Tutorial: foldaway market tote

A step-by-step guide to making a handy reusable tote which folds away into it’s own pocket. Perfect for storing in your purse for spontaneous shopping sprees! Also makes a great knitting, lunch or gym bag.

Difficulty Cost Time Age Person Event
$25 to $50
1-2 Hours
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Step by Step Instructions

  • Step 1

    Getting started:
    You will need a piece of material 84 x 71cm. Cut out the 4 main pieces plus a piece for the pocket 18 x 36cm. All seams are 1cm. You can find the pattern template for this tutorial below. It is not to scale and is for guidance only. You will need to make a template on pattern paper, I would recommend using squared paper so that you can achieve true straight edges.

  • Step 2

    Fold the pocket piece with right sides {RS} together and stitch around the edge leaving a small gap.Trim the corners and turn right side out.

  • Step 3

    Place the pocket with the fold at the top, centrally on the right side of one main bag piece. Stitch around 3 sides.

  • Step 4

    Join the main pieces {RS} to {RS} at the tops of the handles. Neaten the raw edges by pinking or zig-zag machine stitch.

  • Step 5

    Neaten all round the inside raw edge between the handles by pinking or zig-zag machine stitch.Then turn under and sew all around the edge making a curve at the corners.You may need to clip the corners slightly.

  • Step 6

    Sew the bottom of the bag {RS} to {RS} and neaten the raw edges as before.

  • Step 7

    Pin the side pieces {RS} to {RS} by lining the top edge to the mark on the main bag piece (about 7 inches from the top) and the bottom edge centrally to the bottom seam of the bag.

  • Step 8

    Sew all around the seam leaving 10mm at the top. In each corner pivot your work keeping the needle down in the material. Neaten raw edges as before.

  • Step 9

    Pink or zig-zag stitch around the side edge of the bag opening. Turn under and sew all around the edge. Turn bag right side out.

  • Step 10

    And there you have it, a strong, yet lightweight foldaway tote, handy for a multitude of uses!


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