Boxy and Structured Shape Is Stylish – Hand Tote Bag – Sewing Instructions

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This is a hand tote bag with a boxy, structured shape. The featured fabric is a flower pattern from the “natural girl” series. It is 100% cotton oxford, a perfect material for bag making.

Design & Work: Mioko Sugino

Fabric shown for this sample:

  • YKA-89020-1D


  • Fabric (Top Panel, Pocket): 50cm×30cm
  • (Bottom Panel, Gusset Outer Fabric, Panel Lining Fabric, Gusset Lining Fabric, Handle): 75cmx60cm

Size: 16cm (l) 26cm (w) 12cm (d)

We interviewed Mioko about her creation:

Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
It is so lovely with a lot of slightly different flowers lined up in a row! The simple design makes it look mature and can be used for a variety of items. This time, I chose black to give the bag a cute and grown-up look.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
I added a wide gusset of separate fabric to give the bag a boxy, structured look. It can hold a lot of things! The bottom is rounded to add cuteness.

KF: What are some tips for making this bag?
When sewing the gusset fabric together with the panel fabric, make a slit on the curve of the gusset fabric and sew it slowly for a clean finish.

KF: How should we incorporate this bag into one’s styling?
I think it goes well with simple, beautiful fashion. It will also look cute when carried with a pair of edgy style black skinny jeans.

KF: Thank you very much, Mioko! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!


1. Prepare the materials.

2. Fold the handle in four and sew the long ends. Make two pieces.

3. With the front sides facing each other, sew together the top outer fabric and bottom outer fabric with a handle in-between. Press down the seam to the bottom side and apply stitches to secure.

4. Attach the portion of the handle (9cm) to the top outer fabric. This creates the outer portion of the bag.

5. With the front sides facing each other, fold the pocket in half. Sew three sides, leaving an opening for turning. Cut off bottom corners.

6. Turn it inside out. Apply stitches on the “fold line” side.

7. Attach the pocket on the lining fabric.

8. Sew together the outer fabric and gusset fabric (cut a slit on the curve of the gusset fabric). Repeat the process for the lining fabric.

9. Press the seam open. Fold the fabric around the opening for 1cm to the lining side.

10. With the front sides facing outside, place the outer bag and lining bag together and sew all around the top opening, avoiding the handle.

11. Turn the lining bag inside out. Pinch the center of the gusset and stitch for 5cm with 5mm width. Turn the outer bag inside out again.

12. Finished.


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