Vintage Fabric Tote Bag

Fashion a classy carryall from vintage fabric that works hard and looks fabulous.


This classy tote combines a functional design with an innovative construction technique. A lining of subtle-patterned new fabric gives the older material strength and adds a bit of visual interest. For fun, make one handle from the outer fabric and the other from the lining material.

See below for complete instructions for constructing this bag.

What You Need:
  • 1/2 yard each of vintage fabric and desired lining fabric
  • Coordinating thread
Instructions:
  1. Cut two 15-x-18-inch pieces from the vintage fabric for the front and back. Cut matching pieces for the lining. Cut a 2-x-18-inch strip from each fabric for straps.
  2. With right sides of the vintage fabric facing and using 1/2-inch seam allowances, sew around three sides, leaving top open. Turn and press. Press under 1/2 inch on the top edge. Repeat for the lining, but do not turn. Insert the lining into the bag so the wrong sides of the fabrics face and the raw edges are sandwiched between the two bags.
  3. Press under 1/4 inch on the long edges of the handle pieces. Fold the strips in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing and press. Sew 1/8 inch from the long edges.
  4. Insert the raw short ends of the handles into the bags between the front and lining, placing handles about 3 inches from the bag side seams. Topstitch around the top 1/8 inch from the edge. Stitch a second seam 1/4 inch below the first stitch line.

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