Saturday 29 October 2011

My Little Shopper Tote...

The little people in our family all have their own little shopping tote. It has short handles to keep the bag off the ground and is fully lined. Here's how to make one...


I used cotton fabric: Color Play - Moda Fabrics
    • 2 pieces 26cm x 26 cm - main colour for the outside of the bag
    • 2 pieces 26cm x 5cm - contrast colour for the top outside of the bag
    • 2 pieces 26cm x 29cm - contrast colour for the lining of the bag
    • 4 pieces 20cm x 4cm - contrast colour for the handles
    • 2 pieces 20cm x 4cm - sew in medium weight interfacing for the handles
    The bag can be made without the contrast at the top. If doing this version, cut 2 pieces of fabric the same size as the lining, for the outside of the bag.


    All seams are 1cm, unless otherwise indicated.

    1. With right sides together, sew the side seams of the lining.
    2. Sew the bottom seam, leaving a 10cm gap in the middle.
    3. Cut off the bottom corners being careful not to cut the stitching.
    4. Finish seams with a zig zag stitch

    Outside of bag - sew contrast fabric to main fabric:
    1. With right sides together, sew the contrast to the main fabric.
    2. Finish the seam with a zig zag stitch.
    3. Finger press the seam towards the contrast fabric.
    4. Topstitch 3mm from the seam.
    Step 1: sew contrast to main fabric...
    Step 4: topstitch...

    Outside of bag - sew front to back:
    1. With right sides together, sew the side and bottom seams
    2. Cut off the bottom corners being careful not to cut the stitching.
    3. Finish seams with a zig zag stitch.
    4. Turn right side out.
    Step 4: turn right side out

    1. Place two handles right sides together.
    2. Place one piece of interfacing on the wrong side of one of the handle pieces.
    3. Sew the long edges together.
    4. Finish seams with a zig zag.
    5. With a safety pin, turn the handle to the right side.
    6. Iron the handles.
    7. Topstitch 3mm from the edge of the seams
    8. Repeat for the second handle.
    Step 5: attach safety pin...
    Step 5: push pin inside...

    Step 5: push pin to the end...
    Step 7: topstitching...

    Join the handles to the bag:
    1. Place each end of the handle 6cm from the side seam on the outside of the bag.
    2. Baste (hand sew) into place.
    3. Machine sew the handle to the bag. I go back and forth four times for added strength.
    Step 3: sew handle to bag...
    Step 3: reinforce...

    Attach the lining to the outside of the bag:
    1. Place the bag inside the lining. ie: the right side of the bag is next to the right side of the lining.
    2. Line up the top edges of the lining and the outside.
    3. Tuck the handles between the outside and the lining.
    4. Baste (hand sew) the top edges of the lining and the outside.
    5. Sew a 1.5cm seam to join the top edges of the lining and the outside of the bag.
    6. Reinforce where the handles join the bag, by going back and forth a few times.
    7. Finish the seams with a zig zag stitch.
    Step 1: right sides together...
    Steps 5 - 6: sew seam and reinforce

    Turn the bag right side out:
    1. Put your fingers through the hole in the bottom of the lining.
    2. Gently pull the right side of the bag out through the lining.
    3. Topstitch the gap in the lining.
    4. Push the lining back into the bag.
    5. Iron the top edge of the bag.
    6. Topstitch 3mm from the edge, around the top of the bag.
    Step 2: pull the right side out...
    Step 3: topstitch opening...

    Step 6: topstitch the top edge...

    There you have it; a quick and easy little shopping tote for a child.


    1. Very cute... great tutorial! I'm still procrastinating about finishing mine! lol

    2. cute! I love the happy colorful animal print. I'll ask Rikka to add this tutorial to the tote challenge inspiration board! :-)

    3. Agreed. It will be a great addition to our list of tote tutorials. I especially like how you explained attaching the lining. This is a great tutorial that can be adapted to any bag shape. :-)

    4. Great tutorial! and SUCH cute fabric! I'm sure the little ones love having their very own shopping bags!

      Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
      Hope you have a great week!
      Jill @ Creating my way to Success

    5. Pam - Thank you for a wonderful tutorial. :)It is very well thought-out and put together.


    6. Cute bag! Love the tip with the safety pin, that's going to safe me a lot of time.

    7. Love this little shopping bag. Pretty pattern and very clear steps of making. Very thoughtfulness for little ones.

    8. Great tute and I love, love, love your colour combos.

      Happy day!
      Felicity x

    9. What a very cute bag! And a fabulous tutorial as well! The fabric is adorable! So happy to have you share this @ Show & Share! Thank you!

    10. Fantastic tutorial! Clear and easy to understand. Thanks for sharing :) Cute tote!


    11. Lovely!!!

      Would Love it if you could share this on my linky party - Serenity Saturdy -

      Natasha xx

    12. Great tutorial! Love the fabric too! New follower via Creative blogger party.

    13. adorable, and yes little people need totes too! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

    14. Gostei muito e vou fazer, quando terminar aviso.

    15. Very cute! Thanks for sharing. Greetings from Spain.

    16. Hi Pam,

      thank you, for this great Tutorial!

      Greatings from Germany,


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