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Inside Out Tote Bag

By: Felicity Miller

With this free purse pattern, sew an inside out tote bag, perfect for taking on long bike trips! Learn how to sew your own purse and you'll never have to answer "paper or plastic?" again.

Inside Out Tote Bag


  • Main Fabric
  • Canvas Fabric
  • Sewing Supplies


  1. Cut 2- 17"x17" squares from Main Fabric
  2. Cut 2- 3"x30" strips from Main Fabric for straps
  3. Cut 2- 17"x20" rectangles from Canvas Fabric
  4. Cut 2- 3"x30" strips from Canvas Fabric for straps
  5. Place 2 17"x17" squares of Main Fabric right sides together and sew (3) three sides of squares together using 1/2" seam allowance.
  6. With bag still wrong side out, to form corners of bottom, pinch side seam and bottom seam together to form triangle.
  7. Stitch across triangle 2" from point of the triangle and trim leaving 1/2" seam allowance.
  8. Place 2 17"x20" rectangles of Canvas Fabric right sides together. Sew (3) sides of bag together using 1/2" seam allowance. To form corners on bottom of bag, follow instructions for Main Fabric bag.
  9. With Main Fabric bag right side out and canvas bag wrong side out, slip inside bag inside Main Fabric bag matching side seams. Fold top of Canvas Fabric bag to inside 1/2" and press. Then fold down another 2" over the Main Fabric bag, press and pin. Top stitch 1/4" from top and bottom edge of 2" band.
  10. To make straps for bag, place one Main Fabric strap and one Canvas Fabric strap right sides together and sew using 1/2" seam allowance down both long sides of strap. Turn right side out and press. Repeat for second strap for bag. Turn to inside of strap 1/2" on each end and press. Attach to outside of bag front and back approx. 4" from each side seam, on 2" band. Top stitch each strap by stitching a square with an X in the middle.


Looking for more easy tote bag patterns? Check out our 26 Fashionable Free Bag Patterns

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This is a sweet little tote in a nice convenient size. I know I don't want my bags of groceries to hold more than I can comfortably carry and this tote seems to fit the bill. I used some indoor/outdoor fabric and lined it with an inexpensive solid. I pre-washed everything to make sure the fabrics would not shrink when I send the tote through the washer.

Some places are beginning to omit plastic bags. Get your totes made and ready. We should all be using them regularly anyway, but soon we may HAVE to.


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