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Popular in Decorating

Canvas Tote Bag

For a durable and stylish tote, pair cotton canvas with a classic black print.


3/4 yard black print (handles, bag bottom, piping)
1/2 yard tan-and-black canvas print (bag front and back, facing)
7/8 yard tan tone-on-tone (lining)
1-1/4 yards fusible fleece, such as Pellon #987F
1/2 yard fusible web
1/4 yard heavyweight stiff interfacing, such as Timtex (bag bottom)
Denim needle for sewing machine

Finished bag: 15-1/2x15x6-1/2"

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton quilting fabrics and 55/56"-wide cotton canvas.
Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

Cut tan tone-on-tone 18-3/4x22-1/2" rectangles with 22-1/2" length parallel to the selvages.

From black print, cut:
2—6-3/4x22-1/2" rectangles
2—3/4x22-1/2" strips
2—3x22" strips

From tan-and-black canvas print, cut:
2—12-1/2x22-1/2" rectangles
2—1-3/4x22-1/2" strips

From tan tone-on-tone, cut:
2—18-3/4x22-1/2" rectangles
2—7-1/2x15-1/2" rectangles

From fusible fleece, cut:
2—18-3/4x22-1/2" rectangles
2—3x22" strips

From fusible web, cut:
2—7-1/2x15-1/2" rectangles

From interfacing, cut:
1—6-1/4x14-3/4" rectangle

Prepare Handles

1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse a fleece 3x22" strip to wrong side of each black print 3x22" strip.

2. Sew together long edges of a Step 1 strip to make a handle (Diagram 1). Turn handle right side out and press, centering seam on underside. Repeat to make a second handle.

3. Topstitch with three evenly spaces lines of stitching on each handle.

Assemble Bag Body

1. Fold each black print 3/4x22-1/2" strip in half, wrong side inside, to make two flat piping strips (Diagram 2).

2. Place a tan-and-black canvas print 12-1/2x22-1/2" rectangle right side up on a work surface. Aligning long raw edges, layer a piping strip on the rectangle (Diagram 3). Baste in place a scant 1/4" from long raw edges.

3. Referring to Diagram 4, lay a black print 6-3/4x22-1/2" rectangle right side down atop Step 2 unit. Align a long edge with piping edge; stitch through all layers. Finger-press rectangles open, pressing seam toward black print rectangle. Topstitch 1/8" from seam to make bag front.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make bag back.

5. Sew together side and bottom edges of bag front and back to make bag body (Diagram 5). Press seams open.

6. To shape a flat bottom for bag body, at one corner match bottom seam line to side seam line, creating a flattened triangle (Diagram 6). Measure and mark on seam allowance 3-1/4" from point of triangle. Draw a 6-1/2"-long line across triangle, and sew on drawn line. Trim excess fabric, leaving 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat at remaining bottom corner. Turn bag body right side out.

7. Referring to Diagram 7, pin raw ends of one handle to one long raw edge of bag body; make sure handle is centered. Sew handle ends to bag body a scant 1/4" from bag's edge. Repeat with second handle and remaining long raw edge of bag body.

Assembly Lining

1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse a fleece 18-3/4x22-1/2" rectangle to wrong side of each tan tone-on-tone 18-3/4x22-1/2" rectangle.

2. Sew together side and bottom edges of fused rectangles. Using tip of iron, carefully press seams open to make bag lining.

3. Shape a flat bottom for bag lining as in Assemble Bag Body, Step 6. Leave lining wrong side out.

Finish Bag

1. Sew together short ends of two tan-and-black canvas print 1-3/4x22-1/2" strips to make a circle.

2. Fold under 1/4" along one edge of circle. Stitch 1/8" from folded edge to make facing.

3. Insert bag lining into bag body with wrong sides together and raw edges aligned; handles should be on outside of bag. Slide facing over bag body, aligning raw edges; stitch through all layers (Diagram 8).

4. Turn facing to lining side. Hand-stitch folded edge of facing to bag lining.

5. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse a fusible web 7-1/2x15-1/2" rectangle to wrong side of each tan tone-on-tone 7-1/2x15-1/2" rectangle. Remove paper backings. Fuse a prepared rectangle to each side of interfacing 6-1/4x14-3/4" rectangle. Let cool, then trim fabric edges close to interfacing to make bag bottom. Insert bag bottom into bag to complete bag.


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