Two-Way Tote Bag – Free Sewing Tutorial

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This tote bag has a simple shape and with a shoulder strap, it can be used in two ways. The fabric used for this bag is “Birds and Flowers” from the “YO fabric” series, in the print “Birds and Flowers.” The design is incorporated from a popular tableware made by Yoshizawa Kiln, a Mashiko pottery kiln. It features bird and flower motifs. The lightweight canvas made from 100% cotton has the right amount of thickness and is easy to handle. It is a perfect choice for making bags.

Design & Work:Mioko Sugino

Fabric shown for this sample: (Outer Panel, Pocket, Tab, Loop) EKX-1300-1C


  • Fabric (Outer Panel, Pocket, Tab, Loop): 100cm x 25cm
  • Fabric (Lining Fabric, Opening Fabric, Bottom Fabric(#9.5 canvas)): 80cm x 55cm
  • Bag Tape: 2.5cm wide x 2m
  • D Ring, Swivel Hook: 2.5cm (inner diameter) x two pieces each
  • Adjustable Slide Buckle: 2.5cm (inner diameter) x one piece
  • Magnetic Hook (sew on type): 1.5cm (diameter) x one pair

Size:21cm (l) 36cm (w – at opening) 26cm (bottom) 10cm (gusset)

We interviewed Mioko about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
The warm impression of the bowl motif gives a pleasant feeling. Its calm colors present an elegant and gentle look. I loved it the moment I saw it. To showcase the design from the tableware, I created a tote with a simple shape, combining it with #9.5 canvas.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
While it is a simple tote, you can also use it as a shoulder bag. It is filled with subtle convenient features including an inner pocket and magnetic hook closure.

KF: What are some tips for making this bag?
When pressing the seam open, it is best to use an iron for a beautiful finish. Where fabrics are layered (e.g. where the side seam and loop meet), to sew comfortably turn the pulley and do it slowly.

KF: How should we incorporate this bag into one’s styling?
Of course one way to use it is over your shoulder, but it is cute to keep the strap short and let it hang from the bag. It is also nice to make a large drawstring bag with the same fabric and use it inside the tote. This way you can hide the contents and it will look lovely.

KF: Thank you very much, Mioko! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!



Cut the fabrics according to the measurement.


With the front sides facing each other, sew together the opening fabric and panel. Press the seam open and apply stitches to secure.


Sew together the bottom fabric and the piece from Step 1. Press the seam open and apply stitches to secure.


With the front sides facing each other, fold the pocket fabric in half.
Sew around the fabric, leaving an opening for turning. Cut the bottom corner seam. Turn it inside out and sew the top end.


Attach the pocket on the outer side of the lining fabric (back side).


Fold the outer fabric in half and sew both sides.


Press the seam open. Make a 10cm gusset and sew. Cut off excess fabric and apply zigzag stitches to secure.


Repeat the process for the lining fabric.


Fold the loop fabric in four and sew. Insert through the D ring and baste. Make two pieces.


Align the edge of the tab fabric and fold. Fold further in half and sew.


Fold the opening side of the outer fabric and lining fabric for 1cm to the lining side.


With the front sides facing outside, layer the outer bag and lining bag. Place the bag tape for handle, tab and loop in between and sew all the way around.


Insert the shoulder bag tape through the swivel hook and adjustable slide buckle and sew securely.


Attach the magnetic hook to the tab.


Attach the shoulder strap’s swivel hook to the D ring to finish.

◎Sewing Tutorial

◎Sewing Tutorial(PDF format / A4 size)