Tapestry Tote Bag Project

Level: Intermediate


  • 3 panels of tapestry - 75 x 112, 75 x 120,75 x 150cm
  • 3 panels of lining fabric - 75 x 112, 75 x 120, 75 x 150cm
  • 10cm of 150cm wide leatherette fabric for handle
  • 80cm of 6mm heavy duty cord to pad the handle
  • Craft glue for fabric
  • 5/6mm wide thin double sided tape
  • Scissors, Pins, Tape measure/ruler
  • Sewing machine & matching thread
  • Overlocker
  • Iron

Note - 1.5cm seam allowance is used unless specified


Step 1 - Cut 2 pieces measuring 42cm wide by 36cm high from both the tapestry and lining fabrics.

Optional - Overlock edges of tapestry pieces to avoid too much fraying.

Step 2 - With right sides facing, pin the two tapestry fabrics together. Sew together along the base and side edges leaving the top edges open.

To box out the base of the bag, press open base and side seams. Open out each corner into a triangle shape with the base seam running down in the middle of the opened out corner. With the point of the triangle pointing up, measure and mark across the corner a total of 5cm. *2.5cm on either side of the middle base seam. Sew across the marking and trim seam to 1cm. Turn outer bag right way out and press.

Step 3 - Repeat step 2 to make the lining of bag but leave a 20cm opening along the base seam for opening out.

Place outer bag inside the lining aligning and pinning the top open edges. Sew edges together.

Turn the lining out through the opening in the base of lining. Press the opening's seam allowances to the inside and top stitch or hand sew the opening closed. Place lining inside the outer bag pushing the base corners into each other. Press flat and top stitch along the top edge of the bag.

Step 4 - From the template provided, cut 2 handles from leatherette fabric.

Cut cord into two 36cm lengths.

With wrong side of leatherette handles facing up, glue the cord to the middle of the back of leatherette, centered to the width and length.

Cut 2 pieces of panels in 9cm squares from leatherette. Put a small amount of glue on the wrong side of the handle on the tab ends up to the base of the cord. With wrong sides facing, place the leatherette squares over each end of the handles aligning the end edge of the tab and the long side edges of the handle and just covering the end of the cord. This will be trimmed later.

Wait for the glue to dry.

Step 5 - Once glue has dried, trim back the overhanging square piece of leatherette to align with the tab end edges. Where the handle curves back out from the tab, trim the square piece on an angle in towards the end of rope, leaving a 2.5cm width of the edge of the square where it covers the cord.

Place a strip of double sided tape above the cord length on the back of the leatherette handle. Bring the two long side edges of the handle together, pressing the double sided tape. Close the cord and tightly enclosing it into the leatherette. Using a zipper foot, sew long side edges together along the length of the cord, close to the cord as possible. With sharp scissors, trim back the excess leatherette close to the stitching as possible. Trim any rough edges back near tab of handle to achieve neat even curved shape.

Step 6 - Place the tab side of each end of the handle 10cm in from each side seam of bag and the base of the tab 9cm down from the top edge of the bag. Stitch the tabs to bag through the outer and linings layers. Repeat on other side of the bag with remaining handle.



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