82 the market tote tutorial.

5.20.2010

So tomorrow I'll announce the giveaway winner, but today, everyone wins!  Want to make your own market tote?  Now you can!

You will need:
1 yard main/outer fabric (I use good quality quiting weight cotton, but you could use home decor weight fabrics for a stiffer bag.)
1 yard base/lining fabric (I use linen, but canvas or home decor weight fabric would work too)
3.5 yards (4 to be safe) very lightweight interfacing (I use Pellon JAS Val-U-Fuse 44FPKG10)
Matching thread
Contrasting thread (for topstitching)

1.  Start with your main fabric.  Fold your fabric in half from selvedge to selvedge.  Cut two 19" x 21" pieces and two 2" x 21" pieces.  Pay attention to the direction of the pattern if you are print fabric.  The 21" will be the width of your bag, the 19" will be the height.
2.  Fold your base/lining fabric in half from selvedge to selvedge.  Cut two 19" x 21" pieces, two 9.5" x 21" pieces, and two 2" x 21" pieces. Again, pay attention to the direction of the pattern if you are print fabric.  The 21" will be the width of your bag, the 19" will be the height (and for the base the 9.5" is the height).

3.  Cut your interfacing.  You will need to cut four 21" x 19" pieces, two 21" x 9.5" pieces, and four 2" x 21" pieces.

4.  Now we're done with cutting!  Check to make sure you have all your pieces.

5.  Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of each piece (both main/outer fabric pieces and base/lining fabric pieces).
6.  Trim the excess interfacing off of each piece to square them up.  
7.  Place one main bag piece right side up with the width (21" side) horizontal.  Place a base (9.5" x 21") piece wrong side up on top of the main piece, with the bottom edge of the base 8.5" from the bottom of the main bag piece.
8.  Pin base onto main bag piece.  Repeat with other base and main bag piece.
9. Using your matching thread, sew along the pinned side of the fabric with a 1/2" seam allowance (you can use the side of your presser foot it that's easier for you to sew a straight line against).
10.  Flip base fabric right side out over the main bag piece and press.  Repeat with other side of bag.
11.  Using your contrasting thread, topstitch along the top edge of your base fabric, lining the seam up with the edge of your presser foot.  You might want to increase your stitch length to do this (my stitch length is set at 3 when I topstitch).
12.  Topstitch again using a 1/4" seam allowance below the first row of topstitching.
13.  Repeat steps 11-12 on the second outer bag piece.
14.  Pin both outer bag pieces with right sides together.  Make sure to align the base panel seams.






15.  Using your matching thread, sew around the sides and bottom (not the top) of the bag using a 1/2" seam allowance.  I actually sew around the three sides twice to make it extra strong.

16.  Pin lining pieces right sides together.







17.  Sew sides and bottom using a 5/8" seam allowance, making sure to leave an opening at the bottom for turning.
18.  Press seams open on outer bag and lining.






19.  Now it's time to make the box pleats.  Pull the fabric at one of the corners of the main bag so that the side seam and the bottom seam are on top of each other.  Align the seams and pin.  Measure 3 1/2" down from the peak and draw a line perpendicular to the seam.  The line should be 7" long.






20.  Using your matching thread, sew along the line you drew, making sure to backstitch at the ends.  It might be a good idea to sew a couple times along this line for extra strength.  (Ignore the line on the right in my picture, measured wrong at first.)

21.  Repeat step 19 on your lining corners, except measure 3 1/2" down from the peak and draw your line across.  The line should measure 6 1/2".  Repeat step 20, again sewing across the seam multiple times for extra strength.
22.  Cut the corners of both the outer bag and lining 1/2" from the seam you just made.

23.  Place one lining and one main fabric handle piece right sides together and pin.  Repeat with the second set of handle pieces.
24.  Using matching thread, sew along the long sides of each handle using a 1/4" seam allowance.
25.  Turn the handle tubes right side out.
26.  Flatten and press each handle.
27.  Using constrasting thread, topstitch along the long sides of the handles using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Topstitch again 1/4" from the first topstitched line.
28.  Place one of your handles inside of the lining and place each end 5 1/2" from the outer edge of each side of the bag with the lining side of the handle facing the right side of the bag lining.  Align the top edge of each side of the handle with the top edge of the lining.  You should have approximately 5" between the inner edges of the handles.   Repeat with the other handle on the other side of the bag.
29.  Place your outer bag inside of your lining so the right sides of the outer bag and lining are together.
30.  Start pinning the tops together by aligning the side seams with each other.
31.  Continue pinning all the way around the bag.
32.  Using matching thread, sew completely around the top of the bag using a 1/2" seam allowance.  You can sew around this seam multiple times for extra reinforcement.
Pay special attention to where the handles are located, sewing a few extra rows of stitches on top of the handle within the seam allowance.
33.  Turn bag right side out through the opening in the lining.
34.  Align the corners on each side in the bottom of the bag, and pin the outer bag and lining together at the top seam.

35.  Using contrasting thread, topstitch along the top seam of the bag, aligning the edge of your presser foot with top of the bag.  Topstitch again 1/4" from the first topstitched line.
36.  Slipstitch the opening in the lining closed and press your finished bag.


That's it!  Enjoy your new market tote!  (Finished totes are 13" wide x 14" high x 7" deep).
This tutorial is for personal use only.  Please do not use this tutorial to make items to sell.

82 comments:

  1. Yay!!! I have been intimidated by my shiny new sewing machine, and I think this will be the perfect project to cut my [underqualified] teeth on. Thanks for the tutorial! Hopefully, I won't mess it up... :)

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  2. wonderful tutorial-love all the photos-thank you

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  3. Thanks for the tutorial. One question: I've seen bag patterns that call for leaving an opening in the lining (as you do) and those that call for leaving an opening at the top (e.g., in between the handles). Is there a reason to use one rather than the other? It seems to me that leaving an opening at the top avoids slipstitching because top-stitching covers it (and I suck at slip-stitching) but maybe I'm missing a good reason to use the lining? Thanks for any thoughts.

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  4. Hooray for Holly. Thank you! I will be saving this for future reference. :)

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  5. Nice tutorial :) Great job! And as usual, your photos are outstanding!

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  6. Thank you for the tutorial! When I was admiring your giveaway bag earlier this week, I thought "I could probably figure out how to make one" but now you've saved me the trouble!

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  7. What a wonderful tutorial! I can't wait to find some spare time in my schedule and jump in and make one!

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  8. Thanks so much!!!

    Blessings,

    KT

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  9. oh my goodness, THANK YOU so much for this lovely tutorial! i am putting this in my queue of sewing projects, i totally want to make one! i just need to buy some interfacing, i think i should have the rest! hoping that i win the one you made too! =)

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  10. I know what I am doing this weekend! Thank you!!!!!

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  11. What a great tutorial! Thanks! I love the colors of the bag too.

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  12. This tutorial is so good im already over the disappointment of not winning the giveaway hehe! I will definitely have a go at making my own, thanks :)

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  13. Gorgeous! I'll have to keep this one in mind for a summer project bag!

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  14. I've been thinking of making myself a nice tote bag for my next semester of classes - or one in every colour.

    What are the dimensions of this finished bag? Does it have the strength to hold a medium-sized laptop (MacBook Pro) and maybe a textbook or two?

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  15. Here is the one I made. I LOVE IT! And they are a great size. Very big!

    http://thehandmadehomemaker.blogspot.com/2011/04/to-market-to-market.html

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  16. Thanks for the tutorial! Here's a link to one I made:

    http://madebymeaghan.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-denyse-schmidt-fabric.html

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  17. Here is a tutorial review I did on my blog about your tutorial and pictures of the bags I made! Thanks for doing this!

    Andie

    http://prettymuchnuts.blogspot.com/2011/05/greatest-tote-tutorial-ever-how-to-use.html

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  18. I posted about your tutorial on my blog! I think it is the best starter project ever. This was the first project I took on that I was able to understand the steps and create without wanting to toss my machine in the trash :P Thank you for the tutorial!

    Heres the link to my blog:

    http://prettymuchnuts.blogspot.com/2011/05/greatest-tote-tutorial-ever-how-to-use.html

    Thanks,
    Andie

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  19. Thank you for your wonderful tutorial. I made one this past weekend. I changed the shape up a bit by increasing the corner depth and added a interior zippered pocket.

    I blogged about it here: http://raevenfea.com/crafting/a-market-tote/

    I already have plans to make another one for myself!

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  20. Too cute! I hope you don't mind but I posted your market tote tutorial on my blog!

    http://www.deeindesign.com/blog/2011/08/bags-totes/

    Cheers :)

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  21. beautiful tote, great photos, and excellent instructions! Thanks!

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  22. my market tote is completed! Check it out here: http://www.sewlavie.com/2011/09/my-market-tote-finished-with-photos.html - planning to make another one soon!! I love it! Thank you for this tutorial!

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  23. I seriously LOVE this bag!! Can't wait to make it myself! (I'm thinking about Christmas gifts now!) Excellent tutorial.

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  24. Thanks for your generousity of posting and giving directions complete, for free........I think this is something all the lady friends on my Chirstmas list can use, the neighbors too. I'd better get busy.

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  25. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and hopefully easy tutorial. I have decided to borrow your idea and make a tote for my mom and 3 sisters for Christmas this year. I referenced your blog on my blog so I hope you come check my blog out. After I make the bags I will come back and post pics for you. Thanks so much!

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. I am a beginning sew-er and this is the first project I made by myself, no assistance! So the directions are very easy to follow.

    I added my own twists to it. I added a pocket on the inside and I applique'd an Avacado on the outside. I also didn't have enough fabric so it was 18" instead of 19" and still worked fine.

    Thanks for the great project!

    Here is mine: http://tinypic.com/r/25kj577/5

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  29. I purchased a sewing machine today and I made this bag! I haven't used a sewing machine since 5th grade Home Economics.

    I didn't use the interlacing but it's still a great tote! I'm going to use it at the library to hold our books.

    Thank you so much, you tutorial was wonderful and easy to follow.

    I still can't believe that I purchased a machine, purchased fabric & supplies AND made this all in one night!

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  30. Just made one today - turned out great! Thanks to another commenter, I did not leave an opening in the lining - instead I just left a small opening at the top between the handles and had no trouble turning the bag inside out. This way, I didn't have to do any slip-stitching - I just topstiched around the top and was done! Great tutorial - thank you for sharing!

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  31. Thanks for a great tutorial - I used it to make a tote for the fort kit I found on another blog. So great!

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  32. Love this tote! I may have missed it, but can you tell me the dimensions on this one please? Thanks!

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  33. Beverly,

    The finished totes are 13" wide x 7" deep x 14" high.

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  34. I just made two of these for my twin boys. Love them! Thanks for the tutorial.
    I blogged about it here:
    http://cocoapiecreations.blogspot.com/2012/03/your-friendly-neighborhood-spiderman.html

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  35. I just made one using some awesome typewriter fabric :)

    http://confessionsofalitgeek.blogspot.com/2012/03/tote-bag.html

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  36. I searched the world over before finding your tute. Thank you so much! After the bag was completed, I sewed a scant 1/8" down all four corners and across the front and back bottom just to give it more of a "boxy" shape. Thanks again!

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  37. I made mine last night (not really mine, a gift for my mom). Thank you! It turned out fantastic!!!

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  38. Each time I make this either the inner or outer bag is larger than the other making me have to bunch up the fabric to make it fit. What am I doing wrong?

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    Replies
    1. I've only attempted this once, but I had the same issue. I sucked it up and put the finishing touches on it--I wasn't about to let all of that effort go wasted--and it doesnt look bad, one of the lining/outer sides just doesn't line up but you can't really tell.

      ANYWAY, if you figure out the issue please let me know! This was my first sewing project (other than hems) and other than bad measurements, I'm not sure what the problem could've been.

      Delete
  39. i LOVE this tote and the pattern, too! thank you so much... i just made my own! http://yellowhousedays.blogspot.com/2012/07/market-tote-for-mom.html

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  40. Thank you so much for this very easy tut! I made one this past weekend and uploaded it to pinterest http://pinterest.com/pin/112941903126022856/
    I used decor fabrics that I got for five dollars a yard at Hancock's. My SIL wants one for her birthday so have started another one. This is truly a beginner's project if I can do it :) Brenda

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  41. Thank you very much. I made this bag for a school bag for myself and now an making another one for a friend of mine. Its a great easy pattern that I was able to make in one night.

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  42. Courtney and Laura,

    The lining of the bag is meant to be slightly smaller than the outer portion of the bag so there isn't a bunch of extra slack in the lining. When you pin the two together, you just start at the corners and evenly distribute the small amount of excess between the sides of the bag, and when you turn it right side out the lining should be nice and snug inside. You can decrease your seam allowance to 1/2" for the lining in Step 17 if you are still having problems aligning the two.

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  44. After spending the day googling for an easy tote tutorial I came across your beautiful bag and even thought it's a little out of my skill level I want to give it a try But I'm having a little trouble understanding point 9 and 10 I know it's not the instructions and just my lack of skill so would appreciate any assistance you can give. Thanks
    Alicia

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I meant point 7-10

      Alicia

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    2. In steps 7-10 you are basically attaching the base of the bag to the outer printed fabric. So when you're finished with steps 7-10, you will have a piece that is actually two layers on the bottom half... the base piece on top(yellow in the case of the pictured tote) and the striped fabric underneath it. I'm not sure how else to describe it, so hopefully this helps :) Good luck!

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    3. Thank you for explaining I thought that the base piece was sew unto the main piece as an addition hence lengthening the bag my mistake. I have now finish my bag and apart from my poor choice fabric I love it......

      Alicia

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  45. Lots of Good information in your post, I favorited your blog post so I can visit again in the future, Thanks.

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  46. This tote looks so much fun, lov those stripes and the colors. Featured it here
    http://sewprettysewfree.blogspot.com/2012/10/market-tote-tutorial.html

    Thanks,
    Anshu
    http://sewprettysewfree.blogspot.com

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  47. Love this bag! I made 4 of them this year with Halloween fabric for my kids trick or treat bags. I even embroidered their names on them with glow in the dark thread. I have also made a couple more to carry my girl scout materials in for myself and a gift to one of my co-leaders. My other co-leader also sews and made one for herself and for her kids for Halloween also.

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  48. I didn't pay close attention the first time, and ended up with the lining inside out. I just finished up my second try and worked out great this time! I made a little tote for my son's Hot Wheels collection.

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  49. Hi! Working on this tote. So excited it is going to be so cute! I do have a question...did you box the lining? (Doesn't look like it.) If not why? Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial!

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    Replies
    1. I did box the lining, it's just not pictured. It's covered in Step 21! :)

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    2. Thanks! Guess I need to read more carefully and not just look at the pictures. =)

      Delete
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  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  52. I love your bag. I especially love the striped fabric. You must have a good eye for color. Thanks for sharing.

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  61. I love this tutorial - Thank you It turned out fantastic. I loved the instructions and am thrilled with the result.

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  64. I just finished a bag using your tutorial. Thanks so much! Clear and concise directions and the pictures are great.

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  65. Hello. My name is Meg Wheeler. In respect of your note to not use this tutorial to make things to sell, and of your obvious effort in putting all this together, I would like to request an exception to this policy. The ladies in my church would like permission to make this bag using this tutorial so that we can sell them to support the efforts of the Lizotte family in High Level, Alberta, Canada, who are fostering native children who have been removed from their homes on the nearby reserve. These children are the victims of neglect and abuse, and many are also dealing with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We will not only give all proceeds to the Lizottes, but we are also donating any time and materials ourselves. So absolutely NO MONEY will come to us through this venture. All of it will go to the Lizottes. We will be glad to credit you for your creative efforts in whatever way you desire. Thank you for your consideration. Could you please email me at megcwheeler@hotmail.com to let me know that you have given us permission. If you have any questions, please email me. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi. Thank you for preparing this tutorial - it looks great! I have included a link to it in my blog - http://alittlebirdmademe.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/friday-finds-a-list-of-18-links-to-free-patterns-to-make-market-bags/

    ReplyDelete
  67. This bag is absolutely gorgeou! Amazing tutorial. I was wondering if you give the permession to sell the bags that are made from this pattern. I would love to sell them as tennis bags for the ladies that play at the tennis courts.

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  68. You need to monitor your comments - there is a lot of spam in here!

    I've made two of these bags and love them; I'm making a matching set of four - BUT! Some of my brains leaked out my ears, apparently, because on this third one, I can NOT get the handles right in step 28. Fortunately I've only been pinning it all together before trying to turn it right side out, but the more I work and read the instructions, the more confused I get. Would it be possible for someone to reiterate the instructions for assembling the liner, the outside case and the handles in great detail, because I have tried attaching the handles in every way possible, I *think*, and it's not coming out right. Sorry for this long post, but I love this bag and I want to make several more for gifts, but I'm really stuck on this one step. Thanks for the great pattern, anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thank you for your tutorial! I just made a bag for my son and now have an "order" from my daughter - it's a hit. Thanks for sharing!

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  70. Thanks so much - a great pattern, easily adaptable to put pockets on the side- so easy to follow! You're a star!

    ReplyDelete
  71. This is easily one of the best online tutorials I have stumbled upon! It is really straight forward and I have not had to spend time just sitting there trying to figure out and visualize what is meant by the words and photos! Thank you so much!

    I made this bag with ease, thanks to you!
    http://dashofrose.blogspot.com/2014/02/birds-to-market-tote.html

    ReplyDelete
  72. I love this tutorial- It is so complete! I've been looking for just the right bag to sew and this was it- I have blogged about it and pics @:

    http://peachtreeparkdecor.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/great-internet-finds-market-tote-tutorial-from-bijou-lovely/

    ReplyDelete

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