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Popular in Decorating

Signature Style Tote

Set your own style using your favorite fabrics to make this quick-and-easy purse by Indygo Junction designer Kathy Fernholz.

What You Need

  • 18-x-22-inch piece (fat quarter) of green shoe print for bag body
  • 9-x-22-inch piece (fat eighth) of green polka dot for bag band
  • 1/2 yard of green check for lining, pocket, flap, and handles
  • 18-x-22-inch rectangle of heavyweight fusible interfacing
  • 1 1/4 yards of 3/4-inch-wide webbing
  • 1-inch-diameter button

Finished bag: 11 1/2 x 8 inches

Quantities are for 44/45-inch, 100% cotton fabrics. All measurements include a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut the Fabrics

Download the free patterns for this project. (Adobe Acrobat software is required.)

Tote Diagrams

Tote Patterns

Adobe Acrobat

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the order that follows.

From green shoe print, cut:

  • 2 of Pattern A

From green polka dot, cut:

  • (2) 3-1/2-x-12-inch rectangles

From green check, cut:

  • (2) 3-x-19-inch strips
  • 2 each of patterns B and C
  • (2) 4-1/2-x-6-1/2-inch rectangles

From interfacing, cut:

  • 2 of Pattern B
  • 1 of Pattern C

From webbing, cut:

  • 2 of Pattern B

Assemble the Bag Body

  1. Aligning the long edges, sew together a green shoe print A piece and a green polka dot 3-1/2-x-12-inch rectangle (see Diagram 1). Press the seam allowance toward the green shoe print A piece.
  2. Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse an interfacing B piece to the wrong side of the Step 1 unit to make the bag front.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make the bag back.
  4. Layer the bag front and back; sew together the side and bottom edges (see Diagram 2). Using the tip of the iron, carefully press the seam allowances open.
  5. At one corner, match the bottom seam line to the side seam line; stitch (see Diagram 3). Repeat with the other corner to make a bag body that has a flat bottom. Turn the bag body right side out.

Assemble and Add the Handles

  1. Fold a green check 3-x-19-inch strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together; press. Unfold the strip and refold it so the long raw edges meet at the pressed center fold (see Diagram 4); press again. Unfold again and place one 19-inch length of webbing on the pressed strip with one edge along the pressed center fold. Refold the strip along the center fold, encasing the webbing. With matching thread, zigzag-stitch along the long pressed edges to make a handle.
  2. Referring to Diagram 5, pin a handle's raw ends to the top front edge of the bag body with the handle centered and 5 1/2 inches between the ends. Baste the handle ends to the bag body a scant 1/4 inch from the bag's edge. Repeat with the second handle and the top back edge of the bag body.

Assemble and Add the Flap

  1. Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse an interfacing C piece to the wrong side of one green check C flap piece.
  2. Sew together the green check C pieces, leaving the short edge open, to make the flap. Trim the seam allowances to 1/8 inch and clip across the corners (see Diagram 6). Turn the flap right side out and press. With the interfaced side of the flap up, make a buttonhole at the position indicated on the pattern.
  3. Center and pin the flap's raw end to the top back edge of the bag body. Baste the flap end to the bag body a scant 1/4 inch from the bag's edge.

Complete the Bag

  1. Layer the two green check 4-1/2-x-6-1/2-inch rectangles. Sew together along all edges, leaving a 3-inch opening in one long edge, to make a pocket. Turn the pocket right side out through the opening and press flat, turning under the edges at the opening.
  2. Referring to Diagram 7 for placement, position the pocket on the right side of one green check B piece; pin in place. Edgestitch the pocket to the green check B piece along the pocket's side and lower edges; leave the top edge open.
  3. Repeat steps 4 and 5 of Assemble the Bag Body with the green check B pieces to make the bag lining, leaving a 5-inch opening in the bottom seam for turning. Leave the lining wrong side out.
  4. With the right side of the bag body facing out and the wrong side of the bag lining facing out, place the bag body inside the bag lining, aligning the side seams. Pin together the raw edges, making sure that the flap and handles are tucked in between the bag body and lining, out of the way. Sew together the raw edges.
  5. Turn the bag and lining right side out through the opening in the lining, then pull the lining out of the bag. Slip-stitch the opening of the lining closed.
  6. Insert the lining back into the bag and press the upper edge. Topstitch 1/4 inch from the upper edge.
  7. Fold the flap to the front of the bag body and mark the position for the button at the bottom end of the buttonhole. Hand-sew the button at the marked position to complete the bag.

Designer Notes

Fabrics set the tone for Indygo Junction's kicky tote using Amy Barickman's Vintage Workshop Tres Chic fabric line from Red Rooster. The simple-to-make bag is a great way to use fat quarters from your stash. It's also a perfect project for teaching a friend to sew.


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