Thursday, May 24, 2012

DIY Tote Bag

Since I had a lot of my Power Ranger sheet left, I wanted to make something for our friend pink ranger.  I wasn't sure how she'd feel about a skirt, but a tote bag? Tote bags are always practical.

I found a tutorial for a nice big tote here (though note that the measurement for the handles is 24" each, not the 14" listed).
Pink Ranger friend makes custom amigurumi pokemon and pokeballs, and sells them at the Fanime convention.  I'm hoping she'll be able to fit some of her yarn in this bag - that's why I needed a big pattern!

How to make straps out of thin, flimsy cotton fabric? Crease it in half..
Fold both sides in so they touch the middle and crease again..
Then fold the whole thing in half lengthwise and crease once more!
Sew up both sides, and you've got a nice, sturdy strap!

Sandwich pocket lining, interfacing, and outer layer together. Using bias tape for the pocket piece, sew one side down..
Then flip it over and sew the other side down.
Except..I screwed up and pulled the bias tape too much so the line shows through :( Homemade look is charmy, right?
I didn't redo it because the structural integrity of the bag is fine, and I'm on a tight deadline. The con starts tomorrow!!

Sew the pocket to another sandwich of outer layer and interfacing. A line down the middle will create a pocket division.
Interfacing and outer layer
Once the front panel is done, sandwich that (right sides facing) with the back outer panel and interfacing, and sew around bottom and sides. Sew the corners down to create a boxy shape on the bottom.
Trim the excess from the corners, and repeat with the two pieces of lining fabric, only leaving a little hole on the bottom so you can turn it inside out later.

Turn the main bag inside out, and sandwich it inside the lining. Pin your straps to the main bag. Right sides should face each other.  Sew around the top.
For whatever reason I stopped taking pictures at this point - but if you want to make this bag you'll go to the original site linked above, I'm sure. :) Basically after you sew up the top, pull the lining out and sew up the little hole.  Push it inside the bag, add some pretty top-stitching, and you're done.  It really is an awesome bag!
It's a good size, and very sturdy! I like that the pocket let me use two different sections of the fabric.
Back side
Red Ranger is sneaking around in the pocket, huhuhuhu!
Anyway, as fun as a skirt is, I think (hope?) that a bag would get more use.
I'm loving the tote pattern though, I will probably make a few more of them for other gifts (Baby showers? Wedding showers? Just because?) down the road. Maybe with normal fabric though. Haha!


  1. I'm so embarrassed to admit that I've been using bias tape wrong all this time. Thank you for posting a picture of that crucial first step! Also, I'm totally making one of these next weekend :)

  2. Cute tote! I love that you put your extra materials to good use like this. I still have about 50 spools of ribbon left over from our wedding that are just hogging space in my craft bins.

  3. This is so great!! It turned out so awesome with that fabric. Love tote bags!i really need to learn how to sew!

  4. Are you SURE you don't have an Etsy shop? I just received some reusable sandwich bags I ordered from Etsy today and my first thoughts were 1) Hmm... these stiches aren't straight... and 2) I wonder if I can Penga to make these for me instead... and have them be 100 times more awesome. :D

    1. Reusable sandwich bag? What do they look like? How do you keep them clean? I work for snacks you know ;)

      And my stitches are never straight lol.

  5. Such a cute bag! Glad you found a good use for the rest of your Power Rangers sheets!

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