Introducing the Coastal Tote Pattern!

I had hoped to have the Coastal Tote pattern out earlier this summer, but when 80% of the pattern testers recommend adding an exterior zipper pocket…you do it!

Coastal Tote Sewing Pattern | Rope Handles | Radiant Home Studio


This is a nautical style tote bag with wrapped rope handles. The rope tunnels through the bag providing extra structure and modern style!

Though I have styled this as a summer bag, it would be great for hauling sports gear or library books too. This is a big bag with lots of room for all your gear. The finished size is about 18″ square.

The Coastal Tote is fairly simple to sew and only requires basic sewing skills.

Coastal Tote Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

There are 3 pocket options. A simple slip pocket can be added across the entire width of the bag on one or both sides. It is divided into three smaller sections where the rope handles cross the pocket.

You can add a larger zipper pocket, which is stitched into the interior side seam and hangs loose. This is the easier of the two zipper pockets, and provides space for items like sunglasses and wallets.

The exterior zipper pocket is the right size for a phone or small key chain. I recommend this option for those intermediate sewing skills that have experience sewing zippers.

Coastal Tote Interior | Radiant Home Studio

There are also instructions for adding some small leather details, including the side seam straps and the exterior zipper embellishment. The appendices explain how to use metal snaps and rivets to add professional details to your bag.

I’ve included my recommendations and sources for cotton rope. A couple hours of research and a visit to the manufacturer to find you the best rope for this project at a very reasonable price! The testers that used this rope were really happy with the product and the price. This type of rope is not typically available at the craft store or hardware store, though you are welcome to experiment with what you can find!

Here of some of the bags photos sent to me by the pattern testers! I’m so grateful for their help and feedback!

Katie added a monogram to her bag. Adding a fun appliqué, like an anchor or crab, is also on my list of things to try with this bag pattern.

Coastal Tote Testers | Radiant Home Studio

Byanka // Jamie  // Anne // Katie // Kimberly // Judy //

Coastal Tote by Lorena | Radiant Home Studio

Lorena //

Coastal Tote | Fabric by Holli_Zollinger on Spoonflower |Radiant Home Studio

And here are the details and pattern information…

Coastal Tote Sewing Pattern Information | Radiant Home Studio

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4 thoughts on “Introducing the Coastal Tote Pattern!

  1. Lorena says:

    Congrats !! This pattern is great and the bag is comfortable and has so many possibilities!!!

    1. Sara Curtis says:

      Thank you Lorena! Loved your version! I’ve been carrying mine everywhere. It’s great for hauling all my kids stuff around without looking like a diaper bag.

  2. valda says:

    I don’t like the way the rope is joined on the handle. In the pictures the ropes are kind of twisted together. They look untidy and as if they would unravel. Was there no other way of joining the rope. I quite like the idea of combining the straps of the water bottle holder and the beach/coastal bags-using wide straps….

    1. Sara Curtis says:

      Hi Valda,

      Have you purchased the pattern and are having problems? I can help you if you have a more specific question and want to e-mail me. If you are just commenting about the style of the bag, it is meant to be casual. If I used regular tote bag straps on this bag, then there would be nothing distinctive about it. There are plenty of patterns out there for regular tote bags with straps like you mentioned. The Coastal Tote is designed with rope going through the channels between layers of the bag. You could make larger channels and tuck the knotted portion inside if you prefer. I believe one of the pattern testers did that. I researched many different ways of joining the rope, but splicing is the strongest method and will hold up the best. I’ve been carrying my tote everyday for over a year and the knot is still strong and tight. The pattern includes a link to a rope splicing video too. Again, let me know if you have purchased the pattern and I misunderstood your comment. If you prefer the tote bag handles, I’d suggest looking for another pattern. There are a lot of really amazing bag designers out there with tons of patterns to choose from, so I’m sure you can find what you are looking for!

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