Simple Summer Tote Pattern

Y’all, I’m never buying a tote bag again – I found the perfect sizing, and even better, this pattern is perfectly suitable for ANY 18″ mix and match block from the Sweet Potato Quilt Club! Log into the portal to access video tutorials for every step and downloadable PDF pattern.

If you’re not a member and don’t have access to the block patterns, I have generic instructions written below on how you can make a tote bag:

Fabric: (2) 18.5″ x 18.5″ unfinished Quilt Club blocks or fabric squares (outer shell)
(2) 18.5″ x 18.5″ fabric squares (inner lining)
(2) 4″ x 29″ (handles)
Fusible Interfacing: I recommend using Pellon 931TD Fusible Midweight Interfacing.
(2) 18″ x 18″ squares (outer shell)
(2) 3.5″ x 19″ (handles)

Making the Handles
1. Lay the textured, bumpier side of (1) 3 ½” x 29” interfacing strip down along the wrong side of (1) 4″ x 29” fabric handle.
2. Iron the interfacing onto the fabric.
3. Fold the overflowing edges of fabric over the interfacing and press.
4. Fold the handle in half length-wise so that only the right side of the fabric is showing. Press.
5. Sew ⅛” seam along both long edges of the the handle.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 to make (2) handles.

Outer Shell
1. Lay the textured, bumpier side of (1) 18x 18” interfacing square down along the center of wrong side of (1) 18 ½” x 18 ½” outer shell square.
2. Iron the interfacing onto the fabric.
3. Repeat steps 1-2 to make (2) outer shell units.
4. Place the (2) outer shell units RST and sew ¼” seam along the edge of (3) sides.

Inner Lining
1. Place the (2) inner lining units RST and sew ¼” seam along the edge of (3) sides, while leaving a 6″ gap/slit along the bottom side. The side that is not sewn shut will be the top (opening) of the tote.

Boxing/Square Bottom
1. Gather the inner lining unit and flatten one of the bottom corners by separating the nearby fabric on both sides of that corner.
2. When the corner is flat, it should look like a pizza slice. Feel the seams on both sides of the corner and make any adjustments needed to make sure they are aligned.
3. Clip or pin the corner in place.
4. Using a ruler, draw a 4” line that runs perpendicular to the seams.
5. Sew along that line.
6. Trim off the corner, ¼” away from the seam.
7. Repeat steps 1-6 (3) more times for the other inner lining corner, and for both corners of the outer shell unit.

Tote Bag Construction
1. Sew the handles to the outside of the bag, each 4″ from the side and ¼” over the top edge. Make sure the same side of the handle is sewn onto the outside of the bag.

2. Bag the outer panel inside of the inner panel with all right sides of fabric facing each other.

3. Clip the tops together along the perimeter, starting at either side seam.

4. Sew ¼” seam along the top edge.
5. Pull the outer panel through the inner panel slit.

6. Top stitch 1/8″ along the outer edge of the top.
7. Sew the inner lining slit shut.

Enjoy your tote!

Do you want a downloadable PDF pattern of this? Get it here.




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  1. Hi, I had a moment when I saw your bag. I have just finished 10 similar bags. But I used pillow printed panels for the outsides. I had several of the panels for color wise inspiration so thought this would be a great way to use them up. As an aside I put a pocket on the inside for coupons or phone while grocery shopping.

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