This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
With the arrival of summer, there are so many things that need to be carried around in a tote!
Beach towels & Sunscreen
Water Bottle & Picnic Lunch
PJs for a Sleepover
Library Books and so on
There are totes in every style imaginable, but 2 of the important features of a good summer tote are a closure on the top of the bag and a strap that can be slung across the body to keep your hands free.
I started browsing and pinning cute bags and totes until I found a J.Crew Mochila Bag for $295.00! I decided to try to make this bag for a whole lot less.
Okay, I am going to attempt to explain to you how I made this summer tote.
1) Cut 1 rectangle of each fabric so that it measures 16 x 36 inches. Fold the rectangles in half, right sides together and sew along the edge opposite the fold but leave the top and bottom open.
2) Cut out 2 ovals that measure approximately 10 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches
3) Pin the ovals to the bottom of the sewn rectangles.
4) Sew the ovals in place. I had to do a bit of coaxing to make the ovals fit, but since this will be a scrunchy bag, that won’t matter.
5) I placed the flowered bag inside the chevron bag, right sides together.
6) I pin it in place and marked off an opening several inches wide where I did not sew. Then, I sewed the 2 bags together, around the top edge except between the 2 pins that are marking the opening.
7) I turned the bags right-side-out through the space that was left open in step 6. Then, tuck the flowered bag inside the chevron bag. I love that all of the raw edges are hidden inside the tote!
8) Next, I top-stitched along the entire top of the tote, and this closed the small opening.
Next, it was time to attach a strap. I am by no means an expert sewer, but I figured out a way to attach the strap while still leaving room for the cording to fit through. I’m sure there is an easier way than the one I came up with, but I haven’t a clue what it is.
9) First, I turned the bag inside out, folded down a channel for the cord, and put the 45-inch strap (an old belt) in place. I pinned the strap to the bag but not the folded channel.
10) I unfolded the channel, turned the bag right side out, and sewed the strap in place only at the bottom. The rest of the strap was loose, so I will be able to make that channel for the cord!
11) I made 2 buttonholes, again placing them below the channel fold, which I have marked with 2 pins. Then, I folded down the 2-inch cord channel and sewed it in place. I top-stitched around the entire top of the bag to give it a finished look.
12) I cut open the button holes and threaded the cording through the channel, inserted cord stops, and tied knots in the ends.
I did not end up using the pom pom fringe for this project.
I love that the inside of the tote is a surprising contrast to the outside and is only visible when someone opens up the bag to reach inside.