The Perfect Tote - Super Easy Bag Tutorial

The Perfect Tote - Super Easy Bag Tutorial

I love a good tote. I use them all the time -- whether it's as a purse or to cart books or a sewing / knitting project, I love me a good tote. This pattern has an optional lining with a pocket. The whole tote should take you under 45 minutes, and if you don't include the lining, it'll take about 20 min! Allowing you to spend more time on making it super cute, if you so desire. I added my Wandering Bear and Kraken applique pieces to these guys, and I love them so.
Scrappy Applique Tote-3
Scrappy Applique Tote-2
I love this little bear. He might be my favorite of my creature friends.... 
Scrappy Applique Tote-4
Scrappy Applique Tote-5
Here is the inside without lining. Both options are super roomy. 
Scrappy Applique Tote-6
I love this Cotton and Steel Scattered Canvas print.
Scrappy Applique Tote-8
Scrappy Applique Tote-10
Scrappy Applique Tote-9
This is tote has the optional lining with it's nice, big pocket! Adding the lining doesn't take much longer, and it's always nice to have a pocket.
Scrappy Applique Tote-12

The Perfect Tote

Scrappy Applique Tote-1


  • 1/2 yd fabric (I use canvas for durability)
  • 2 yds 1" cotton webbing for straps (this can be found in the ribbon section of craft stores)
  • Thread that coordinates with the bag fabric
  • Scrappy Applique pattern of your choice
Optional Lining:
  • 1/2 yd fabric (I prefer a regular quilting cotton so the bag isn't too rigid)
  • 10" square of fabric for the pocket


  • Trim bag fabric to 16" x 36"
  • Trim lining fabric to 16" x 36" (optional)
  • Cut two 22.5" pieces of webbing
*If your fabric is directional (ie has a clear way the fabric should face), you can just cut 2 panels 16" x 18.5" instead of one 16" x 36". Otherwise, one side will be upside-down when you fold it over. If you do this, sew a 1/2" seam on the bottom also on step 5. 


Perfect Tote-01

  1. Pin webbing in place on the right side of one end of your bag fabric (3" from either side), aligning raw edges.
  2. Zig zag stitch along the edge of the fabric.
  3. Repeat for the other side.**If you are adding any kind of detail, like an applique piece, embroidery, ect, do so at this point. Position the applique piece centered on one panel. You may want to fold the bag so you are able to center it properly. Be sure to leave enough room on the top to be able to fold the top edge over 1.5". **
  4. Fold your bag, right sides together, aligning the strap sides, pin in place.
  5. Sew 1/2" seam on either side.
  6. Zig zag stitch along the sides you just sewed.Perfect Tote 2
  7. Fold fabric over on the wrong side 1.5", pin in place. (If you are adding lining, make sure pins are on the right side of the bag.)
  8. If you are NOT including the lining, go ahead and sew a seam 1/4" from the bottom raw edge, as well as another seam 1/4" from the top fold, making sure the straps are straight as you sew across them.
  9. Turn right side out, and press. If you aren't including the lining, you're done!!Perfect Tote 3Optional LiningPerfect Tote 4
  10. Hem the pocket: Fold the right and left sides 1/2" toward the wrong side and press. Fold over 1/2" again, press. Repeat for the top and bottom sides. 
  11. Sew a 1/4" seam across the top side of your pocket.
  12. Fold your lining fabric in half, "hamburger" (so it is 18" x 16"), press the fold with iron. Unfold. Now you will be able to position your pocket correctly. 
  13. Position your pocket on one of the right sides, centering it between sides and fold. Pin in place.
  14. Sew pocket 1/4" from edge: down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side. Obviously, dont sew across the top! 
Perfect Tote 5-01
  1. Fold lining in half again, right sides together. Sew 1/2" seam on either side. Perfect Tote 6-01
  2. Fold top edge 1.5" toward the wrong side and press. 
  3. Tuck the lining inside the bag. Align the tops and pin in place, make sure the straps are straight. 
  4. Sew a 1/4" seam around the top of the bag. You're done!! Perfect Tote - Drawing 13-01

Scrappy Applique Tote-11
Don't you just want to make about a dozen of these now?
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What a great tote! I like the bear but I’d put a hare on mine!


Monogramming my initials on the tote. Love all of your designs . Thank you for the giveaway.


I’d add large bubble style letters for the recipient’s initials to one side, and maybe one outer pocket szed for my phone and work badge. Love the great tutorial. Thanks. PS: I’d love to win!

Quilting Jeannie Z

Since I live in New Mexico and we have a huge international balloon fiesta, I would make a hot air balloon using your scrappy technique to carry around the fiesta! We love our hot air balloons out here and it is one of my favorite times of the year! Love this!!!

Danyella Nava

OOohh! Great tutorial and super cute pics! Yes, I do want to make about a dozen and give them to my bee friends, and especially my mom who, now that she’s retired, is an avid reader and a beginning knitter. I think I would customize the inside pocket to have a zipper closure; that way you could put your library card in there, and no matter how you throw the bag around, you won’t lose it!


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