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arrow_circle_down How To: Make a Fully Lined Tote Bag

How To: Make a Fully Lined Tote Bag

Fully Lined Tote Bag Instructions  Created by

Cathy - Picklecreations


Quilted Tote Bag. This Bag has a Zip closure but can also have just a plain opening. I have included instructions for the recessed Zip together with the zipped pocket in the lining.

All my bags use either 100% Cotton Canvas or a light weight Upholstery Fabric this gives a good sturdy bag. Overall finished measurements 16” wide x 13” high with a 3” boxed base.

Cutting List







17” x 9”

Main Fabric

Front Top Panel


17” x 6”

Main Fabric

Front Bottom Panel


17” x 14.5”

Main Fabric

Back Panel


20” x 4”

Main Fabric



17” x 14.5”

Lining Fabric

Use for Plain Open Tote


17” x 14”

Lining Fabric



9” x 8”

Lining Fabric

Zipped Pocket


17” x 2.25”

Main Fabric

Use fpr Zipped Closure Only


17” x 12.75”

Lining Fabric

Use for Zipped Closure Only


15” x 1.5”

Main Fabric

Zip Casing (Zip Closure Only)


3” x 2”

Main Fabric

Zip Tabs (Zip Closure Only)


16” x 5.25”

Batting/Fusible Fleece



16” x 13.5”

Batting/Fusible Fleece



16” x 8.25”

Batting/Fusible Fleece




Bag Zip

Zip Closure Only




Internal Pocket



Bag Feet



Quilt all main panels it gives good structure. Cut Batting to size but cut the Main Material a little larger than needed as quilting will reduce the size and we will trim to exact size when quilting is finished. Also note Batting is 1” small than Main Panel measurements this is because I allow a 1/2” boarder free from batting this reduces the thickness on seams.

I Quilt using a 1.5” Cross Hatch design on A & C panels and 3/4” lines on B panel see picture below.

Trim to given measurements as above.



Join A & B together using x 1/4” seam allowance along the 17” side. Press seam open and top stitch either side of the seam.



Cut a 1.5” square out of each corner on both the front and back panels. This helps with the boxed bottom.


Now play with your designs have fun !



Join together the front and back panels. Sew along the bottom seam using 1/2” seam allowance. Press seam open and top stitch either side of the seam. This helps with the bottom structure.


Join the side seams using a 1/2” seam allowance. Do not sew the square cut out areas at the bottom leave these open.



To make bag bottom pinch the square opening with bottom seam matching the side seam and sew across using a 1.2” seam allowance to close. Repeat on other side to complete the bottom.


Turn the bag right side out and press. At this point I attach the bag feet but this is optional.


 Now put the bag to one side while we make the straps.


Take the 2 off 20” x 4” strap pieces. Fold and press each strap in half long ways then open. Fold each long side to the middle. Press


Then fold in half again enclosing the raw edges.

 Top stitch down both long sides. Don't worry about the ends as these will be enclosed in the top seam.


Place handles in position on the bag to suit you but make sure they are not twisted and they are both the same size and match back and front. Tack down to hold in place.

Main Bag is now completed put to one side.


Time for a decision how do you wish to have your bag, as an open tote or a zipped bag. This will depending on your experience.

For the purpose of these instructions I will be choosing the zip closure but you can skip the processes that does not apply and move to the putting together instructions further down.



 Open Tote Lining Pieces are the 2 off 17” x 14.5” Lining Panels (L1)

Zipped Tote 2 off 17” x 12.75” (L2) Lining Fabric &  2 off 17” x 2.25” Main Fabric (L3)

 STEP 13

Use on both Bag Designs.

Taking the 17” x 14” Pocket fold in half with right sides together to give a rectangle measuring 17” x 7”.

Sew along the 17” edge using a ¼” seam allowance to make a long tube.

Turn right side out and press with seam lying at the bottom. Top stitch 1/8” along the top edge to give a finished look.


Take a Lining Panels either L1 or L2 depending on the bag you have chosen to do. Cut the 1.5” squares out of the bottom.

 On one of the lining panels place the long pocket about 2.5” from the bottom and sew along the bottom of the pocket strip to attach it to the lining.

 We now need to divide the strip into 3 individual pockets. Measure 6” either side of strip ends and draw a line down the pocket you can just see this on the picture.

Sew down these lines, this will attached the pocket strip further to the lining and also make the pockets.

Tack the sides of strip just to secure as these will be closed when we sew the lining panels together.


Zipped Pocket (Optional)

Using one of the 9” x 8” Lining pieces place face done on the other lining panel which will be face up. Position about 2” from top but make sure it is centralised.

Find the centre of the square and about 1.5” from the top draw a 6” line (3” either side of centre mark). Draw a further line 1/2” lower then join at sides to make a rectangle.

 Draw a further line through the middle of the rectangle and at each end draw triangles please see picture as not easy to explain.

Sew around the outside of the rectangle. This will attach the pocket panel to the lining.

 STEP 16

Now Cut along the centre line and along each triangle line. Make sure you do not clip the stitching.

Push the pocket lining through the gap to the reverse of the lining panel and press well. This may take a little time and patience to do this, but you should end up with a letterbox shape.


 With Lining Panel Face up place zip behind panel and centralise teeth along the middle of the gap. Zip will be bigger so make sure the zip pull is in the opening. Sew Zip in place by top stitching along sides and edges to secure in place.

Trim away extra pieces of zip not needed.


Turn the Lining Panel wrong side up showing the back of the pocket. Place the other pocket panel on top of the attached panel and sew all the way around making sure you do not attach the lining


Zip Closure Bag.

Taking 2 of the Zip Casing strip pieces 15” x 1.5” Press under 1/2” at each short edge. It is important that both strips are the exact same length.

Place one strip face up and lay the zip with teeth up along the top edge. Place the other strip face down on top to create a sandwich and pin along the top edge. Make sure all matches up perfectly. Sew in place using a 1/4” seam allowance.

 Fold and press casings away from zip. Top stitch down the 2 edges and along the zip leaving the other long edge open.


Repeat on the other side.


Zip Ends.  2 off 2” x 3” Tab pieces. Fold both 3”ends in by 1/5” Then fold in half with right sides together making a 2” x 1” rectangle.

Sew down the two 1” sides. Turn right sides out and press.

Feed the end of the zip inside the tab and top stitch in place to secure. Do this on both ends. Leave a long piece of the zip at the end as it helps to have something to hold when closing.

 STEP 20

 Now to attach the zip casing to the lining. Take lining pieces L2 & L3.  Lay L2 face up and place zip casing face up along the top. As the zip casing is shorter than the lining make sure it is centralised. Lay L3 on top face down to complete the sandwich. Using a 1/4” seam allowance sew in place.  Press the seam towards the top of the panel and run a top stitch on the right hand side of the seam to secure.

 Repeat on the other side.

 STEP 21

Lining Make up for both bags

Make up the Lining as for Main bag but this time use a 5/8” seam allowance instead of the 1/2” used on the main bag. Also leave a gap along the bottom seam to enable you to turn the bag. Remember if you have the zip closure make sure the zip is kept clear from the side seams.


Attaching the lining to main bag.

With lining wrong side out place the main bag inside the lining. Right side to right side. Also make sure the handles are lying down the bag.

Clip or pin around the top of the bag and using a 3/8” seam allowance sew all the way round.

 STEP 23


Turn the bag through the gap in the lining bottom and press top seam. Close lining bottom gap with either a slip stitch or machine stitching. Place the lining inside the bag and give the bag a good press.


Top Stitch around the top to finish! All Done Phew!!!!!

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Notes from Heather

Thanks again Cathy for very kindly sharing your instructions - Make sure you visit Cathy's website - Picklecreations  and view her beautiful bags.

Looking for ideas on what Appliques you could add to your Tote Bags?

Here is a sample of Tote Bags Eunice created with our Large Applique Designs

psst The Large Flower used on Eunice's middle bag is a freebie

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Eunice Tote Bags

Click link below to View and Download Tutorial

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