DIY Beach Tote – It’s “Totes” Fun!

DIY Beach Tote

 Beach Tote Bag Tutorial

What you’ll Need:

  • Janome Sewing Machine
  • Janome Purple Tip Needle #14
  • AcuFeed Foot or Even Feed Foot
  • 2 x Janome Plastic Bobbin
  • Dressmaking Scissors
  • Fabric Chalk / Erasable Fabric Pen
  • Quilt Ruler or Regular Ruler
  • Tape Measure
  • Pins


Blue & white stripe canvas fabric

With the strip positioned horizontally, the top cutting line should be a white stripe. Mark the cutting line 15mm (½”) into the white stripe from the blue stripe. From the cutting line measure 25½cm (10”) down the fabric and mark the second cutting line. Cut the fabric across the full width. Trim the width to 104cm (41”).
Cut 1
Measure 15mm from Blue stripe and draw your cutting line.
Cut 2
Measure down 25½cm (10”) from cutting line 1 and draw 2nd cutting line.
NOTE: Make sure you trim off the selvedge prior to cutting your fabric. Seam allowance of 15mm (½”) is included in the cutting measurements.
Cut 3
Width of fabric – trim to measure 104cm (41”)

Yellow print canvas fabric

Cut a single piece 104cm (41”) across and 76cm (30”) down. This cut will be the same width as the blue & white striped fabric but 3 times as long, as it includes the tote lining.
NOTE: Make sure you trim off the selvedge prior to cutting your fabric. Seam allowance of 15mm (½”) is included in the cutting measurements.
Cotton Strap for Handles
Yellow Strap – Cut 2 x 120cm (47”)
Blue Strap – Cut 2 x 120cm (47”)
Bag Batting
Cut a single piece – Length 49½cm (19½”) x Width 104cm (41”)
Pompom’s on a strip
Not required to be cut until being attached to the tote.
Cotton Fringing
Not required to be cut until being attached to the tote.



Step 1 – Handles
Take one yellow strap and one blue strap. Centre the yellow strap on top of the blue strap, pin. Thread machine with yellow thread, same thread in the bobbin. Attach AcuFeed Foot / Even Feed Foot.
Select triple straight stitch Length 3.5
Stitch along the edge of each edge yellow strap.
TIP: Adjust the needle position via the stitch width adjustment, so the upper feed is on the blue strap.
Step 2
Thread the machine with blue thread top and bobbin.
Take the Blue striped fabric and the Yellow fabric, with right sides together pin the seam. Fold fabrics in half, measure and mark the strap placement positions from the left 15cm (6”) and 33cm (13”).
Position one strap within the pinned seam at your markings, the left side of the strap sits on the marking. Check that the strap is sitting the right way, when the seam is sewn the handle should be as pictured right.
Turn the fabric over and do exactly the same again with the 2nd strap.
Sew the seam using a straight stitch, length 2.8.
When complete, press if required.
Step 3
Using triple straight stitch, length 5.0, top stitch 6mm (¼”) from the seam line on the stripped fabric.
TIP: Fabric may pull while stitching, stop regularly to adjust and straighten fabric.
Step 4
Place bag batting on a flat surface and then position fabric on top. Batting sits behind the blue stripped fabric and half of the yellow fabric. The top half of the yellow fabric is the lining. If you have some quilt basting spray, it is handy to hold the fabric in place.
TIP: Also pin the fabric on the outer edges of the batting.
Step 5
Pin the handles down straight up to the top of the batting. Starting from the seam line stitch up the outer edge of the handle using a triple straight stitch, length 5.0mm. Do not stitch past the edge of the batting, recommend you finish a stitch or two before the batting finishes. Press handles when finished.
TIP: Start sewing from the bottom of the handle on each one. Sewing the handle from the tote top downwards, may cause puckering in the fabric or handle.
Step 6
Before you pin the side seam, trim away any excess batting, careful you do not cut away any fabric. Pin the side seam 1.5cm (½”) making sure you match all the stripes. Set machine to a straight stitch, length 2.8mm, now stitch the seam.
Step 7
Place the fabric on a flat surface, the opposite side to the sewn side seam is a fold in the fabric, pin a seam of 1.5cm (½”) on the fabric fold, now stitch a seam. When complete trim away excess batting.
Step 8
At the bottom of the tote (stripped fabric) pin together and stitch bottom closed. Trim excess batting.

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