Pouch and Tote Bag – Free Pattern

Pouch and tote bag

Pouch and tote bag

This pouch and tote bag is something that I have wanted to make for a long time.  It seemed such a simple idea – but it took me about three or four prototypes before I was happy with the measurements.  Anyway, the idea is that the tote bag is attached along the base to a zipped pouch.  The tote bag can be folded up and tucked inside the pouch so it takes up no room at all in your handbag, but is always there if you need it.

I have made the pouch in cotton canvas for extra strength and the tote bag in poplin to reduce bulk.  You can buy the kit for two of the bags at this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the pouch and tote bag

Pouch:  two rectangles 4″ by 7″, one rectangle 12.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, one 18″ open ended zip (the sort where the two sides of the zip can be separated from each other.

Tote bag:  two 12″ squares and two 2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric in blue.  In yellow you will need three 12″ by 4″ rectangles and one 2″ strip approximately 30″ long.




Curve the corners

Curve the corners

Make the pouch

Using a plate or something similar, mark a curve on each corner of the canvas rectangles and cut the corners along the curves.  Having curves rather than straight edged corners makes it more easy to attach the zip.

Pin the rectangle to the zip

Pin the rectangle to the zip

Start off with the zip intact just to make sure that you have everything the right way round.  Place the zip right side down and one of the rectangles on it also with right side down – so the right side of the fabric lies against the wrong side of the zip.

Pin the zip to the rectangle

Pin the zip to the rectangle

Pin the zip all round the rectangle.  After the first pin or two you can separate the parts of the zip to make the pinning easier.  You need to ease the zip around the curves in the fabric.

Repeat with the second side of the zip on the second rectangle.  Again you want the fabric and the zip both right side down.

Connect the two sides of the zip up again just to make sure that the two sides of the pouch match up.  Then baste all round each rectangle.

Zigzag with black thread

Zigzag with black thread

Finally sew the zip and fabric together.  I used a black thread and a small zigzag stitch – about 2 both for width and stitch length on my machine.

You can now put the two sections of pouch aside while you make the next section.

Make the tote bag straps

Make the tote bag straps

Make the tote bag straps

Sew together two 2.1/2″ strips of blue fabric along the length 1/4″ from each edge with right sides together.

Top stitch the straps

Top stitch the straps

Cut in half and then turn the individual straps right side out.  Press and then sew a seam 1/4″ from each edge to hold the straps in place.

Layout for tote bag body

Layout for tote bag body

Make the tote bag body

I’ve used yellow for the gussets on this bag in the hope that it will be easier for you to see what I’m doing.  I’ve used a slightly different technique to make the tote bag so that I can keep fabric bulk to a minimum.

Sew the sections together

Sew the sections together

Place a yellow strip to the right of one of the blue squares with a yellow strip across the bottom  Place a yellow strip to the left of the second blue square.  Sew the two side gussets to the blue squares.

The top section will be the front of the bag, the horizontal yellow strip will be the base of the bag and the bottom section will form the back of the bag.  Sew the two blue squares to the horizontal gusset.

The back panel will be folded up to make the bag.  I made the mistake here of placing both squares right way up.  In fact I should have placed the bottom square upside down so that it would be right side up on the finished bag.  Obviously this only applies if your fabric is directional.

Join the top to the base gusset

Join the top to the base gusset

Place the corners of the side gussets to the corners of the horizontal gusset as shown in the photo.

Join the bottom to the base gusset

Join the bottom to the base gusset

This joins the two side gussets to the base gusset.

If you are confident enough, you could then pivot and sew up the side seams but I am showing this as a separate step for clarity.

Sew the side seams

Sew the side seams

Fold the back section up so that it is right sides together with the front section.  Sew the two side seams, taking care at the bottom that you don’t include extra fabric in the stitching.

Pin the straps in place

Pin the straps in place

Complete the tote bag

Place a pin half way across the blue square.  You can then use this to make sure that your straps are the same distance from the middle.  Pin the straps in place.

Pin the facing in place

Pin the facing in place

Use the 2″ strip of yellow fabric for the facing.  With right sides together, pin it around the top of the tote bag, covering the straps.

Sew all round the top, securing the straps, facing and tote bag together.

Flip the facing to the inside

Flip the facing to the inside

Flip the facing to the inside.  Sew a line of top stitching around the bag to hold everything together.  Turn under a small hem on the bottom of the facing and sew it to the inside of the bag.

Pin the pouch lining to the tote bag

Pin the pouch lining to the tote bag

Join the pouch lining and tote bag

Pin the pouch lining to the base of the tote bag, right sides together.  I haven’t sewn them together across the entire length because I didn’t want to sew across the seam. Instead I have sewn these sections together by means of a square of stitching at each end.

Sew a square at each end

Sew a square at each end

The weight of your shopping will be on the base of the bag, not the pouch or its lining, so there’s no need to worry about the stitching not going the whole way across.  In the photo you can see roughly where I put a square of stitching.

Join the two pouch sections

Join the two pouch sections

Join the pouch lining and the pouch

Final steps now!  Zip up the pouch and mark a point where you can sew the two pouch sections together.  You need to have the zip done up to be sure that you get two points that lie next to each other.  Put a couple of stitches in to hold the two sections together.

Lay the pouch lining (with tote bag attached) on top of the pouch and pin in place.  Turn under a small hem and sew the lining to the pouch.  Here again I have not sewn right the way across because I didn’t want to get in the way of the zip.

Sew the lining to the pouch

Sew the lining to the pouch

I sewed around the short edges at either end and a short way along the length.  Then I just used a running stitch to hold the seam allowance in place across the middle. After that I resumed slipstitching around the other short edge.

The photo shows how the lining doesn’t reach to the edge of the pouch.  If I hadn’t been so short of time I would probably have made a new, larger lining.

You can now fold your tote bag up, tuck it into the pouch and do up the zip.  Ready to use.

Here’s the video:

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle

Last week I visited Kenilworth Castle.  This began life as a medieval fortress and then became a castle that Queen Elizabeth I gave to her close friend Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester.  He made huge developments to it in his efforts to please the Queen.

Windows

Windows

Although it is mostly ruins now, it has a real presence and you can just imagine it full of Elizabethan figures.  It happened to be the day that here in the UK we had a red sun so that really added to the atmosphere of the place.

My camera is refusing to give up the photos that I took, so I have used the English Heritage images from their site.

Tote Bag with Gusset – Free Pattern

Tote bag with gusset

Tote bag with gusset

For this tote bag with gusset I have created the gusset through folding rather than by sewing an extra panel into the bag.  It is quick and easy to make and the gusset is perfectly adequate for making the bottom of the bag that bit flatter, so that a bottle would stand upright more easily in it.

Cutting requirements for the tote bag with gusset

Closer view of the bottom corner

Closer view of the bottom corner

Outer bag:  two 18″ squares.  I have used two different fabrics for this

Bag lining:  two 18″ squares.  Again, I have used two different fabrics here

Straps:  two 2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric.  I have used one strip each of the two outer bag fabrics

Facing:  one 2.1/2″ strip. This shows at the top of the bag so it needs to be in a co ordinating fabric.




Mark a line on the bottom corner

Mark a line on the bottom corner

Making the outer bag

With right sides together, sew the two squares together on three sides – these will be the sides and the bottom of the tote bag.

On one side seam, mark a line 1″ from the bottom seam and extending 1″ from the side seam.  Do this to both sides of the bag.  Note that the two squares are still right sides together at this stage.

Form a triangle with the marked line as the base

Form a triangle with the marked line as the base

Pull the two squares apart from each other at the bottom corner.  You need to form a triangle with the marked line running along the base of the triangle and the seam line running up the middle of the triangle.  The corner of the bag will be the top of the triangle.  One half of the triangle will be the back fabric of the bag (black in the photo) and the other half will be the front (hot air balloon fabric).  Sew a seam along the base of the triangle.

Fold the triangle along the bottom seam line

Fold the triangle along the bottom seam line

Fold the triangle down so that the triangle runs along the bottom seam of the bag.  Slipstitch the top of the triangle to the seam allowance.  This is only to hold it in place – it doesn’t need to be strong. Do this to both bottom corners of the tote bag.

Now you can turn the outer bag right side out.

Make a gusset in the lining

Make a gusset in the lining

Making the bag lining

This is basically the same as making the outer bag.  Once again I have used two different fabrics in the hope that the photos will be more clear.  Sew the two squares together on three sides, mark a line for the gusset, sew along the line and slipstitch the top of the triangle in place.  The lining fabrics are still right sides together at this stage.

Make the bag straps

Make the bag straps

Making the tote bag straps

With right sides together, sew the two 2.1/2″ strips together on each side to form a tube.  Cut the tube in half so that you have two tubes about 20″ long.  Fold the top of the strap back along the strap so that you can turn it right side out.  Press and then sew a seam 1/4″ from either side to hold the fabrics in place.

Assembling the tote bag with gusset

Pin the straps to the outer bag

Pin the straps to the outer bag

Now you just have to put it all together!

Turn the outer bag so that it’s right side out.  Leave the lining so that it’s right sides together.  Tuck the lining into the outer bag and line up the two fabrics around the top of the bag.

Pin one strap to the front of the bag and one to the back of the bag, making sure that you only catch the two layers of fabric with each strap.  Sew all round the top of the bag to secure the outer bag, lining and straps in place.

Add the facing

Add the facing

Add the facing to the bag

Measure the length around the top of the bag.  In my case it was 35″.  Take the facing strip and cut a length 1/2″ longer (35.1/2″ for my bag).  Sew the two ends together to make a loop.

Place this loop around the top of the bag (on the outside) so that the top edge is in line with the top of the bag.  Sew in place.

Finally, flip the facing inside towards the lining.  Turn under a small hem and slipstitch in place just inside the seam line.  This means that you have enclosed all the seam allowance and have a neat finish to the top of the tote bag with gusset.

It takes slightly longer to make a bag this way, but it does give a very professional looking bag – and it will help your bottles to stand upright more easily.

Here’s the video:

Tote Bag Pattern With Pockets

 

Tote bag pattern with pockets

Tote bag pattern with pockets

Concealed pocket in the lining

Concealed pocket in the lining

This tote bag pattern with pockets is made in pretty much the same way that I usually make tote bags, but I have added a pocket in the lining before I sew it all together.  I have used the Buckeye Beauty quilt block for the front panel because I happened to have it lying around, but you could use any 16.1/2″ panel for your bag.  Adding a pocket can be as simple as sewing a patch to the lining of the bag, but for this pattern I decided to add a hidden pocket which sits between the outer bag and the lining.

Cutting requirements for the tote bag pattern with pockets

For the outside of the bag:  two 16.1/2″ squares

For the lining:  one 16.1/2″ square, one rectangle 16.1/2″ by 4.1/4″, one rectangle 16.1/2″ by 14.1/4″

For the pocket: one rectangle 6.1/4″ by 5″, one rectangle 7″ by 5″

For the handles:  two 2.1/2″ strips of fabric cut across the width of fabric – I have cut one in lining fabric and one in the fabric that I used for the back panel of the bag.

Sew the outer bag sections together

Sew the outer bag sections together

Fold down a 1" section on both sections

Fold down a 1″ section on both sections

Making the outer part of the bag

With right sides together, sew together the two panels for the outside of the bag on both sides and across the bottom, creating a pouch.

Making the lining

Fold down a 1″ section on the 16.1/2″ length of both of the smaller sections of the lining.  Press to make a fold line.

The pocket will be inserted between these two rectangles.

Sew the pocket sections together

Sew the pocket sections together

Turn under and sew a small double hem on the top of the smaller pocket rectangle.  After I’d added the pocket I realised that this wasn’t strictly necessary, but I’d already taken the photos by this time and I felt that it did help when sewing everything together.

Line up the bottom edge of the two pocket sections and with right sides together sew two sides and across the bottom.  The larger rectangle is the back of the pocket and the smaller one the front.

Sew the back of the pocket to the small lining rectangle

Sew the back of the pocket to the small lining rectangle

Lay the pocket with front section down and line up the top of the back pocket section with the folded section of the small lining rectangle – about half way across the lining.

Sew the back of the pocket to the lining along the fold line.

Line up the two fold lines

Line up the two fold lines

Sew the front of the pocket to the lining

Sew the front of the pocket to the lining

Turn over so that the right sides of the lining are facing up and line up the two fold lines of the lining.  The pocket will lie behind the lining.  Sew the front of the pocket to the larger lining rectangle.  This is a bit fiddly, but definitely doable.  My intention had been for the top of the pocket front to lie along the fold line of the lining, but in fact it ended up a little below the fold – that doesn’t matter.  The important thing is for the two lining rectangles to match along their fold lines.  Sew the two lining sections together on either side of the pocket along the fold lines.

Lay this section of the lining together with the 16.1/2″ square of lining fabric and sew down two sides to create a tube.

Sew the bag strap sections in a tube

Sew the bag strap sections in a tube

Making the tote bag straps

Cut the two lining strips in half and sew one of each colour together along each side to form two tubes.  Pull the end of the tube down over the tube and gently tug it all through to turn the tubes right side out.  Press and sew a line of top stitching about 1/4″ in from each edge to make sure that the straps keep their shape.

Pin the straps to the outer bag

Pin the straps to the outer bag

Assembling the tote bag

Pin the straps to the front and back of the outer bag section.  Note that the right side of the strap is pinned to the right side of the bag section.  It’s worth holding the strap up after you’ve pinned it so that you can be sure that the strap doesn’t have a twist in it.

Pull the lining over the outer bag

Pull the lining over the outer bag

With right sides together, pull the tube of lining down over the outer bag.  Check that you have the pocket at the top as you do this.

Line up the tops of the outer bag and the lining.  Sew these two sections together, making sure that you catch the bag straps in the seam.

Sew a seam along the bottom of the lining

Sew a seam along the bottom of the lining

Pull the lining out away from the rest of the bag.  As it was a pouch, you now have an open end at the bottom of the lining.  Turn under a small seam, pin the two edges of the lining together and sew them together to close off the bottom of the lining.

Now you can push the lining back inside the bag again, taking care to push out the corners.  Pin around the top of the tote bag and top stitch it to keep the layers in place.

That completes the tote bag pattern with pockets.  It obviously takes longer to make this hidden pocket rather than a straightforward patch sewn on top of the lining, but I quite like the idea of having a hidden pocket.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

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