Crafters Companion > Projects & Guides > Birthday Week projects – Sew Country pocket tote bag
Projects & Guides

Birthday Week projects – Sew Country pocket tote bag

Crafter's Companion – 20/10/19

For the fourth installment of our Birthday Week projects, we’re calling out to all the needlecraft fans! This project has been designed to help you get the most out of your free gift and provide a little bit of inspiration for your future crafting.

For day four, we’re talking about the Sara Signature Sew Country half metre of fabric, which you’re able to get your hands on today (October 20th) if you spend over £10 on the site. With a half metre of the stunning Rose Bouquet Cream fabric, you’ll be able to create large projects, like this gorgeous bag or smaller projects with applique details.

Take a look at this step-by-step to see how to create a beautiful and functional tote bag like the one below!

You will need:

Cutting requirements

Cut fabrics as required:

  • Pocket – 18″ x 9″
  • Bag front – 18″ x 15″
  • Bag back – 18″ x 15″
  • 2 x bag lining – 18″ x 15″
  • 2 x bag straps – 43″ x 4″

Cut fusible foam as required:

  • Pocket – 18″ x 9″
  • Bag front – 18″ x 15″
  • Bag back – 18″ x 15″
  • 2 x foam straps – 43″

Step 1

Prepare the pocket piece:

  • Fold fabric in half, insert the foam and fuse with the iron
  • Topstitch 1/8″ along the top line of the pocket
  • Quilt straight lines running across the panel, using a straight stitch and walking foot

Step 2

Prepare the bag front and back:

  • Fuse the foam to the bag pieces
  • Quilt straight lines running down the panels, using a straight stitch and walking foot

Step 3

Prepare the bag straps:

  • Fold and press 0.5″ along the long side of each strap piece
  • Wrap the strap around the foam with the turned edge running down the centre, then fuse in place
  • Topstitch with a decorative stitch or a basic zig-zag stitch running down the centre of the strap to secure the folded edge in place

Step 4

Constructing the bag front panel:

  • Align the pocket piece with the bottom edge of the front panel with raw edges matching (take note of fabric print direction)
  • Position the bag strap in place 5″ in from each side along the bottom edge (the strap runs up from one side, makes the handle loop, then returns back to the bottom)
  • Pin straps in place, then mark 2″ down from the top of the bag on each strap
  • Topstitch strap in place along each side of the strap, stopping the stitching at the marked point. Stitch an ‘X’ at the marked point to give the bag straps additional strength

Step 5

Constructing the bag back panel:

  • Attach the bag straps to the back panel following the same steps as above

Step 6

Attaching the bag lining:

  • Sew the lining pieces to the bag front/back panels along the top edge
  • Make sure the bag straps don’t get caught up in your seams

Step 7

Joining the front and back panels:

  • Position bag front and back together with right sides facing
  • Make sure the seams where the lining is attached match together, pin or clip together
  • Stitch the seams all around the bag and lining pieces, leaving a turning gap in the bottom of the bag lining

Step 8

Constructing the bag base:

  • Fold the bottom bag seam over to the side seam. This makes a triangle shape
  • Measure 2″ in from the point and mark a line across from edge to edge
  • Sew along the marked line, back tacking each end for strength
  • Cut away the excess triangle
  • Repeat above for bag lining bottom

Step 9

Finishing off the bag:

  • Turn bag through the gap in lining
  • Press the lining to give a faux binding effect running across the top edge of the bag
  • Topstitch this in place, then close the turning gap


Make sure you show us your completed tote bag on FacebookTwitter or Instagram using the hashtag #crafterscompanion!