Monday, April 29, 2013

A Quilted Chevron Tote Bag Tutorial : :

Quilted Tote Bag tutorial

Today I'm sharing my tutorial for a Quilted Chevron Tote bag, originally created for the Riley Blake Design Team, using very simple instructions, and Riley Blake's Chevron fabric collection. This step by step tutorial is for making a casual and useful tote bag, however you can take this method of tote bag making and go crazy with your own ideas, just by adding a few steps. You can see a fun example of that at the end of this post. If you have any questions please leave a comment or feel free to email me at Now let's get started!!  

What you'll need : :
  • 2 - pieces of chevron fabric measuring 16" x 18" for the outer bag sides
  • 2 - pieces of chevron fabric measuring 16" x 18" for the inner bag lining
  • 2 - pieces of solid fabric measuring 4" x 18" for the bottom of the outer bag sides
  • 2 - pieces of solid fabric measuring 4" x 18" for the bottom of the inner bag lining
  • 2 - pieces of solid fabric measuring 9" x 36" for the bag handles
  • 1 - piece of batting measuring at least 20" x 22"
  • coordinating thread
  • Sewing pins and basting pins
  • Sharp scissors and/or a rotary cutter/mat set  

    Riley Blake Chevrons for my next Design Team Project!

    Sewing and quilting the outer tote bag piece : :

    1. With right sides facing, place the solid fabric on the chevron print 2. Pin in place 3. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew fabrics together 4. Press with iron so seams are facing down 5. Lay the pieced bag front on to the piece of batting 6. Get the basting pins ready


    7. Pin together fabric and batting, carefully so the pins are in the colored chevron stripe, leaving room for quilting on the white 8. With a straight, even stitch, sew in the center of the white chevron stripe to create your quilting 9. Use a straight edge and rotary cutter to trim away excess batting


    The first finished quilted chevron tote bag piece should look like this. Repeat the steps above to create the second side of the tote bag.

    finished bag piece -- repeat

    10. Place both pieces of the quilted chevron tote bag right sides together 11. Pin in place 12. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew around the three outside edges of the tote bag pieces, leaving the top side open 13. Zig zag stitch again around the outside edges of those three sides


    14. To form the tote bag sides and bottom, square off the corners of the pieced tote bag front. First, form a triangle at the corner edge 15. Mark a sewing line 3.5" from the corner point 16. Sew on that line, first with your straight stitch and then with a zig zag stitch 17. Trim away the corner just to the outer edge of that seam

    corner steps

    The finished outer quilted tote bag piece should look like this, after corners are squared off. Turn right side out.

    finished bag front -- leave inside out

    Sewing together the lining : :

    18. Sew together the Chevron lining fabric and solid lining fabric pieces 19. Sew the sides and bottom of the lining fabric pieces together first using a straight seam and then a zig zag stitch, (just as we did for the outer tote bag pieces) 20. Repeat steps to square off corners, to create the lining sides and bottom

    lining steps

    21. Place the outer quilted tote bag piece inside of the lining piece 22. Match up the tote bag opening edges

    Place bag front inside of the lining

    Sewing the tote bag straps : :

    23. Fold in one edge of the strap piece of fabric a 1/2", press with iron 24. Fold 1/2" again, press 25. Turn strap piece and fold in 2.5", press 26. Fold again matching up the edges, press well, and pin in place 27. Sew along both edges of the strap, removing pins as you go

    strap steps

    The finished tote bag straps should like these.

    Finished Straps

    Sewing in the straps and finishing : :

    28. Mark for the straps, 3.5" in from each side 29. Place the straps in between the outer tote bag piece and the lining piece at each mark 30. Pin in place 31. Mark a line a few inches long for an opening to leave to turn out the bag 32. Sew around the edge, attaching the straps, leaving an opening for turning the tote bag out

    sewing in straps, leave opening for turning steps

    33. Turn out the tote bag 34. Turn in the edges of the opening and pin closed 35. Sew opening closed and continue around the entire outer edge of the tote bag

    finished steps
    Voila! Your Simple Quilted Chevron Tote Bag is finished!!

    Quilted Chevron Tote Bags

    You can see here that I used more of those great Riley Blake Chevron fabrics to create a quilt block for the front of a second Quilted Chevron Tote Bag. I like the soft and easy bag this created, perfect for shopping, the beach, and for washing after much use! You can get very creative using this method of tote bag making. You can swap out the batting for interfacing, to create a sturdier bag, add pockets, appliques, magnetic closures for a fancier version.

    A Quilted Chevron Tote Bag Tutorial

    If you do give this tutorial a go at anytime, be sure to share on my Facebook page or in my Maureen Cracknell Handmade Flickr group!

    Happy Monday, everyone!!

    p.s. Don't forget to enter my weekend Giveaway with Stash Fabrics right here, if you haven't already! The winner will be announced tomorrow! 


    1. Love this bright, and purposeful tote that is WASHABLE!
      Thank you, Maureen!

    2. Very detailed tutorial. I will make this.

    3. Thanks for the great tutorial! I love chevrons!

    4. Thanks for another great tutorial! =D

    5. I have lots of chevron fabric! and I need a new bag! Thanks for the tutorial Maureen!

    6. Ordered my purple and gold chevron (GEAUX LSU!) to make some. Thanks for the fine tutorial!

    7. Love large Chevron and love it's washable bag!! Can't wait to order some of this to make this page! Thank you for the tutorial!!!

    8. Love it! I have been really liking Chevron lately, and been into bags too. I'll have to make on this weekend. Thanks.

    9. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I am going in to my sewing room to make it right now. I can't wait.

    10. I have admired this bag for a long time! Thank you for the tutorial!!

    11. These all look great with the different quilting

    12. I love chevrons, thanks for another great tutorial. The bag is great!

      1. Thank you, Kathleen!! Be sure to let me know if you give it a try!!

    13. I love the shape of this bag, it's tall AND Wide... great bag!

    14. Love this! Perfect for summer outings!

    15. What a perfect bag . Great tutorial

    16. I love this bag. May I ask if you used the large chevron or medium sized chevron print?

      1. For these I used the medium chevron, but it would look great in any size chevron. Thanks Andrea!!

    17. Very cute! I do love chevron fabric!

    18. This tutorial is awesome. Thanks for sharing. I have this tote bag on my sew-list now. :)

    19. I love this tote. It's definately on my TO DO list!

      1. Awesome!! Thank you Mary -- be sure to show me your finished bag!!

    20. Ignore anonymous up there, obviously the people who follow you think chevron bag is quite catchy enough, because those of us who actually sew do not need a catchy title, especially when it comes with an awesome tutorial! Look how many who commented! I highly doubt you need advice about a catchier title from someone using, 'I ain't saying' .

      1. That was just spam nonsense! :) Sometimes those are pretty funny and do read as an actual comment, until you see their link at the bottom promoting something. So annoying!!

      2. oh ok! I was getting all defensive for you!! LOL !

    21. I love this bag, thank you for a great tutorial! I am going to make one as an end of year gift for my sons kindergarten teacher! Do you mind if I ask what finished size your quilt block was? I was wanting to make a quilt block for mine! Thanks again!

    22. Thank you for the tutorial! I am most interested in the machine quilting part as all the quilting I have done to-date is hand quilting, which while really pretty, is just too time consuming for most projects! I will definitely make this tote! I love the chevrons!

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    30. I've just completed 2 of these! So happy with them. Your tutorial was perfect to follow! Now have to make a 3rd as my beastie & a grand took them!! Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial!!'

    31. VEry nice quilted tote bags tutorial.

    32. What would he approximate finished size of this tote be?

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