DIY Reversible Tote Bag

I had decided it was time to ditch the diaper bag and prepare for summer with a new tote bag. The traditional size was a bit big for what I was looking for, so I went with making a smaller sized one.

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If you would like to make your own, I invite you to follow along with me and I hope to not lose you along the way. I love to sew, but I am not an expert. Just a girl with a sewing machine, trying to make things happen.

1 yard of fabric for the outside
1 yard of fabric for the lining and pocket
1 yard of pleather belting for the handles
1 7-inch zipper
Sewing machine
Rotary cutter
Cutting mat
Fabric ruler
Straight pins

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First, I wanted my bag to be more wide that tall, so I used my rotary cutter to make two 12″ x 9″ sections of fabric for the outside, two 12″ x 9″ sections for the liner, and one 9″ x 14″ section of lining fabric for a pocket. (These dimensions can be changed if you are looking for a different size bag.)

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Next, for the inside of the bag, I added a pocket with a zipper. (I referred to this tutorial for installation and used one of the 12″ x 9″ lining pieces along with the 9″ x 14″ pocket piece to do so.)

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Then, with right sides facing each other, I sewed three edges of the two outer fabric pieces together. I did the same with the pocket section and second liner piece.

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To give the bottom of the bag a squared shape, with the pieces still wrong side out, I made a stitch that went across the seams in the bottom corners of the outside and liner sections. (This is really simple but sounds confusing, so please refer to pictures below.)

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For the handles of the bag, I cut two 16″ long pieces of 1 1/2″ wide gold metallic pleather belting. I folded them in half width wise and sewed using 1/4 seam allowance down both edges. This created two flat thin straps.

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After that, I put the liner section in the outside section with right sides facing each other, making sure to line up the seams. I took one handle and tucked it in between fabric pieces where the right sides touch. Making sure it wasn’t twisted, I pinned the ends of the straps 2″ from where the seams lines meet up. I did the same on the opposite side too and pinned around the whole top edge of the bag.

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DIY Tote Bag 1

Then, I sewed all the way around the top leaving a small area open. I turned the bag right side out through the opening. I learned that pulling the handles out first, made this process easier.

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To finish off the bag, I closed up the hole by top stitching around the bag 1/4 inch from the top edge. This made it lay flatter and be less bulky.

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This bag is pretty awesome! It can also be reversible, which puts the pocket on the outside.

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Click on the edge of the next photo to see what’s in the bag and how we are preparing for summer outings with toddlers.

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We would love to see what is in your bag! We invite you to take a photo and share it on Instagram with the tag #ejdmybag.


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