I love Halloween, it might just be my favorite holiday. Probably because I have a sweet tooth like no other….thus the need for a treat bag for my 2 1/2 year old to fill full of candy for me to eat. Anyways, this is a simple lined tote bag with a boxed bottom, it took me about 40 min. to complete and cost about 5 bucks. It is toddler sized, about 11″ by 13″, but I’ll give you tips on how to easily make it bigger. Simple totes like this are great for library bags and just about anything else you want to stuff in a bag, but in this case it will hopefully be full of candy….preferably Milky Ways.
You’ll need a 1/2 yard of exterior fabric (I used home weight fabric to make it stable) and a 1/2 yard interior fabric. If you’re making this larger than my toddler sized version you might need an 1/8 yard for the handle, but you’ll probably have enough left over to make it from your lining fabric.
If your going to appliqué something on the outside you’ll need those supplies too, I used felt and was going to use embroidery floss….but didn’t.
Cut 2 rectangles each of your exterior fabric and lining fabric. For my small toddler size I cut my rectangles 12″ by 15″, if you want a bigger tote I would add four or five inches to both sides.
For the straps you’ll cut 2 rectangles 5″ by 16″, (or 5″ by 21″ for a larger tote) I cut my straps from my leftover lining fabric.
**** If you want to appliqué something on the outside of your bag, now is a good time to do it. See the bottom of the tutorial for more details.
Sew around the sides and bottom of the exterior using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press side seams open.
To box the corners, I put my hand in the bag at the corner and simply pinch the side and bottom seams together, its confusing to look at but once you try it you’ll see what I mean. Try to line up your side and bottom seam making a nice triangle.
Stick a pin about 2” in from the corner and repeat on the opposite corner.
Now sew where you placed that pin, sewing a straight line perpendicular to the corner. Then cut the extra off. You now will have a nice boxed bottom to your bag, easy as pie.
Now do the same with your lining, EXCEPT when you are sewing around the sides and bottom of the rectangles, leave a 4-5″ opening at the bottom. This is how you will turn the bag right side out after the exterior and lining are sewn together. Box the corners of your lining just like you did with the exterior.
Turn your lining right side out and place into your exterior that is wrong side out. Right sides should be facing each other.
Match up the top side seams and edges, pin, and sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance around the top of the bag.
Turn the bag right side out through the hole in the bottom of the lining. It should look like the picture below. Sew the hole closed at the bottom of the lining.
Place the lining down into the bag, iron your top edges, and topstitch about an 1/8″ or so from the edge.
To make the straps take your 5″ by 16″ pieces (or 5″ by 21″ for larger bags) and follow pictures below.
1. Iron edges 1/4″ in on both ends. Fold strap in half and iron a crease in the middle.
2. Iron both edges into the crease.
3. Fold over creased edges to hide raw edges and sew around all sides of each strip as close to the edge as possible.
4. Attach to the bag with a pin about 2″ from each side and 2″ down. You can eyeball the first side.
Sew the strap on to the bag along all sides and crossing in the middle for strength.
And there you have it, a perfectly sized tote bag for your little one to fill full of candy.
*** Appliqué instructions***
For the appliqué on this bag I used felt (the cheap, iron friendly kind you buy in sheets), Heat’n Bond appliqué material, and my sewing machines blanket stitch. I followed the instructions on the Heat’n Bond by attaching my felt to the appliqué material, then drawing my picture with a pencil on the felt (or back if you want) and cutting it out. You then peel off the back and place it on the fabric where you want. Its easiest to do this at the very beginning when you’ve just cut your exterior fabric out, but make sure to steer clear of the edges at least 1″. The appliqué material doesn’t attach to the felt very well, but good enough so you can get it sewn on. Then just sew around your appliqué with a blanket or zig zag stitch to make it permanent.