Making A Simple Tote With No Pattern

Make a Tote with No Pattern

Love when I can throw a quick tote together.  Was headed to the beach on vacation and decided to throw together a quick tote.  Of course, it’s made without a pattern.  Sometimes, patterns have entirely too many directions.  So, throw caution to the wind and make this easy tote.  Plus, I was able to re-purpose old material to make this tote.  Another great way to save money.

Items needed:

  • material  1 yard or less
  • lining or facing (same amount as fabric used)
  • matching thread
  • handles


Make A Tote With No Patter

For this tote, I measured 24in X 22 in.  Of course, feel free to make the tote as large or as small as you would like it.  I’m also cutting on a fold.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Notice the fold near the pencil tip.  It is the side that measure 24in.  Starting from the top with the opening, I am going to make a curve from the top to about 6 inches down on the fold.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Notice how the material looks when opened.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Using facing or some type of material to line your fabric if it is thin.  If using thick fabric, skip this step.  I’m actually using the white material from an old bed skirt.  Sew facing to wrong side of material.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Fold in half with right side of material facing each other.   Sew down to curved portion and stop.  Do not sew curved portion.  Do other side.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

On the curved portion, fold in about 1/4 inch press, fold another 1/4 and press down.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Then top stitch folded curved part near edge.  Put another top stitch about 1/4 inch away.  Do other side. It should look like the above picture.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Fold down very top and press.  This is how it should look when done to this point.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

The top opening part should be folded about 1/4 and then another 1/4 inch.  This will help protect edges.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Then press down top portion about 2 inches.  Note pic above.  This folded section will hold the handles.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Insert fabric into handles or hoops.  I bought these hoops from Michael’s for $1.50.  They came in a set of two.  I’m not quite sure what they’re exact purpose was meant to be.  I’m sure it wasn’t for handles.  However, they worked perfect.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Stretch material out around handles/hoops and pin.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Using a needle and thread, make a regular stitch all the way around.  Do not remove needle when you get to the end.

Make A Tote With No Pattern

Instead, you will pull thread tight to make it have a gathered look around hoop.  When gathered enough, sew a knotted stitch at end so that it will stay in place as a gathered look.  Cut thread and remove needle.  Do other side.

That’s all it takes.  You now have a nice tote.  Note: If you don’t have hoops or handles, feel free to use some other type of material as handles.


Like this Article? Subscribe for free email updates to Sew Sew Neat!


  1. Hi Sharon. We love this tote on Fearlessly Creative Mammas. I wanted to let you know that you are our feature pick this week on Merry Mondays. You can check it out at 6pm pacific time tonight. Thanks so much for linking up! Here is the link, in case you need it.:
    Kathleen recently posted…The Peter Potential Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Thanks Kathleen! Plus, thanks for featuring my Make a Simple Tote no Pattern. Will definitely be stopping by for the next party…

  2. Hi Sharon, your bag is pratical and gorgeous!!! Love it! Pinned! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a fabulous day!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft
    Ana Love Craft recently posted…ERA UMA VEZ UM PAR DE CALÇAS…. MY FIRST REFASHION!My Profile

  3. Cute bag! I have made a couple like this from a pattern and the pattern I have had horrible instructions for the handle casing – your are much easier to understand.
    Kimberlee recently posted…Working Out Week 29 of 2014My Profile

    • Thanks Kimberlee! Most things I make this days I try to free-hand it. I just don’t like having to follow a pattern now. Plus, you can get creative when you make thinks without a pattern…..

  4. How clever! I love how you used an embroidery hoop for the handle! 🙂
    Marti @ SewliciousHomeDecor recently posted…Funfetti Brownie PopsiclesMy Profile

  5. What a cute idea and fast project. Pinned. Thanks for sharing this on Merry Monday.
    Erlene recently posted…Back To School Tech Sweepstakes!My Profile

  6. Cute fabric! This would be perfect to take to the beach. Throw in your phone, a book, a bottle of water and you’re set! Thanks for sharing!
    Holly Southernmom recently posted…$500 Gift Card Giveaway!!! Ends 7/31!My Profile

  7. So fantastic! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features tonight at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link so you can check out your feature. Hope to see you again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse
    Kathryn Griffin @TheDedicatedHouse recently posted…Make it Pretty Monday – Week 107My Profile

  8. Very cute. I really like the hoop handles.
    Al recently posted…Running! Medal HolderMy Profile


  1. […] feature pick from last week’s party is this great post from Sew Sew Neat on Making a Simple Tote with No Pattern.  Isn’t it great? Sharon has some great instructions for making your very own. Love […]

  2. […] Step-by-step directions with pictures on how to make a simple tote with no pattern.  […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge