How are Tote Bags Made?

It is fairly simple to learn how to make a tote bag. Here is a step-by-step guide to making one of your own: To get started, it is important to gather the appropriate tools from the beginning. The necessary equipment includes scissors, pins, a ruler, seam ripper, fabric chalk and a sewing machine and 1 meter of cloth.

Step One: Cut out a 33'' x 31'' sheet from the fabric. Then, fold the piece of fabric in half so that the size is now 16 ½'' x 15 ½''. Make sure the fold itself is oriented at the bottom.


Step Two: Now, cut two 16'' long straps out of the leftover fabric. These will serve as the handles of the bag. If desired, the fabric can be substituted with any other sturdy material as desired for the handles. However, try and keep the strips to an appropriate length.


Step Three: Take the top, open edges of the folded fabric square and fold them down by an inch on both sides. Pin the sides down. Then, sew 0.5 mm from the edges while making sure to double stitch at the beginnings and ends to ensure sturdiness. Remove the pins. You have now completed the top fold stitches.


Step Four: Now that the top and bottom of the bag have been secured, it is time to sew the sides shut. Pin the sides together so that the edges match evenly. Continue to sew 1 mm from the edge of the fabric.


Step Five: The bottom of the bag can be given more volume by sewing across the now established corners, forming an effective gusset. Pinch the corners of the bag open (utilizing the 1 mm of free space of the edges) and secure them with pins. Then, sew about 3'' across the corners on both bottom corners of the bag. You will end up with two corners that almost resemble dog-ears, giving the bottom of the bag more of a body.


Step Six: Take the straps and measure 4'' from both ends, such that each strap of the handle rests 4'' from the closest edge. Line up the edges of the straps with the 1'' folds sewn earlier at the tops of the bag. Then, pin each strap down, repeating for each side.


Step Seven: The straps of the handles must be sewn with great care such that they remain intact even with the burden of weights. Start off by sewing around all four edges of the strap, forming a square out of the thread. Then, sew lines connecting the corners of the squares, such that the thread bisects to form an "X". The finished product should look like a square with an "X" centered in the middle. Repeat this method with the remaining three straps.


Step Eight: Cut off any loose strings and make sure all thread work is secure. Now, flip the bag inside out, revealing your new blank tote bag. The best part about this project is that you're literally left with a blank canvas – making your imagination the only limit to the possibilities!


Step Nine: Decorating your tote bag is the moment you get to unleash your personal style and expression. The best part about tote bag materials is that they hold ink easily, regardless of the method that the ink is transferred to the bag. Fabric markers work fine for this project as do iron-on decals. This process can be avoided altogether with the selection of printed fabric for the project.

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