Reversible Tote Bag
Easy to Sew with Double Sided, Quilted Fabric & a Surger
- 21” of 42” double sided quilted fabric
- double fold bias tape (optional)
- decorative, additional pocket (optional)
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine
Cut pieces from quilted fabric. Be sure to place gusset and pocket on fold as shown.
Optional decorative pocket - Cut another pocket from other fabric. (I double the pocket if using light weight muslin.) Finish edges. Surge bottom edge if doubled.
Surge all four sides of each strap to finish edges.
Surge three sides of pocket to finish edges. Leave 1-9” side plain. Find center of 9” (plain) pocket(s) bottom edge & mark with a pin. Find center of front & back panels and mark with a pin. Lay pocket on front panel with wrong side of pocket facing right side of front panel. Line up center marks and bottom edges. Fold 1” down on top of pocket for a flap. Pin pocket in place. With straight stitch on sewing machine secure pocket to front panel. Begin at bottom edge of flap and reinforce top corners (see inset #1). Beginning at double arrows, stitch up to top edge of pocket, over a few stitches, then down to bottom edge of pocket. Repeat this on both edges to secure pocket to panel.
Repeat this same procedure for other pocket but on put wrong side of decorative pocket to wrong side of back panel. This makes the tote reversible with a pocket on the inside and outside which ever way you have the bag turned.
Mark the center of the gusset on either side of the 42” length with a pin. With center’s together, lay right side of gusset to wrong side of front panel. Pin along bottom edge from center out towards corners. You will only be pinning the center section of the gusset fabric and letting the excess hang off. Surge bottom edge of front panel to center section of gusset. Repeat with back panel. Surged stitching will be on the right side of front and back on this area.
Turn bag inside out. Pin wrong side of gusset to right side of front panel moving from the bottom corner up to the top. There should be a little excess of the gusset at the top. Surge from the bottom corner up to the top of each side. ***
***Note: to finish surged edge beginning ‘tail’, stitch about ½”into the bag. With needles down, lift presser foot. Wrap ‘tail’ from back, around left side and under presser foot to inside. Put presser foot back down and continue stitching. This finishes the tail at the corner so it won’t unravel later or need to be woven back in or tied off.
Trim off any excess gusset to make it straight with the bag front & back. After all four sides are sewn up, turn back right side out. Attach straps to top edge of bag, 1” down from top edge and right in line with pocket top corners. Stitch a square then an ‘X’ through from corner to corner to reinforce.
To finish top edge with double fold bias tape: Fold 1/4” over on end of bias tape toward the inside of the fold. Lay the tape along the top edge of the right side of the bag with the folds opening up and right side of the bias tape towards the bag. Stitch in the first fold or right next to it with a regular sewing machine. When you finish going all the way around, cut tape. Fold it over itself and the top edge of the bag. Pin and stitch along bottom fold of tape. To finish top without tape, surge around top edge then fold it down 1” toward the outside of the bag. Stitch in place. You can also finish top edge and handles with 3 fold bias tape. The one shown has a contrast pocket and bias edging I made from 2" strips of paisley fabric.
Hope you enjoy making these!