The finishing touches for an attractive tote bag

Yesterday I showed you how to add inside pockets and outside pockets made by using Stitch-N-Steam by UNIQUE to your tote bag. Now you’re ready to sew on the handles and do the finishing touches.

Getting creative with Stitch-N-Steam, it’s a versatile tool when using it for accent on all sewing projects!


  • Place one handle strip made from webbing on the outside of one of the 16″ squares so it’s about 4″ from the outside edge of the bag and covers the raw edges of the outside pocket.
  • Pin or baste in place. You can “try on” the bag for size now and adjust the length of the handles if necessary.
  • Repeat for the other side of the bag.
  • Stitch along both edges of the handles making sure that the top hem is folded down in place. Use a walking foot or even-feed foot on your machine to help you sew through all layers.
  • The inside pockets will be stitched in place at the same time you are stitching the handles.

Stitch the webbing handles.

Putting it all together

  • Overcast the 2 sides and bottom of each 16″ square using a zigzag stitch or serger. Make sure the top hem is unfolded.
  • Using a ½” seam allowance, and with right sides together, sew the front and back sections of the bag together. Make sure the top hem is unfolded at the side seams.

Sew front and back together.

  • Follow the diagram and picture below to make square corners on the bottom of the bag.

Make square corners for bottom of bag.

Sewing the square corners for bottom of tote bag

  • Refold the top hem and stitch in place.

Stitch the top hem.

  • Check out my QUILTsocial post from March 14, 2018 to see how to make a firm insert for the bottom of your bag. This step is optional, but it does help to keep the bag from sagging when you’re using it.
  • Here’s how the inside of your bag will look.

Inside of tote bag

Now you have a finished tote bag with some textured outside pockets made with Stitch-N-Steam and handles made from Creativ Dékor webbing. This webbing comes in many different colors. You’re sure to find lots of ways to use both of these unique products to create design embellishments for your other projects.

Creativ Dékor webbing

Finished tote bag with texturized fabric for the pockets

Be sure to come back tomorrow. I’ll be showing you how to use HeatnBond EZ PRINT LITE for some easy applique designs. These fusible web sheets go right in your printer!


This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: 7 easy steps to make inside pockets for the tote bag

Go to part 4: How to use fusible web that goes in your printer and its characteristics

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S. Stewart June 14, 2018 - 12:21 pm
The textured fabric on the pockets really does make the bag looks so much more attractive!
Jean Boyd June 14, 2018 - 5:08 pm
Thanks! I really like the effects you can achieve with StitchNSteam too.
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