I have had the inclination to call this a “Tote-torial” all day, but it wouldn’t help anyone find it on Google – so I have resisted the urge. If you haven’t been introduced to this Mini Tote yet you can check the previous post for more information and enter win it! This tote is part of the 11th Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day. There are giveaways being hosted all over the world!

Since today is also Made by Me Monday – I’m posting a tutorial for this lovely fully-lined little tote! It is quick to stitch up and is a wonderful and easy-to-sew gift. I love that the trim embellishment on the front can make a plain tote into something much more fun!

Ready to make one?

You will need:

  • 2 pieces of outer fabric – 14″x14″
  • 2 pieces medium fusible interfacing – 14″x14″
  • 2 pieces of lining fabric – 14″ wide by 13″ tall
  • 2 pieces handle fabric – 3″ wide by 20″
  • 2 pieces medium fusible interfacing – 3″ x 20″
  • 15″ long piece(s) of sequin trim, or trim as desired
  • Optional: 1/4″ cording for the handles – 2 pieces 18″ long
  • your general sewing gear

Here we go!

Step 1: Interface the outer fabric and handles with your medium fusible interfacing by following the manufacturer’s directions.

Step 2: Make the handles. There are two options for the handles – with or without cording. I used a piece of cording to make my handles stiffer and so they had a rounder shape. They would look great (and be a lot faster!) without it as well. Follow whichever you’d like then continue on with Step 3.

Without cording: (a) Fold each handle in half lengthwise & press. (b) Unfold and fold each lengthwise edge to the middle (pressed) fold line. (c) Fold the whole handle in half again. (d) Top-stitch close to both handle edges. Set the handles aside.

With cording: (e) Fold each handle in half lengthwise & press. (f) Unfold and fold each lengthwise edge to the middle (pressed) fold line. (g) Fold the whole handle in half again. (h) Centre the cording lengthwise on the handle, it should be 1″ from either end. (i) Fold each handle over and push the cording toward the folded edge. Pin along the length of the handle. Top-stitch each handle on the open edge, making sure the two folded edges match up as you go. (You can use a zipper foot to make this easier) (j) Push the cording toward the newly-stitched edge (away from the folded edge), pin and top-stitch the second side of each handle. (k) Done! Set the handles aside.

Step 3: Cut & Sew the Outer and Lining Bottom Seam. (a) Cut out 2 1/4″ squares from the BOTTOM right and left corners of your 2 outer and 2 lining pieces. (Make sure to cut the lining correctly – it is 14″ across and 13″ high.) (b) Pin and stitch your trim on as desired. I used 2 1″ cream sequin stripes on either side of a 2″ tan stripe. (c) Line up the outer and lining pieces right sides together. Pin across the bottom of the outer pieces. Pin the lining as well, but leave a 3″ opening in the centre of the seam. Stitch across the bottom of the outer pieces with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Stitch across the lining with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving the 3″ gap open. (d) Press the outer seam open if desired. Press the lining seam back on itself along the opening area. This makes it easier to line up once it is turned as per this trick.

Step 4: Sew the Outer and Lining Corners and Side Seams. (a) Match the outer right sides together, pin and stitch the side seams with a 3/8″ seam allowance. (b) Match the lining right sides together, pin and stitch the side seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance. (c) Match up the bottom and side seams at each outer and lining corner, pin and stitch with a 3/8″ seam allowance for the outer and a 1/2″ seam allowance for the lining. (d) Turn the outer right side out.

Step 5: Stitch the Top of the Bag and Attach the Handles. (a) Place the outer inside the lining with right sides together. (b) Mark each side of the lining (front and back) at 3 1/2″ from the edge. (c) Pin the handles (1 handle per side) where the marks are. Use 2 pins each to make sure they will be sewn on straight. (d) Pin the lining and outer together, matching side seams. Stitch with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Step 6: Finishing Up! (a) Turn the bag right side out through the hole in the lining. (b) Line up the edges of the opening in the lining. Pin and stitch close to the edge or hand-stitch closed. (c) Push the lining into the outer and down into the bottom of the bag. Make sure the outer folds 1/2″ down into the inner bag. Measure and pin around the top of the bag. (d) Stitch around the top of the bag 1/8″ away from the top edge of the lining. I chose not to stitch over the trim – so I began and ended the stitching on either side of it.

All done! Take some fun photos and post them with the hashtag #alongforthreadride! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the tutorial and how your tote turned out.