This secure tote bag pattern is so unusual that it really took my fancy when I saw it. There is a basic rectangle section for the bag itself and then the strap has a gap in it for you to put things in the bag and take them out – but the neat part is that by using a bracelet or something similar you can close off the gap to make the contents of the bag secure.
Fabric requirements for the secure tote bag
Top fabric: two panels of fabric 10″ by 15″. This is the light fabric in the photo. You will also need a strip 1″ wide by about 4.1/2″ long for the loop.
Strap fabric: two panels of fabric 10″ wide cut across the width of fabric. This is the dark fabric in the photo.
Bracelet or hair scrunchy or something similar that’s elastic to use in the strap.
Make the secure tote bag section
Begin with the loop – fold in both long edges of the fabric to the middle and then fold the strip in half so that all the raw edges are buried. Top stitch along the length to hold the layers in place.
Place the two top fabric sections with right sides together and place the loop so that the raw edges of the loop are in line with the edge – it’s not very easy to see in the photo, but it’s about 2″ down from the top on the left hand side.
Sew the sides and the bottom of the rectangles together, leaving the top open to form a pouch.
Turn the pouch right side out and press.
Make the secure tote bag strap
Place the two strap sections of fabric with right sides together. Place a tape measure alongside the fabric and place a pin at 16″ from the top and another at 24″ from the top. The stretch between the two pins will mark the gap in the strap.
Using your ruler, mark a line from the 24″ pin to about 2″ to the left of the bottom right hand corner of the rectangle. Cut along this line and discard the fabric to the left of the cut.
Sew the two pieces of strap fabric together down the left hand side from the top to the first marker pin.
Leave a gap between the pins and then begin sewing again from the second pin along the diagonal line, across the 2″ or so at the bottom and up the right hand side. Leave the top open to form another pouch.
Turn under a small double hem along both pieces of fabric at the gap so that the raw edges are hidden.
Assembling the secure tote bag
With the strap section still wrong side out, pull it up over the bag section, so that the top fabric and strap fabric are right sides together. Line up the top edges of both fabrics with each other. Pin and sew the two layers together all round the top.
Putting your hand through the gap, pull the sections of the bag out so that everything is right sides out and press.
Pull the bracelet up onto the strap .
Push the end of the strap through the loop and tie it in a knot. Your secure tote bag is now ready for use. You can put items into the bag through the gap in the strap, and then pull the bracelet across that section of the strap to close the gap. Neat, isn’t it!
In the video, I have referred to the strap as the lining – just ignore me and assume that it’s all strap! Here’s the video:
If you want to see any other tote bag patterns, you can click here.
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