Easy Tote Tutorial

I think I’ve mentioned I’m a fabric hoarder. I see. I like. I buy… whether I have use for it or not. I admit, it has gotten out of control. So I’m on a mission to start downsizing… if possible! Some fabrics were intended for a particular person, so I decided to start with those.

Ballerina Print Linen Fabric

I purchased this one for the little ballerina in the family… my niece Lianna.

DIY Easy Ballerina Tote

I decided to make a tote for her to carry her belongings in to and from class. It was a quick and simple tote to make, so I thought to share it with you all!

Simple Tote Tutorial

These are the supplies that are needed to make the tote:

2 pieces of fabric measuring 16″ x 18″ [For non-directional fabric, feel free to cut one piece on the fold (the fold will be the bottom of the bag).]

2 strips measuring 3″ X 24″ (handles)

Dowel rod (skewer or pencil are good substitutes)

Optional supplies:

Fabric to cut out a letter measuring about 8″

Embellishments (like fabric flowers and lace)

Note: Be sure to backstitch in the beginning and end of each seam.

Easy Tote Tutorial

First, I ironed all my pieces (something I should have done before cutting!). Next, using a zig zag stitch I sewed on the letter.

With right sides facing and using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew the two large pieces together along the sides and the bottom (just sew the 2 sides if you cut on the fold). Serge or zig zag stitch the seams.

To make the handles, fold each piece on the long side with right sides facing. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew leaving one short end open. With a dowel rod, turn the handles right side out. Iron each handle and topstitch with an 1/8″ stitch.

Quick Tote Tutorial 2

Next, press down a 1/4″ fold on the top of the tote and then an 1″ fold. On each side, evenly center the ends of the handles underneath the folds making sure the handles are not twisted. Sew around the bottom edge of the folded opening with an 1/8″ topstitch.

Easy Tote Tutorial 3

Turn the tote right side out and bring the handles upright. Sew the handles in the upright position going around making a square and a X in the center. Do this to all four sides.

DIY Easy Tote

And now you have a tote!

Fabric Flowers Embellished Ballerina Tote

You can proceed by adding embellishments, which I did. I just couldn’t resist! All the fabric flowers were extras from previous projects and coincidentally were the perfect match! To make your own fabric flowers, check out these tutorials HERE.

I hope the tutorial was easy to follow. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!


  1. February 21, 2014  9:36 am by Maha Reply

    Thank u for the very cute bag Maysem! I am sure Lianna will put it to good use. She was using the last gorgeous bag u got her.

    • February 21, 2014  7:19 pm by Maysem Reply

      I really hope Tutti did like it! I loved that last bag too!

  2. February 21, 2014  10:12 am by Rana Reply

    Love how the tote came out. I have been meaning to make my daughter a tote for her to use for ballet, too, but haven't done so yet. This post makes me want to get it done this weekend. :)

    • February 21, 2014  7:21 pm by Maysem Reply

      Thank you Rana! I'm glad my post inspired you to get it done! I'd love to see how yours turned out. :)

  3. February 21, 2014  11:34 am by Amy of while wearing heels Reply

    Gorgeous. That turned out so adorable. What beautiful fabric. I can't wait to see what else you've been hoarding.

    • February 21, 2014  7:22 pm by Maysem Reply

      Thanks Amy! I have way too much fabric.. maybe I should start giving some away too. :D

  4. February 21, 2014  3:16 pm by ColleenB. Reply

    what a darling tote bag and thanks for the tutorial

    • February 21, 2014  7:25 pm by Maysem Reply

      Thanks Colleen! Have a wonderful weekend. :)

  5. February 27, 2014  8:25 pm by Kristy Reply

    May I ask the incredibly tacky question of where did you purchase this fabric? Would be perfect for my little ballerina.

    • May 28, 2014  4:34 pm by Maysem Reply

      Hi Kristy. Not a tacky question at all. :) The shop I purchased it from doesn't seem to have it anymore but you can always ask her if she is able to get more. This is the link from my purchase: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/114039607?ref=fb2_tnx_title. You should be able to view the fabric and info through the link.

      Also, she does have other cute ballerina fabrics that you may want to check out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JolinTsai/search?search_query=ballet&order=date_desc&view_type=gallery&ref=shop_search

      I hope you find the fabric or at least one that you like. :)

  6. March 13, 2014  9:11 am by ColleenB. Reply

    Miss you.
    Anxious to see your Easter projects :}

    • May 28, 2014  4:36 pm by Maysem Reply

      Aw miss you too Colleen!

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