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Super Easy Tote Bag

perfect size for travel or groceries

easy totebag pattern

previously called holiday tote

updated instructions

perfect for car travel, a day at the beach, or grocery shopping

mitered corners for a nice, flat bottom of bag

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Super Easy Super Versatile Tote

I love to carry a tote with me on trips. I use it to carry snacks, maps, hotel information, water bottles, sun screen and many other items that must be with me, but don't fit into a purse.

I also use my tote for groceries. Store bought totes don't seem to come in the size I want. I also like to be able to wash my tote. I want it clean if I use it for food.

We previously called this our Holiday Tote because it was originally designed to use for Halloween Trick Or Treat. Yes, it makes a nice holiday tote, but we updated the instructions and moved it to this page because it is actually an all-around wonder bag. Add your favorite quilt block or holdiay fabric to turn it into a holiday tote.

Size Of Totebag

mitered corners on totebag overall size: 11.5" wide x 17" high x 3" deep

The following photo shows the mitered corners on the bag bottom. This dimension can be changed. My instructions create a 3" depth to the bag.


canvas fabric Fabric:
Purchase fabric that is multi-directional, meaning there are no patterns that go only one way. I chose canvas. Actually, for the lighter bag on this page, I used painter's canvas drop cloth that I bought at Lowe's. That is the best deal there is for making canvas totebags. For about $7.00 you can get a 4 foot x 5 foot piece. That will make 2 bags.

By The Yard
One Bag: If purchasing canvas by the yard, you will need 40" in length and 37" in width.
Two Bags: If purchasing canvas by the yard, you will need 40" in length and 44" wide.

NOTE: I used black duck cloth for the black bag shown on this page. The painter's cloth was used for the light bag.

General Supplies
thread to match background, scissors or rotary cutter and mat, quilting pins, large sewing ruler, fabric marking pencils, seam ripper

All seams are 1/4"

Instructions - for one bag

Cut Fabric

cut canvas fabric for tote Main Bag: Cut 1 piece 15" x 40"
Straps: cut two pieces, each 3.5" x 24"

For ease in cutting, I folded my fabric, then cut 15" x 20" I always use a large sewing ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter.

Prepare Fabric Pieces

serged edge of fabric Canvas ravels. It is much easier to work with if the edges are sewn with a serger or zig-zag stitch. Stitch all four sides of the two strap pieces, and across the two short ends of the main bag piece.

Assemble Tote

Main Bag Side Seams & Mitered Corners
Fold each bag right sides together. Sew 1/4" sideseams. Serge or zig-zag around top of bag if you haven't already done so.

miter Leave bag inside out. To make mitered corners on the bottom of the bag, pull out the corners of the bag, on both sides of the side seam (pulling out the little points). Measure and sew a 3" line perpendicular to the side and bottom seam. Repeat on the other corner of the bag. This easy method of mitered corners can be used for pillows, and any place that calls for a mitered corner.

You can make your bag any depth. To stay with my dimensions, stitch a 3" line perpendicular to the side seam. I use a quilter's ruler to help me find the place where the line will be #" across. After sewing the line, trim off the point.

measure miter

trim miter

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