I’ve wanted to make myself a tote bag for a while now.  I had an October shopping trip planned for some time so a zippered tote was in order. Unfortunately, my plans changed but by then the tote bag was well on its way so I finished it up. After all, I’m sure there will be other shopping trips! 🙂

I’ve only ever made one bag but decided it couldn’t be that difficult to sew up a tote bag. Right?

Since I wanted to save my $$ for our trip I started searching through my fabrics to see what I could use. I found a Classic Minis charm pack by Darlene Zimmerman that was perfect. Paired up with Kona Charcoal for the lining, I think it was a great combination.

Fabric pull for Zippered Tote

I started by making two nine patch blocks.  I wanted the tote to be a bit bigger so I added a strip of the Charcoal along the bottom.

9 Patch Tote Bag with Zipper

I didn’t want a heavy quilted bag but wanted something with a little structure to it. I ended up using interfacing on both the front and back panels. You can kind of see how the interfacing makes the fabric a bit ‘crinkly’, especially on the white pieces, and I don’t like that look.  I think I probably used one that was a bit too heavy.   When I make this bag again, I’ll try a lighter interfacing.

Zipper on Tote Bag

I like to be able to close my bags and thought a zipper would be better for me than snaps. But, the one thing I’ve NEVER done is put in a zipper. On anything. So I searched around and found a great tutorial for a recessed zipper by April of Sewing Novice. I tell you, if you want a zipper tut that’s easy to follow, you’ll love this one!

Recessed Zipper Tote Bag - Nine Patch

I made the handles a bit longer than on a normal tote bag so it could be carried more easily on my shoulder.  The handles are made from the same fabric as the lining.

I didn’t have a pattern to use, but overall this was an easy bag to make and I’m really happy with it. It’s a great way to make use of a charm pack and I already have plans to make a few more. I had it done in an afternoon. They’ll make great Christmas presents if you need something quick and easy.

When I make the next tote I’ll try to remember to take progress pics and write up a tutorial on how I make it, so you can make your own. 🙂

This coming week I hope to make some good progress on the churn dash quilt I’m making; I think this one will be waaay better than my first attempt.  What are you working on this week?