To make the tote bag you will need half a metre of fabric 112cms wide. I have used 100% cotton fabric as it washes up well and especially if you are using the bag often for shopping etc. finished bag size is 46cm width x 45.5 cm depth. Sizes can vary a little because if I buy one metre of fabric it will make two bags it will depend on how generous they were at the shop some will allow a little more in case its not straight , So instead of cutting it off I will cut it in half so may get a slightly bigger bag rather then wasting a strip of fabric or unless you want to use it for something else like a matching headband or mobile phone pocket sewn into the bag !
Cut 16 cms off the selvage (that's the edge of the fabric woven so that it won't fray) edge then cut in half lengthwise for the handles of the bag .
Fold bag so right sides are together now sew a quarter inch seam down each side then turn fabric so right sides are on the outside. I use a chop stick for pushing into the corners .
To hem the top of the bag fold over 1.5 cm then another 1.5 and sew around the top .Now the body of the bag is completed .
I rarely ever iron as I go along I usually just finger press by running the fabric between my fingers to flatten the seams or edges
Now to make the handles. get the two strips that we first cut ,fold each one in half length wise with right sides together sew a quarter inch seam around one end and the whole length leave the end open so you can turn the fabric the right way.
Now get the chop stick and push into the strap end that has been sewn
keep pushing until the right side appears take out chop stick and complete the process on the other strap then finger press flat.
Sew very closely around the edges of the handles so they sit nice and flat and they will look nicer on the finished bag .
Finished look of bag handles .
measure 5 inches from each side of the bag make a mark with a pencil you can pin if you like make sure the handle edge is 5 inches from edge of bag .
I fold over the ends of the handle strips so it looks neater then I sew it to the bag .I sew a square then I sew it in a cross to make it stronger, and it looks nicer but that's up to you .
This step is optional it gives the bag a nicer finish to the bottom corners instead of pointy corners its up to you what you like best .
Fold bag inside out lay bag so it looks like the photo then sew across the bottom on both of the bottom corners . Fold back the right way your bag is completed ! I hope that was easy to understand so I hope you all make one for yourself or for a lovely gift .