A tote bag is a useful and easy sewing project, ideal for anyone who wants to try out their new sewing machine or start their journey into this fun and practical craft. Here is a great tote bag tutorial from Empisal, the sewing machine specialists.

Materials for a tote bag

  • 1 x outer fabric (l 50cm x W 20cm)
  • 1 x fabric for inner lining (L 47cm x W 20 cm)
  • Cord for handles (2 x 20cm pieces)

There are a huge range of colours and patterns out there to choose from, but keep in mind that you’ll need a fairly heavy material that can withstand a lot of use without ripping.

How to sew a tote bag

  1. Mark the centre of the outer fabric. Place the handle ends 5cm from the centre on both sides, leaving a 1 cm tail at each of the four ends.
  2. Place the inner fabric over the handle and pin all three layers together – outer on the bottom, handles in the middle and inner on top.
  3. Sew the layers together at the top, going over the handles twice for extra strength. After you’ve sewn it, iron down the seam for neatness.
  4. Sew in the second handle the same way, then match up the seams (keeping it right side in) and pin the seams in place.
  5. Sew all 3 of the seams, remembering to leave a gap so that you can turn the bag inside out. Iron after each seam.
  6. Turn the bag inside out, so that the inner is inside the bag, and sew up the gap by hand.
  7. The outer fabric is a bit longer than the inner, making a gap at the opening. Simply fold this gap into the liner and sew it in place.

Get your first sewing machine from Empisal – High quality, low prices!

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, sewing kits, overlockers, haberdashery products and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years. Ideal for anyone who wants to learn to sew as well as accomplished crafters and professionals, our machines and equipment are reliable, precise and durable.

For more information on our sewing machines and products, please contact us today.