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All Purpose Tote with Pockets Outside and a Secure Lining Pocket!

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Materials Needed and Cutting Instructions
Pink and Black Bag and Bag in Blues made from this free pattern.

Stylish, Durable Tote Bags Made with this Free Patterns

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
This bag is super strong and durable to carry books and large enough for an overnight get away. The outside of the bag features a colorful section that creates outside pockets all the way around the bag and the bag lining give you the opportunity for secure inside pockets that has a zipper closure. The embellished webbing straps dress the bag up and offer all kinds of possibilities while making the bag strong and durable.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 1/3 yard of 45" wide fabric for the Body of the Bag - a canvas, denim or duck type of heavy duty fabric
  • 2/3 yard of Colorful Contrast Fabric - almost any weight fabric can be used for the outside pocket fabric - If the fabric is lightweight, consider backing the fabric with fusible interfacing.
  • 2/3 yard lining fabric - a cotton or medium weight durable fabric. The contrasting pocket fabric can also be used for the lining but this additional amount must be supplied. A silky lining type fabric may not be a durable option for a book bag but would work find for a clothing tote bag.
  • 3 1/3 to 3 2/3 yard of 1 1/2" wide webbing - the length is your preference. I like the longer length to have ample amount of strap to carry the bag on my shoulder. A shorter person may want less strap. Webbing Sources | Webbing Information
  • Optional: 3 2/3 yard of ribbon that is narrower than the webbing to embellish the webbing straps. In the blue bag shown here, I layered 1" wide grosgrain ribbon and a homemade 1/2" wide bias tape made from the pocket fabric on top of the 1 1/2" webbing. The pink and black bag webbing is embellished with a single pink and black grosgrain ribbon.
  • One 9" all purpose zipper for a pocket in the lining. (You can use a longer zipper and shorten it to desired length)
  • Thread (How to Choose the Correct Color Sewing Thread
  • Optional - one 4" by 14 1/2" light weight board, vinyl, Plexiglas or similar lightweight but sturdy material for inside the base of the bag.

Cutting Instructions:
Rotary cutting tools are recommended to maintain true square and accurate measurements when cutting out the pattern pieces.

Body of the Bag Fabric

  • Main part of the Bag - Cut one 40" by 20"
  • Outside Pocket Backing - Cut two 20" by 9"
Contrast Fabric:
  • Cut two 20" by 9"
Lining Fabric:
  • Cut one 36" by 20"
  • Cut one 10" by 6" for the inside pocket
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