How to sew a wave-patterned zipper tote bag (sewing pattern is not necessary)

Today’s DIY (handmade item) is a wave-patterned zipper tote bag (with flat bottom and lined). This handmade tote bag is lined (the lining is navy blue twill fabric) and has a gusset (about 8cm). As the zipper is attached to the opening of the bag, the contents in the bag are firmly protected.

zippered tote bag with wave and plovers

It might be a little bit difficult to put on a zipper, but you can finish it if you make it carefully by following the instructions step by step. How to make it itself is not so difficult. So please try making this tote bag.

The finished size is about 16cm x 22cm, with a gusset length of about 8cm, which is rather small for a tote bag.

Navy blue color acrylic webbing is used for the handle. For the lining, I used navy blue twill fabric. I think that it’ll come in handy when taking a stroll in the neighborhood and shopping at convenience stores.

Materials

Outer main fabrics are 2 pieces of 16cm x 33cm sized fabric. (Seam allowances are included. Attach fusible interlining on the back.)

outer fabrics
attach interfacing

Fusible interfacing gives fabric firmness and keeps the shape of the tote bag.

Bottom patch fabrics are 2 pieces of 8cm x 33cm sized fabric. (Seam allowances are included. Attach fusible interfacing on the back.)

bottom patch fabrics

Lining body fabrics are 2 pieces of 22cm x 33cm sized fabric. (Seam allowances are included)

inner fabrics

Handles are 2 pieces of 2.5cm x 29cm. Handles can be made by using any fabrics of your choice. Acrylic webbing tape is recommended from craft shop. (It is easy to make.)

handles

30cm zipper is 1 piece.

zipper

Fold both ends of the zip tape, and stitch together.

fold the zip tape and sew

Fold the end of zipper so that it doesn’t cover the seam allowances of tote bag. It the edge overlap seam allowances, the thickness will increase and be difficult to sew. It will affect the appearance when finished.

How to sew the outer fabrics of the tote bag

1. Sew the outer main fabric and bottom patch with right side together. (When sewing right sides together, the front side of each fabric is placed facing each other.)

sew the main fabric and bottom patch

2. Press seam allowances to bottom side, and stitch.

press seam allowances to bottom side
stitch

3. Baste the outer fabric and handle together.

baste the fabric and handle

4. The remaining fabric should be sewn in the same way.

other fabrics do the same way

How to sew the zipper (install the zipper)

1. Sew the outer fabric and zipper with right side together. Pin the zipper with marking pins no to slip the zipper when you sew.

sew the outer fabric and zipper

2. Then sew the outer and lining with right side together.

sew the outer and inner

Sew the zipper that affects the appearance of zipper tote bag. If you don’t know how to sew or aren’t good at sewing a zipper, please read this article which explains the procedure concretely.

3. Remove the bastings from the handle.

unseam the bastings

4. Fold the outer fabric, and iron. Then stitch the edge.

iron
stitch

5. Sew the other side of zipper and do the same way. (Be careful about thickness of the cloth.)

sew the other side of zipper do the same way

How to sew the zipper tote bag (finishing the bag)

1. Place the outer and lining fabric with right sides facing each other and sew around the edge. (Leaving 8cm gap for turning. Keep the zipper half open.)

lay the fabric
sew around

The part with the zipper became thick, so be careful when you sew.

2. Cut off extra corner cloths, and press seam allowances open.

cut off extra cloths
press seam allowances open

3. Make the gussets, and sew. (The gusset will determine the thickness of the bag.)

sew
gusset

4. Turn inside out from the gap, and sew the edge. The wave-patterned zipper tote bag is done.

turn inside out
sew the edge
zippered tote bag with wave and plovers

Following is the video for how-to.

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