Last year, I shared a beach tote tutorial over at the Spoonflower blog. Since the weather is warming up again, I thought I would share it again so you can sew one up for your summer adventures!
I used Spoonflower Eco Canvas fabric, but you can use any type of home decor fabric, canvas, or interfaced cotton.
The bag is a simple tote bag, with one full-width pocket that is divided into 3 sections. If you want more pockets, just repeat the pocket directions for the other side of the bag! The fun rope handles are simply threaded through grommets and knotted. I’ve included detailed directions for attaching the grommets, and a simple alternative (button holes) if you prefer.
Exterior – 1 yd. of Eco Canvas (I used Cactus Cacti Garden by LittleSmilemakers)
Lining – 1 yd. of Eco Canvas (I used Cross Line Mudcloth by Holli Zollinger)
Rope – 2 yds. of 1/4″ rope
Grommets – size 7/16″ (optional, use a button hole in place of grommets if you choose)
Hammer – to set the grommets
(You’ll also have some fabric leftover for another project!)
Exterior – cut 2 pieces, 22″ x 18″
Lining – cut 2 pieces, 22″ x 18″
Pocket – cut 2 pieces, 22″ x 8″
Finished Size :
About 18″ square, with 12″ handles.
All seam allowances are 1/2″ and included in the given measurements.
Press all seams with your iron temperature set for synthetic fabric (if you use eco canvas…).
Cut out your pattern pieces using the measurements provided above. You may find it helpful to use a rotary cutter and mat to produce straight lines and right angles.
Locate the pocket pieces. Place them right sides together and stitch across the long edges of the fabric, leaving the short ends open.
Turn the pocket right side out and press.
Topstitch along the folded side at 1/8″ and 3/8″ from the edge. This is the top of the pocket.
Place the slip pocket across the right side of one of the lining pieces. The top edge of the pocket should be 6″ below the top edge of the lining piece.
Baste the pocket sides to the lining sides in the seam allowances (about 1/4 ” from the edges).
Topstitch the bottom pocket edge to the right side of the lining.
Mark two vertical lines on the pocket, dividing the pocket into 3 sections.
Stitch along the lines, from the bottom of the pocket to the top of the pocket to avoid puckering, backstitching at the top edges to secure the stitching.
One side of your lining should now look like this…
You can repeat the pocket directions for the other side of the lining if you prefer more pockets.
Place the lining pieces right sides together. Check your pocket orientation to locate the top of the bag. Stitch along the other 3 sides leaving a 3″ gap at the bottom center of the bag.
Flatten the bag so that the side seam and bottom seam are aligned. On the corner, measure in 2″ and draw a line. Repeat on the other corner.
Stitch along the lines in the corner of each bag, backstitching at each end. Trim the excess.
Now you will have a square corner at the bottom of your bag. It should look like this when you open it up.
Place the exterior pieces right sides together and stitch along 3 sides, leaving one of the 22″ edges open.
Square the corners of the exterior as you did for the lining.
Place the exterior inside the lining with right sides together. Match the side seams and stitch around the top edge.
Turn the bag right side out through the small opening in the bag lining.
Topstitch around the top edge of the bag at 1/8″ and 3/8″.
Use chalk to mark grommet placement. Holes should be centered 6″ apart, and 1 1/2″ below the top edge.
If you don’t want to use grommets, or can’t find the right size, you can make buttonholes instead!
Grommet kits come with 4 different types of pieces. The tools are the anvil and setter (the long piece).
Each grommet is made up of two pieces. On the left is the stud and on the right is the washer.
To insert the grommets, you need to cut a small hole the size of the inner circle. First, fold your fabric and carefully snip a hole (through both layers) in the center of the circle.
Snip perpendicular to that cut, forming a small plus sign. Then trim the area in the center. A perfect circle is not necessary. And remember that it is always better to make the hole too small than too big!
Push the stud through the hole.
Turn the fabric over and slide the washer (teeth side down) onto the stud.
Place the anvil on a hard surface (concrete is best, so you’ll probably need to step outside), with the stud side of the grommet resting on it. Place the setter into the hole and hit it with a hammer a few times.
Repeat for all four grommets.
Decide how long you want to make your handles. I used 30″ of rope for each handle, but you can make them longer or shorter depending on your taste. Insert one end of your rope through one grommet from the inside.
Tie a knot and pull it tight.
Before you tie the last knot, make sure your handle lengths are even. You don’t want to be carrying around a lopsided bag after all of that hard work!
Almost done! Don’t forget to hand stitch that little hole in the lining closed!
That’s it! Pack it up and head out on an adventure somewhere!