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Sewing a tote bag in minutes

Sewing a tote bag in minutes

by Claire Haillot

This week, I’ve been using Mont Marte fabric paint to design various cute tote bags and now’s the time to show how to sew an easy tote bag in minutes. And since the Mont Marte Fabric Paint dries quickly and leaves no foul odor, you can make your project the same day. It’s so simple that even your children can sew them up. Here are the two simple steps.

Mont Marte Fabric Paint

Step 1 – Making the straps

Here’s a simple step to making the straps for the tote bag.

I started by cutting 2 rectangles 4″ x 42″. These make very long straps so I can carry my tote bag crossbody. If you prefer shorter straps, than adjust to your preferred length and cut.

The next step is to fold the rectangles in half lengthwise and iron. Using the crease set in the middle, fold each sides inward and iron once more. Fold once more in half, iron press, and stitch ¼” on each sides of the straps. You can also add batting 2′ wide in the center of the strap for a more comfortable grip. I kept it simple as I was preparing the straps, meaning folding and ironing, and my son was stitching them together. It was great teamwork.

Fold straps for tote bag

Stitched strap for tote bag

Step 2 – Sewing the tote bag

Taking each 20″ x 42″ painted Fabric Creations muslin pieces, I double folded each end and iron pressed, and my son once more stitched the folds in place. We then added the straps onto the top, leaving at least 4″ between the straps. For this part of the project, I took over the sewing as there’s a lot of fabrics to stitch together and you need to move slowly to ensure proper stitching.

You can stitch a few lines on top and on bottom, or you can stitch a square with an X to ensure the straps stay put. It all depends on the weight that will be carried in the tote bag once done.

Double fold the edges and iron before stitching into place

Stitch straps onto inside of tote bag

The final step to finishing the tote bag is really easy so you can have your child back on the sewing machine. I decided to go with a nice neat stitch. Fold the tote bag wrong sides together and stitch each sides at ¼” seam allowance. This means you’ll have the seams showing on the right side of the bag. Iron the seams.

Stitch to secure both sides of tote bag

Fold the bag so it’s inside out and press the sides to have nice smooth edges. Stitch each sides at ¾” seam allowance. Press the seams. Turn the bag right side out again and see how nice your tote bag is with this nice smooth finish.

Turn tote bag inside out and stitch sides

Congratulations! Now you know how to sew a tote bag in minutes. Hope you’ve enjoyed making these beautiful tote bags. Now remember to keep them in your car so you can use them and show them off at your local grocery store. I will be back tomorrow to talk about one last special project that I’ve made using the Mont Marte Fabric Paint.

Chevron tote bag finished

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: The wonders of painting on fabric using Mont Marte Fabric Paints

Go to part 5: Personalizing a tote bag with Mont Marte Fabric Paint


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