DIY Book Tote Bag
Free Pattern for the Shopper – sew your own book tote bag!
Just in time for the start of the new fashion season, I have prepared a new pattern for you.
Anyone who walks attentively through the fashion world has certainly already noticed: The beautiful Jacquard book tote bags.
A book tote bag is nothing more than a tote bag. However, what I find so interesting about the bag is the way it is sewn. It’s tutorial time! So if you need a new bag and feel like trying something new, be sure to check out this guide.
For a book tote bag, I recommend fabrics that have volume and are stable: tapestry, upholstery and jacquard fabrics. Boucle and tweed would also be an interesting alternative.
For my DIY book tote bag I used the metallic jacquard item no. 132726 used. The fabric is high quality and the inside is also stunning. For this reason I have omitted a lining here. At the end of the article I will explain how the book tote bags can be sewn with a lining.
Transfer the templates directly onto the fabric. A seam allowance of 1cm is already included.
You can also download the cutting plan as a PDF HERE.
SHOPPER SEWING INSTRUCTIONS
SEWING THE BAG HANDLE
Fold the strips of fabric lengthways, right sides together, so that the long edges are on top of each other.
Sew the long edges of the fabric together, turn the handle inside out and stitch it from the right on both sides.
A panel long the top of the bag is included in the front part of the bag. I recommend you to strengthen this area with Decovil Light, for example. This cover is 40cm long and 5cm wide.
You can do the same with the side and bottom piece. However, Decovil should not be in the seam allowances – so cut it narrower – 17 x 5cm and iron it in the middle on the wrong side of the fabric so that the seam allowances remain free at the sides.
Fold the panels inwards and iron.
SEW ON THE HANDLE
Fold the front of the bags width in half to find its center. Now measure 7 cm from the center towards the edge on both sides and mark.
Place the handles on these markings onto the right side of the fabric edge.(the handle points upwards) sew on only with a basting stitch.
Neaten the fabric edge of the cover with the two handles with an overlock and topstitch from the rightside.
Repeat the same on both sides. Neaten the long fabric edges of the side pieces with an overlock stitch.
SEWING THE SIDE PIECE TO THE FRONT PIECE
If you do not have that much sewing experience, you can draw a marking line on the side part at approx. 1 to 1.5 cm from the long side of the fabric.
This value depends on the volume of your fabric. For thicker and heavier fabrics, 1.5cm is a good choice.
Position the front piece so that the side edge lies exactly on the junction line. Make sure that the top pocket edges (front and side parts) are flush at the top. To prevent the fabrics from moving, you can fix them with pins.
Now fold over the seam allowance of the side piece so that the side edge of the front part is enclosed.
Stitch it securely with a straight stitch.
Before you get to the corner – measure the distance between the folded edge of the side piece and the seam.
It should be around 1.2cm, take this meaurement from the edge of the fabric and mark the spot with a pin, at this point end your seam.
Now repeat the same step on the other side.
SEWING THE BOTTOM
Lay the sewn-together bag parts flat in front of you and fold up the bottom seam allowance.
The corner is created almost automatically. Stitch the bottom seam securely.
MAKE YOUR BAG UNIQUE AS YOU ARE!
You can decorate your bag however you like.
The original book tote bags often have a decorative strip in the middle, which you can make from another fabric. I can also easily imagine a wide, beautiful woven ribbon or a few strips of fabric sewn together with frayed fabric edges. Or perhaps add your initials?
SEWING YOUR BAG WITH A LINING
It is of course possible to sew this bag with an inner lining.
The linen viscose print from the new Milliblu’s collection, for example, would be wonderfully suitable for this.
Item No. 990261
Please note the following:
Front pocket: insert is cut to the same size. Lining: In the same width. Length: 36cm
Insert: The same length as the entire side piece, but 3cm narrower. The inlay is ironed on in the middle so that the seam allowances remain free on the sides.
Lining: Length: 112 cm. Width: Also 3cm narrower, so 17cm.
In addition, I would recommend that you simply test beforehand whether your sewing machine can handle the many layers of fabric and the interlining. If not, cut the insert and lining for the front pocket narrower as well.