Tote Bag With Zipper Tutorial | Whitney Sews


hi everyone I’m Whitney and I post a new
tutorial every week to help sewers of all skill levels learn new projects and
techniques this week I’m sharing part two of a matching bag set last week I
showed how to make a zipper bag that was bound on the inside with bias binding to
hide all of those raw edges and then this week I’m showing how to make a tote
bag with a zippered top I actually get requests for this type of project all
the time and now that I know how to make it I want to make a thousand different
variations on it so let’s hit that like button down below if you want to see
other versions of this zippered tote bag here are all the pieces that you will
need to make this zipper tote bag as you can see there are a lot of them so I’ve
included all of the yardage requirements cutting details and much more in a PDF
that you can find over on witnesses.com in the shop tab or if you’re a second
tier patron or higher over on patreon the PDF is already available for you over
there and of course if you’re interested in supporting future Whitney Sews
tutorials definitely check out my patreon page and that’s a great way to
show some support as well as earn some fund rewards for yourself now onto the
tutorial once you have your PDF pick out three coordinating fabrics pre wash them
and you are ready to start lay all of the zipper side pieces with the pretty
side of the fabric facing down and fold each short end over by a half inch and
press with an iron lay one side piece or right sides up
then center the zipper on top also right sides up and another side piece right
sides down add a few clips to hold the layers together and sew along the long
edge to attach I use a vintage sewing machine with a presser foot that is a
quarter inch wide on one side and 1/8 inch wide on the other so I just run the
eighth inch side of the presser foot up against the zipper teeth and it’s easy
to feel them through the fabric and I get a nice straight seam every time if
you don’t have a foot like this feel free to switch to a zipper foot they do
come with most sewing machines open the piece up so all the pretty sides are on
the outside and smooth the fabric away from the zipper teeth sew a top stitch
along the short sides and the zipper edge here’s how it should look
the only unfinished part is the longest edge farthest from the zipper repeat with the other two zipper sides
one right side up the zipper right sides up on top and the other piece right
sides down add clips and so next to the zipper like before open and smooth the
fabric away from the zipper then top stitch the three sides the zipper top is
now complete and should look like this grab the zipper end tabs and flip so
they are pretty sides down turn the short edges in a half inch and press
with an iron fold each piece in half and sew with a half inch seam allowance on each side trim the seam allowance down to reduce
bulk as much as possible flip both of the pieces right sides out
and use a pair of scissors or other pointed tool to poke out the corners
trim off the end of the zipper just past the little stoppers push the ends of the zipper into the
open side of the tab use a pencil or something else to help if needed sew across the open end of the top to
attach I sawed across mine twice repeat on the other end but leave the
large zipper stopper in place now on to the straps with pretty sides facing down
fold the long edges over by a half inch and press with your iron then fold the entire piece in half so
all the pretty sides are on the outside and sew a top stitch along both long
edges do this for both so you have two stripes grab one of your back bottom pieces and
lay it right sides up position the strap as shown so it is six inches away from
each outer edge with the short edges lined up with the top clip the shop in
place then repeat with the second strap and remaining bag bottom piece by the
way if you haven’t tried out craft clips yet you are definitely missing out I
have an Amazon affiliate link below where you can find the craft clips I’m
using and I love them so long all four strap ends to attach lay the bag upper
on the back bottom right sides together matching up the top and sides so along
the long edge with a half inch seam allowance open the piece up and flip
over press the seam down toward the bottom of the bag lay a piece of fusible fleece on top so
the textured side is against the backside of the fabric
fuse them together following the directions on the fusible fleece do this
for both pieces lay the two bag outers right sides together lining up all the
sides add plenty of craft clips and sew the
sides and bottom with a half inch seam position the corner of the bag so it
forms a triangle with the seams going down to the point
make sure the seam allowances are going in opposite directions so they can sort
of nest together when lined up grab a clear ruler and position it so
the point underneath takes up four inches across this will mean the box at
the bottom of your bag will be four inches wide
use a pencil or whatever marking tool you like to mark a line along the edge
of the ruler add some clips and sew directly on the marked line flip the entire piece so the pretty
sides are on the outside I’m leaving the extra material at the
corners to give the back a little more structure at the bottom it should look
like a bag at this point but there’s no lining yet so for the lining lay the two pieces
right sides together matching up all the raw edges so down the side along the
bottom and along the other side to attach then you’re going to box both
corners of aligning the same way the outer was done forming the point and
making sure the seam allowances are going in opposite directions marking the
line across that is four inches wide add clips and sew directly on that marked
line this time go ahead and cut off the excess at the corners still leaving a
half inch of seam allowance place the bag lining inside the outer so the wrong
sides are together match up the side seams and top edge and add several clips
to hold everything together you can go ahead and top stitch around the upper
edge with a very small seam allowance if you want I didn’t do that
grab your zipper unit and center it in the top of the bag and clip along the
top edge the zipper should be right sides up and all the raw edges lined up
with the raw edges of the top of the bag make sure the straps are out of the way
and sew a top stitch around the top edge using a small seam allowance at this
point the entire bag is sewn together and everything is nicely finished except
for the raw edges around the top we’re going to use a bias tape or bias binding
to finish off the top edge of the bag I chose a more narrow bias tape that was
already pre-made but you can definitely use a wider bias tape or you can even
make your own and I do have a tutorial showing exactly how to do that that I
will link in the video description open the seam binding all the way up and line
it up with the top edge fold the short side over about a half inch then start
sewing use the fold line that is pre pressed in the bias tape as a guide for
where to sew and make sure your ends overlap trim down the raw edges at the
top if needed and wrap the bias tape around to the other side make sure the
long edge is folded under and top stitch along the fold to attach this bag and these zipper pouch that I
showed how to make last week turned out exactly how I wanted them and they are
perfect for the tinkerer type toys that I bought for my daughter Skyler recently
at a thrift store she loves working with her hands and building things and I love
that she can do that but since I have made custom bags like this one for her
she also knows exactly where they need to be when it’s time to put them away
and she can do that independently which is always awesome
and that’s why I’ve created so many bags and fabric bins and things like that for
my kids is so they can be responsible for putting their own things away and
there is a home for everything that they have and let me know if you are
interested in more organizing DIYs and bags and things like that to help you
and your kids and your home stay organized because I would love to do
more projects like that and the zipper bag that I showed how to make last week
is linked right over here to the side in case you haven’t seen it already and
until next time happy sewing