Book Bag Tote – DIY
Make your own book bag, for trips to the library, spring / summer picnics or beach holidays. Follow our step by step instructions right here.
- Outside bag – Calico 11″ x 12″ x 2
- Bag lining – Cotton 11″ x 12″ x 2
- Straps – Calico 21″ x 3 x 2
- Pocket 7″ x 12″ x 2
Mixed colours of cotton for the detail on the front of the bag
- 1 square 5″ x 5″
- 1 rectangle 5″ x 3″
- 1 rectangle 7″ x 3 1/2″
- 1 rectangle 10″ x 11″
Ribbons & lace
- Cream 2″ ribbon 22″, cut in two.
- Cream 1/2″ lace 22″
- Cream machine thread
- lilac embroidery thread / floss
- Download and print pattern at 100% A4 paper Book Bag Pattern
- Sewing machine
- Fabric scissors
- Embroidery needle with large eye
- Tailor Chalk pencil (blue)
Starting with the four mixed cotton pieces, take the 5″ x 5″ square.
Thread a needle with 2 strands of the lilac embroidery floss / thread.
Tie a knot in the end of the thread and starting at the centre of the square work a long running stitch in a circular pattern.
See picture below.
As you reach the outside of the square, pull the stitches gathering the material until it forms a shabby styled rosette, and secure with a few back stitches.
Repeat on the 5″ x 3″ rectangle.
On the 10″ x 11″ rectangle work a running stitch across the diagonal of the material.
Pull the running stitch and gather the material together, and secure with a few back stitches.
Repeat on the 7″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle.
Lay out all of the pieces as displayed in the image below.
Print out the book bag wording template and lay face up on the table.
Place one of the pieces of calico (outside of the bag) over the sheet with the 12″ side at the top.
Transfer the pieces in the image above onto the calico.
Move until you are happy with the material and wording arrangement, using a tailor chalk pencil trace the book bag wording onto the calico.
Using the embroidery needle with 6 strands of the lilac embroidery thread / floss, work a back stitch to fill in the book bag wording.
Sew all of the material pieces together using a running stitch and again using the 6 strands of embroidery thread floss.
Leave the front of the bag aside for the moment.
Taking the material for the straps fold in half lengthways, material right side to right side and machine sew along the length of the strap with a 1/2 seam allowance.
Repeat on the 2nd strap.
When you have finished, turn each strap right side out.
Machine sew along the length of both sides of each strap.
Image below – the two finished, leave aside for the moment.
Taking the 7″ x 12″ pieces of material, place right side to right side and machine sew along the 12″ sides top and bottom.
Turn right side out and press flat.
Machine sew along the top section of the pocket. (One of the 12″ sides)
Place the lining on the table with the 12″ side at the top, place the pocket onto the lining as shown in the image below, pin and machine sew along the line indicated in the image.
Place back on the table as shown above, right side facing you and remove the pins.
Lay the 2nd piece of the lining material onto of the first one, right side face down.
Pin together and machine sew along the areas indicated in the image using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Remove pins and leave aside.
Taking the material for the front of the bag, place it on the table, right side facing you.
Position the first strap onto the material as in the image below and pin in place.
NOTE: NOT IN IMAGE – Position one of the lengths of ribbon in the centre of the straps and pin in place. (show in the following image)
Back of the bag.
Machine sew the straps and the ribbons onto the front and back of the bag.
Place the front and back of the bag pieces together, right side to right side, making sure the straps and the ribbon are not near the seam areas.
Pin along the sides and bottom of the bag.
Machine sew the bag, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Take the bag lining and turn right side out.
Leaving the outside of the bag as it is, wrong sides of the material facing you, place the lining inside this.
The materials inside the bag will now be facing right side to right side.
Pin everything in place around the circumference of the top of the bag.
Take off the cover for the front of your sewing machine, so as the arm is visible.
Place the open top of the bag on to the arm and machine sew around the circumference of the bag opening, again using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
When you have finished sewing pull the lining out from inside the bag.
All of the wrong side of the bag / material will be facing you.
Find the unsewn area at the end of the lining and feed the whole bag through, turning it right side out.
Bag right side out. (Image below)
Machine sew the opening in the lining closed.
Push the lining of the bag inside the main bag.
Pull the handles and the ribbon straight out from the top of the bag.
Taking the lace pin around the top of the bag.
Machine sew in place.
The Book Bag Tote is now read to use.