

6. Cut a little extra seam allowances at the sides. (about 2.5cm from the opening)

cut the extra seam allowances

How to sew the bag body (lining bag)

1. Layer the lining fabrics with right sides, and sew the sides and bottom.

sew the side and bottom

2. Cut off extra fabric, and press seam allowances open. Then make gusset, and sew.

cut off extra cloth
press seam allowances open
make gussets
sew the gussets
inner bag

3. Cut a little extra seam allowances at the sides. (about 2.5cm from the opening)

cut the extra seam allowances

How to sew the tote bag (finishing the bag)

1. Insert the lining bag into the exterior bag with the right side together and sew around the entrance. (Leave about a 10cm opening to turn right side out.)

sew around

2. Remove the bastings from the handle.

bastings
unseam

3. Press seam allowances open, and turn the bag inside out.

turn inside out

4. Iron the opening and stitch in place. There are many layers of fabric in the opening, and it’s quite thick, so work carefully.

iron
stitch

5. Finally, apply a finishing iron to give the bag a nice shape. Your cat-patterned fabric tote bag is now complete.

tote bag with cat pattern

Following is the video for how-to.

How to sew a cat-patterned fabric tote bag (sewing pattern is not necessary) – YouTube