Market Tote Instructions

Chronicle Books wrote this fun post about tote bags and included the instructions for my Market Tote from 1, 2, 3 Sew, like this one that I made last week. Made with burlap and fully lined, this tote is the first of three in the tote bag chapter and is the most simple to make, perfect for a beginner or anyone who wants a grown-up tote bag.

It’s a great bag for the summer, and even though my latest version is in linen and cotton, it’s proven to be a perfect pool carry-all, holding 2-3 towels and our gear. You could also use a vinyl-coated cotton liner and outer bottom for wet swimsuits. I need to go ahead and invest in a teflon presser foot for working with slippery fabrics, but now I simply use a strip of painter’s tape on the edge of the fabric and then remove it after I’m done stitching.

I’m still waiting for the days when I can just take a magazine to the pool and relax in the shade while the kids swim on their own, but we’re not quite there yet. Although when my daughter practiced her “dead man float” at the pool last week, the lifeguard did jump in after her, which gave me some reassurance. But oops. She’s not allowed to do that anymore.

Note: Included with the book for some of the projects are full-scale paper patterns to make your life easier. But since this tote pattern is larger than the printable page, they were having some problems with the template file on the Chronicle blog, so I sent over a diagram of the pattern (which is posted there now), but then I figured out an easier way! Here’s a tiled version, so you just print out these six pages and put them together like a puzzle. Everyone loves a puzzle, right? Here’s your hint: it will look like the image above when done.

Please let me know if you have any questions! Happy Sewing!

20 comments to Market Tote Instructions

  • so pretty! and bummer on the dead man’s float. I lifeguarded for 6 years and saw many a child in the same situation. I think that makes me kind of freaky when I take my kids swimming now, but I suppose that isn’t such a bad thing.

  • Love the bag – it’s great – might have to make one of those!

  • Angie

    I bought this book for the market tote and craft caddy. Made the craft caddy already and LOVE it. I used it to carry my knitting to a friends house and now it is beside the couch holding my project. Will be perfect to pick up and go. Next on my list is the market tote. Thanks for a great book!

  • OMG that’s the cutest thing ever!! I can’t wait for my copy!

  • This bag is so cute! I wonder if it would be big enough for a gym bag? Need something to hold shoes and change of clothes.

  • thelongthread

    The finished dimensions of the bag are approximately 22″ x 19″, so it should be roomy enough. You could add a magnetic snap or tie at the top to keep it closed.

  • Amber

    What a fantastic tote! It looks perfect for the farmer’s market.

  • Suzanne

    Thanks for sharing this puzzle with us.

  • I have a nice collection of bags but this bag has quickly become on of my favourites. It´s very handy and what´s even better I was able to do it on my own.Thanks for sharing.

  • It’s lovely! Thank you very much, I’ll surely try it!

  • Malinda

    I am hoping my coupon binder will fit in it. So cute I am going to make this today. The book is so great. I just love looking at it over and over again.

  • Pam Pike

    Thanks for the tote pattern I can’t wait to make one or two or three.

  • Martha

    Wow, thanks for sharing one of your projects with us! I love that bright pear fabric.

  • Leslie Woodbury

    I just got your book for my birthday and I made the market tote out of burlap with a gray and yellow circle patterned cotton on top and yellow inside. I made it for my sister-in-law for her birthday next week to hold all the goodies I am going to send to her. Thank you for sharing your talent!

  • Pam

    You can also use tissue paper when sewing on vinyl. Love this tote. I am already thinking it would make a nice Christmas gift for both my sisters-in-law. They both use the flimsy ones from the store.

  • Pam Casey

    I have some fruit fabrics that would be perfect for this! Thank you! Love it!

  • Margaret D

    I think the market tote is wonderful as you can make it quite unique and it could be washed and looked after bett than the mass produced poor quality bags you purchase for pittance at the supermarket.

  • Judy Moorer

    Do I have to buy the book to get the full instructions. Do not find a place to download them.

  • Lainey

    I made one of these yesterday afternoon, thank you so much for sharing. I used an old flannel shirt for the top section and positioned it with the buttons going down the center, then moved the pockets onto the bottom section as an additional feature. I’m really pleased with it as a first attempt, although if I did it again I’d swap so the shirt was on the bottom as the cream is going to get dirty quickly. Oops, was just too excited to get started!!

    I also made some of these smaller produce bags in matching fabric to control my apples!

    Just need the next farmers market…

    Judy Moorer – if you look just under the picture at the top of this page it says ‘Chronicle Books wrote this fun post about tote bags.’ If you click on tote bags in this sentence it should send you to this link with all the instructions. the instructions are about half way down, just keep scrolling down and you should find them 🙂

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