Pleated Tote Tutorial

Should I call this a Make it Monday post? Anyone who has read this blog for a long time might remember that I posted tutorials regularly on Mondays. How did I have time to do that? Anyway, here’s the tutorial for the simple pleated tote that I posted about a couple of weeks ago. Just click on the .pdf file below to print the instructions.

Note that the instructions guide you to sew two rows of topstitching on the bag, which I did the first time around, but not on the bags pictured here. So I’ll leave the topstitching decision up to you. Also, the instructions don’t include any pockets or snaps, but feel free to add whatever you’d like. Here I made the bags with my Stamped collection in the pastel on charcoal cheater print and the purple ginkgo leaves. See my previous post for fabric availability.

89 thoughts on “Pleated Tote Tutorial”

  • I just made this bag last night, it was a great pattern. I love how it turned out. Thank you!

  • I love this look! I’m hoping I can find some of your fabric, which I just discovered. Thank you for sharing!

  • I Love this bag, I`m going to make it. please add me to your web site . I would love to get mail back from you, Thanks

  • This is just what I was looking for! I found a junior sized tunic in a lovely houndstooth print that I wanted to upcycle into a tote. Can’t wait to get started.

  • Thank you so very much for the pattern. you are the best. I will be making this as soon as I get home from camping. love this bag.

  • I love this bag! The instructions are very clear and it turns out perfect. I have made 7 so far–adding and changing to make them unique. I’ve been asked if I sell them and couldn’t find anywhere that said not to. Still, I would like to know if that is ok?

  • I love this bag. I made myself one and everyone loved it so I made them for my mum and sister earlier this year. When it came time to make a secret Santa gift for my embroidery group I knew your bag would be great. I did a black work design on the band (to acomadate the rule that you must incorporate one of our workshops in the Santa gift) and was so happy with the way it turned out.
    As the youngest in our group including very accomplished fibre artists and embroiderers who have mostly been doing needle work longer than I’ve been alive or even twice as long, it was so nice to have them fawn over my bag. They all asked for the pattern so I dutifully forwarded your blog post to them and we may even make your bag at one of our workshops next year.
    Thank you for making me look good.

  • This is a fabulous bag and an easy pattern to follow. I have made one. I will defintiely be making more.
    Is there an embargo in selling these? If you were credited, would that be okay?
    Thank you,

  • I love the bags and the fabrics! So pretty! I’m dying to make one…except I can’t for the life of me figure out how to sew the strap on. It’s not the tutorial, it’s me! I’m not a very experienced crafter and English is not my first language. I know I should be able to figure this out, but I can’t!

    Would someone please please be so kind as to explain Step 8 to me like I was a dummy – because I am.

    Again, the tutorial is great. I’m the problem here πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for the tutorial! Just finished my bag yesterday. It turned out simply lovely! I added two pockets, one with zipper to the lining.

  • Hi

    Great pattern but the instructions to make the handles I found a little bit confusing can you please explain this part in a bit more detail?

  • Hi, I am so excited to making one! One problem, I’m stuck with step #2 because I read is confusing and I have a trouble understand.

    After fold the long raw edges 1/2, then I’m confused about fold the entire strap piece in half lengthwise, what’s that mean? It doesn’t say how much fold on?

    Then fuse the fleece piece to the inside of folded piece and tucked under a fold…I’m lost! Can you help and give me a clarify? Thanks!

  • Thank you for the pleated purse tutorial. Love the look of the finished purse.

  • I loved making this bag.

    Quick way to make handles

    When I make my handles I sew down the long side and across the bottom then turn it inside out and cut of the seam at the bottom then thread the wadding up through with a pin (like with elastic)

  • Your instructions were very precise and simple to understand.
    Will sure give it a try and post you a pix …

    Thank you.

  • Hi! I just wanted to thank you for this great tutorial. I made two really nice bags with it. As a beginner-level sewer, I just wanted to offer two things that would make the tutorial just a titch clearer – first, if you showed a drawing of how to attach the straps to the bag (step 8) that would be really helpful, and then if you could specifically say to tuck the straps IN BETWEEN the outer bag and the lining in step 9, that is helpful too. I had to ask for help on these points as I wasn’t sure I was doing them correctly. I am not writing this to criticize your lovely and very generous tutorial but rather to share what things were confusing to this beginner in case it would be of help in future pattern writing. Thanks again!!

  • Adored making this bag – it was my first ever sewing project and I’m really pleased with how it turned out πŸ™‚

  • I just cut out this cute Pleated Tote pattern However it is soooo much smaller than the picture shown. Any body have any answers

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