Projects

Canvas Tote Bag with Pockets

Created By:

Trish Stitched

Skill Level: Intermediate

This canvas tote bag is a great afternoon project and wonderful to carry everywhere you go! This tote features a front pocket, two interior pockets, and a flat bottom. Tote bag is unlined (seams finished with serging!) and is made with pre-made straps, so it comes together quickly!

Janome Supplies Required

You will need:

  • ½ yard - Two coordinating canvas fabrics – I’m using “natural” and green
  • Fat Quarter Size - Printed cotton fabric for front pocket – I’m using cotton canvas which is a little thicker than quilting cotton.
  • 2.5 yards (90”) of 1 ¼” strapping or belting – I’m using “natural” to match my canvas (this is for 23” straps, may need more for longer straps)
  • Fabric marking tool
  • Other sewing tools including scissors, pins and clips, tape measure and ruler

This project is best made on a serger and sewing machine, but raw edges can be stitched with zig zag stitch on sewing machine.

Machines used for this project include the Janome AirThread 2000d and the Janome Memory Craft 15000.

Instructions

Cut out Fabric Pieces

Below is a list of measurements and fabrics to cut out and number of pieces needed.

Body (Green Canvas): 15.75” x 11.75” (x2)

Bag Bottom (Natural Canvas): 15.75” x 9.75” (x1)

Interior Pocket (Natural Canvas): 14” x 9.5” (x1)

Exterior Pocket (Printed Canvas): 10” length x 9” height (x1)

Straps (Natural Strapping): 45” long (x2)

(Tip: 45” straps will make your straps 23” long. You can wait to cut the length of your straps until sewing them on to decide the best length for you!)

 

 

Serge raw edges

After cutting out fabric pieces, serge all edges on each piece. Be sure not to cut off any fabric, we are serging our raw edge to prevent fraying over time. Serging not necessary on straps.

 

 

 

Prep and Sew Pockets

Exterior Pocket:

On top edge of pocket, fold ¼” to wrong side (serged stitching). Press and fold another ¼” enclosing the serged edge. Stitch close to bottom fold on sewing machine.

 

 

 

 

Mark center bottom on front pocket (5”) and center bottom on one body piece (7 7/8”). Match markings and baste pocket on bottom and sides at ¼”, leaving top of pocket open.

 

 

Interior Pocket:

On one short edge, fold serged edge ¼”, press, and fold again. Stitch close to bottom fold on sewing machine.

 

On each long side, measure 5.5” from folded edge. Fold up using the markings as your fold line. Press the fold and baste sides.

 

 

 

Fold sides to wrong side at ¼” and stitch. (Optional: fold sides again to enclose serged edge, depending on fabric weight. If you are using canvas for your interior pocket, it will be made thicker and harder to stitch).

 

 

 

 

With an erasable fabric marking tool, mark center on pocket and stitch to create two pockets.

 

 

 

Fold top of second body piece down ¼” to inside. From folded edge, mark  ½”.

 

 

 

Measure midpoint of line on top edge of body and midpoint on top edge of interior pocket. Match midpoints and fold top edge on ½” line, enclosing serged pocket edge. Stitch close to bottom folded edge.

 

 

 

Repeat top hem on front of bag.

 

 

Add Straps

I’m using pre-made strapping that is 1 ¼” wide. Test length by pinning one end of strap to bottom of body and measure ideal length for your tote. Cutting a 45” strap will leave 23” free to wear. When you decide on ideal length, cut 2 pieces of strapping in the same length.

On the front of body bag piece, measure and mark 2” from the short serged edge sides.

 

Lay one piece of strapping along line, covering the serged front pocket side. Match edge of strap to bottom edge of bag body on each side of pocket. Topstitch strapping from bottom of body to top of body, and back to the bottom on each side of the front. Repeat for strap piece on the other side of pocket.

TIP: Keep bobbin thread the same color as your bag body so stitching is not as visible on bag interior.

 

 

Repeat strap steps on bag back, again measuring 2” from each side. When sewing the back strap on, watch your pockets don’t get caught in your stitching!

 

 

 

 

Add Bag Bottom

With right sides together, stitch one long edge of bag bottom to lower edge of bag body. Sew at 3/8”.

 

Repeat for other side of bag exterior.

 

Press seams towards bag bottom and topstitch seam.

 

Stitch Sides

Fold bag in half, right sides together. Pin side seams, matching bottom bag seams and tops.

 

Stitch bag sides at 3/8”. Reinforce stitching 1 1/8” from bottom of bag.

 

Make Bag Corners

With bag still wrong sides out, cut bag corners to create flat bottom. Mark and cut 1 1/8” x 1 ½” at each corner.

 

 

Create corner by matching side seamline with folded bottom. Stitch seamline at 3/8” and serge the raw edge. (Tip: Reinforce center of seamline, where the side seam lays for extra strength.)

 

 

 

 

 

Remove any basting stitching you can see from sewing your front pocket. Turn bag right side out and give a good press. You are finished!

Everyone is Talking about Canvas Tote Bag with Pockets
Reviews


Tako
Beautiful
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

cpindzola
Around the Table Dresden Placemats
Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
Txmaid
Fun Great Gift!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MargieARK
Teatime Quilted Tablecloth
Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
MickelSews
Great Machine
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
rvstan
S9 Review
Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
pjmnana
PJMNana
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
KLWash
S9 Review
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
SewSueMe2002
Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
Jillfmischo
Treat Bag fun!
Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!
elenaz
Very helpful tutorial
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I want to say thank you for teaching me this method of applique. I was able to do it with a small letters. This method is the best so far from all of those I've seen and tried.
plonkar
So useful
Thursday, November 30, 2023

I'd like to express my gratitude for teaching me this appliqué method. I successfully applied it with small letters, and, so far, it's the most effective among all the methods I've seen and tried.

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