Tote bags are so useful and eco-friendly. For those reasons a stylish and well constructed tote bag in canvas will be a work-horse for years to come. I only purchase tote bags that will stand the test of time. Tote bag canvas is an excellent choice for this end.
Note: My LLBean tote does not have a zipper. Zippers where not available in the old days, but that is a nice option.
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Our 30 years ago I purchased my first tote bag from LLBean and I am still using it today. It has been around the world and it still has years of use left. To that end I would guess that LLBean totes could last a lifetime.
Tote Bag Canvas Design
However, over the past 30 years the styles have changed and I wanted to make a canvas tote and add a vinyl design with my Cricut Maker (oh the places we will go) so I turned to our team’s graphic designer and Cricut expert, Olivia, for the vinyl design. That was easy!
If you have been reading the blog then you know I LOVE twill since it has the three strands of yarn woven to form the rib pattern and it is tough, but I decided to construct this tote from canvas I thought it might look better with a vinyl design. You can find my secret source for canvas HERE. For the handles I used webbing.
Tote Bag Canvas Cut Plan
The cut plan is the Holy Grail of sewing. You will love having a cut plan for each project since you can make adjustments before cutting. You know that old saying measure twice cut once? It applies to fabric too.
Size and Shape
First information you will want to write down on your cut plan are the finished face size measurements. I wanted a finished size of 16″ by 16″, so I wrote that down and a 4″ bottom. You can see in the photo below that my cut plan is nothing fancy, but it has saved me time and helped me to avoid wasting fabric.
The width of the cut fabric needs to be 18″ which includes seam allowances.
Since I wanted a finial size of 16″ by 16″ I added 2″ to account for the 1/2″ seam allowances. The 16″ is doubled since it will be folded over and 4″ bottom is added the header to the length of the bag.
My tote bag canvas fabric is solid so I could make it all in one piece.
I like to measure the fabric to help me decide which way to cut out my tote bag canvas (I am making 10 totes) so I need to save fabric.
After getting my fabric thread perfect the fabric can still seem a little out of square for that reason I like to use a ruler that can guide me to make my cuts as square as possible.
Nylon webbing handles
After cutting out my tote I cut the nylon webbing into 27″ lengths (you will need two 27″ lengths per tote) with a hot knife.
I placed a pin in the center of my tote bag canvas tops and then from the center I measured out 3″ on both sides to find where to pin the nylon webbing handles to the fabric.
Next, I tuned down one inch of the fabric to form a header and carefully ironed only the canvas to crease the fold.
Using a magnetic guide to ensure that my header has a consistent stitch line.
Adding another line of stitching for extra strength.
Now I am ready to figure out where I want to place my vinyl design. If you are not adding a design omit this step.
With the tote folded in half measure up 2″ from the bottom (see the blue pin below) and then measure from the blue pin to the bottom stitch line of the header and find the center. Mark the center with chalk
Adding the vinyl design
After thehttps://fave.co/2y4dyC7 design is pressed on start to carefully peel away the carrier plastic sheet. Olivia added an additional layer.
Fold the tote bag in half with the right sides pin then sew.
Below you can see the finished tote bag canvas held by Olivia. It is a perfect size for all her goodies. Notice the length of the handles (we cut them at 27″ each) and they fall at a comfortable place for her. Check the handle length by placing the webbing over your shoulder before cutting to see where you want it to fall.
Olivia used these bags as her swag bags for the Haven Conference. The bags are filled with amazing goodies she created as well.
We were having so much fun styling with our custom made tote bags Patrick decided to join us.
- Canvas fabric
- Chalk maker
- Hot knife
- Sewing machine
- Magnetic seam guide
- Heavy thread
- Cricut Maker
- Easy Press
- Pressing pad
- Teflon pressing sheet
- Ruler 4′
- Quilting ruler
- Ruler 6″
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