Comtemporary Tote

By  Mary Ayres 

size: 11"x14"


  • Black & white geometric print cotton fabric, 1/2 yd.
  • Black twill fabric, 3/8 yd.


  • Lightweight woven fusible interfacing, 1/2 yd.
  • Sewing machine and matching threads
  • Sewing needle
  • Straight pins
  • Iron and pressing board
  • 1. Cut two 11-1/2"x14-1/2" geometric print fabric rectangles. Cut two 11-1/2"x14-1/2" rectangles from interfacing. Follow manufacturer's instructions to fuse interfacing rectangles to wrong side of fabric rectangles. With right sides of fabric together, sew fabric pieces together, 1/4" from side and bottom edges.
  • 2. Flatten one corner of tote to create triangular point, aligning side seam with bottom corner seam. Use pencil to mark 2-1/2" line perpendicular to seam, 1-1/4" from point (Fig 1). Stitch along line. Trim triangle at corner, 1/4" from stitching. Repeat for remaining corner.

    Fig. 1
  • 3. For handles, cut two 3"x18" geometric print fabric strips. Cut two 3"x18" strips from interfacing. Fuse interfacing strips to wrong side of fabric strips. Fold handle strips in half lengthwise with right sides facing out; press. Open up strips. Fold long raw edges of strips in toward fold at center and press. Fold strips in half lengthwise again. Top stitch 1/8" from folded edges to secure. Sew handles to top of purse on right side, 3-1/2" in from each side on front and back, close to edges.
  • 4. For lining, cut two 11-1/2"x14-1/4" black fabric rectangles. Sew side and bottom edges together same way as in Step 1, leaving 5" opening along bottom seam for turning. Sew across bottom corner of lining same way as in Step 2. Turn right side out. Place inside purse with right side of fabric facing, matching up side seams. Sew around top of purse and lining, 1/4" from edge to join.
  • 5. Turn assembled tote right side out, through opening at bottom of lining. Hand sew opening closed. Top stitch around bag, 1/8" from top edge.
  • Note
  • 1. When cutting pairs of fabric pieces, make sure pattern on each piece is symmetrical to other piece.