Today’s handmade work is a “DIY checkered tote bag“. It is a simple tote bag without zippers or pockets. It is also simple to make, so even beginners can easily make it.
You can use a ruler to draw lines directly on the fabric and cut it, so there is no need for a paper pattern. It’s also relatively easy to use a sewing machine for this project, as only straight stitches are used.
The finished size is about 15cm x 24cm, with a gusset length of about 8cm, which is rather small for a tote bag. I think it is just right for a “lunch bag" where you can carry your lunch and drinks.
The two pieces of fabric for the exterior are 16cm x 34cm. (Seam allowances are included, interfacing to be attached)
Fusible interfacing gives the fabric firmness, and helps to keep the shape of tote bag.
The two bottom pieces of fabric are 8cm x 34cm. (Seam allowances are included, interfacing to be attached)
The two pieces of fabric for the lining are 21.5cm x 33.5cm. (Seam allowances are included)
Handles are 2 pieces of 2.5cm x 29cm. 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.)
How to make the exterior
1. Sew the exterior fabric and bottom fabric with right side together. (This means the front sides of the fabric are lined up with each other.)
2. Press seam allowances over to the bottom side, and stitch at the edge.
3. Baste the fabric and the handles together.
4. The remaining fabric should be sewn in the same way.
How to make the bag body (exterior)
1. Place the exterior fabrics with right sides facing each other and sew the side and bottom.
2. Cut off extra fabric, and the press seam allowances open. Then make gusset, and sew. (The gusset will determine the thickness of the bag.)
3. Cut a little extra seam allowances at the sides. (about 2.5cm from the opening)
How to make bag body (lining)
1. Layer the lining fabrics with right sides, and sew the sides and bottom.
2. Cut off extra fabric and press seam allowances open. Then make gussets, and sew.
3. Cut a little extra seam allowance at the sides. (about 2.5cm from the opening)
How to make the tote bag
1. Insert the lining bag into the exterior bag with the right side together and sew around the entrance. (Leave about a 7cm opening to turn right side out.)
2. Remove the bastings from the handle.
3. Press seam allowances open, and turn the bag 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.
5. Finally, apply a finishing iron to give the bag a nice shape. Your checkered tote bag is now complete.
Following is the video for how-to.