If you’re looking for a versatile bag that can carry all your essentials while keeping them organized, a tote bag with an outside pocket is an excellent option. Not only is it functional, but it can also be a stylish accessory that complements any outfit.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get one – you can easily make your own. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of how to make a tote bag with an outside pocket that you can use for grocery shopping, trips to the beach, or even as a daily bag. So, grab your materials, and let’s get started.
- Fabric for the tote bag and pocket
- Lining fabric
- Sewing machine
Step 1: Cut the Fabric
Cut two pieces of the main fabric and lining fabric measuring 16” x 14” and one piece of interfacing measuring 16” x 14”. For the outside pocket, cut one piece of main fabric and one piece of lining fabric measuring 10” x 8”.
Step 2: Create the Pocket
Place the main fabric and lining fabric for the pocket’s right sides together and sew three sides, leaving the top open. Turn the pocket to one of the main fabric pieces of the tote bag, positioning it where you want it to be. Sew the bottom and sides of the pocket to the main fabric piece, being careful not to sew the top closed.
Step 3: Attach the Interfacing
Place the interfacing on the wrong side of one of the main fabric pieces and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to adhere to it.
Step 4: Sew the Main Fabric and Lining
Place the two main fabric pieces right sides together and sew the bottom and sides, leaving the top open. Repeat this step with the two lining pieces.
Step 5: Box the Corners
To create the bottom of the tote bag, box the corners. Pinch each bottom corner of the main fabric piece, aligning the side seam with the bottom seam. Repeat this step for the other main fabric corner and lining corners.
Step 6: Attach the Lining and Main Fabric
Turn the main fabric piece right side out and place it inside the lining piece, with the right sides together. Pin the top edges together and sew around the top of the bag. Leave a 3”-4” opening to turn the bag right side out.
Step 7: Turn the Bag Right Side Out
Through the opening in the lining, turn the bag right side out. Press the top edge flat and sew the opening closed.
Step 8: Finish the Bag
Tuck the lining inside the main fabric and press the top edge flat. Topstitch around the top edge of the bag to finish it off.
Congratulations! You’ve made a stylish tote bag with an outside pocket. Customize it with different fabrics and pocket sizes to make it your own.
- When sewing the pocket onto the tote bag, reinforce the stitching by sewing over it a few times to ensure it’s secure.
- If you’re using a thicker fabric for the tote bag, consider using a walking foot on your sewing machine to help feed the fabric evenly.
- Adding a magnetic snap or zipper closure to the top of the bag can help keep your belongings secure.
The Bottom Line
Making a tote bag with an outside pocket is a great way to add functionality and style to your bag. With a few simple steps and basic sewing skills, you can effortlessly make a tote bag with an outside pocket that meets your needs and reflects your style.
Whether you use it for grocery shopping, traveling, or everyday errands, a tote bag with an outside pocket is a practical and fashionable accessory you’ll be proud to carry. So, grab your sewing machine and materials, and start creating your own unique tote bag with an outside pocket today!