Make your own oilcloth tote

Create the perfect spill-proof carry-all for those messy grocery runs


For this project, you will need:
• Fabric scissors
• Scalloped scissors or pinking shears
• A needle and thread

Cut out the following pieces from your fabric (we recommend oilcloth):
• Piece #1 (body)- 1 piece (32”x26”)
• Piece #2 (lining)- 1 piece (32”x26”)
• Piece #3 (pocket)- 1 piece (24”x26”)
• Piece #4 (straps)- 2 pieces (16”x5”)
• Piece #5 (trim edge)- 2 pieces (31”x3”)

Note: Finished tote size is 15” high x 24” wide. You can enlarge or shrink the pattern pieces to make a larger beach bag tote, or smaller lunch bag.

Instructions – to assemble the tote:

1. Body and pocket detail (Pieces #1 & #3):
If you don’t want a raw edge along the top of your pocket, you can turn the edge and topstitch it before beginning. With right sides up, place the pocket piece on top of the larger body piece, centering it in the middle (equal distance from the top and bottom). Stitch into place along the sides. With right sides facing in, fold the large piece in half, so that you now have a 16” x 26” piece. Sew seams along both open edges (left and right sides).

2. Lining (Piece #2):
Repeat with the single lining piece, folding it in half to form a 16”x26” piece and sewing up the sides of this piece.

3. Body of tote:
Both rectangular pieces should still be inside out, one forming the body of the tote and one forming the lining. Start with the tote. Open the tote (this is important) and press one seamed edge in (towards the inside) and down to meet the inside bottom fold of the tote. This forms a point facing you. Hold a ruler perpendicular (this is also important) to this point and run it up (towards the inside of the tote) from the point of the triangle until you can draw a 6” line across from one side of the fabric to the other. Draw this 6” line. Sew along the line. Repeat on other side. Repeat again for lining. Turn both pieces right side out. Insert the lining piece into the body piece.

4. Straps (Piece #4):
Fold strips lengthwise so that they are 2” wide with 1/2” seam allowance folded under. Top stitch around all edges. Repeat for both straps.

5. Finishing touches (Piece #5):
Sew both pieces together so that you have a long skinny piece. Cut one of the long edges with scallop scissors or pinking shears (there’s no need to finish the edge with a seam). Fold this piece in half lengthwise so that it forms a long narrow piece. Wrap this piece along the top edge of the bag (and lining), with the decorative edge on the outside. Pin or clamp into place. Pin the two handles into place. Topstitch the handles into place.