You’ll need the following:
A bit of fabric for the outer shell of the base – roughly 11.5 x 6.5 inches
A piece of fusible fleece or regular batting if you haven’t got any fusible fleece
A piece of fabric for the body of the tote, the inner side of the base and the facing at the top of the tote
A piece of plain fabric (8 x 21 inches) for the handles or 2 lengths of webbing or twill approximately 21 inches long
A 14 inch zip
Double fold bias binding
Thread to match
(I used cotton quilting fabric for this bag.)
Cutting the fabric
You’ll need to use the pdf pattern I’ve provided to cut 3 layers for the base of the tote:
1) fabric for outer
2) batting for the middle
3) fabric for the inner (I used the same fabric for the inner as the body. The inner is what you see when you peer into the finished tote.)
Also cut a small 2 inch x 2.5 inch square from the same fabric as your base outer layer. This is used to make a small tab for the end of your zip.
You will also need to cut one 12.5 inch x 28 inch rectangle for the body of the bag and a strip of fabric measuring 2 inch x 28 inch for the facing at the top edge of the bag.
If you are using plain cotton fabric for the handles, take the 8 x 21 inch rectangle of fabric, mark it into half lengthways and cut it so that you end up with 2 pieces which are 4 x 21 inches.
Making the base of the bag
The base of the bag is also the outside of the pouch. I’ve used a piece of printed quilting fabric but I think you could easily piece some scraps of fabric together and cut out the base shape from your pieced fabric. Make a sandwich by placing the batting in between the outer and lining fabrics. You want your fabrics facing right sides out (wrong sides together). See the three layers in this photo below?
Making the body of the tote
OK, the body of the tote is next. Take the 12.5 inch x 28 inch rectangle and fold it in half, wrong sides facing so the two shorter ends meet. We now want to create a French seam.
After making your French seam, turn the body of the tote right sides out. Along one of the top edges, mark the middle point of the piece. Then make a mark 3 inches to the left and another one 3 inches to the right of your middle point. Do the same for the other side. Set the body aside for now whilst you prepare the handles.
Making the handles
If you are using twill or webbing, you can skip this bit. If on the other hand you are making fabric handles from plain cotton, you’ll need to read this bit. Take your 4 inch x 21 inch rectangles of plain fabric and fold them in half lengthways and press. Open it up and press each side in half lengthways again.
Putting it together
Make sure your tote body is turned right side out. At the bottom end of the tote body, locate the middle point for each side and make a small mark like this.