Tote Bag 201

Okay, you passed Tote Bag 101, my friend Jenn of Ellison Lane Quilts passed with flying colors, see her way cool version here (and enter her amazing giveaway!).   Now you're ready for some more, how about an interior zippered pocket and magnetic snap closure?  Come back later in the week for more on making it sturdier & shapelier.

Just follow my tutorial for Tote Bag 101, cutting out the 2 lining & main fabric pieces and 2 strap pieces.   You need everything listed from that tutorial plus these.

Additional supplies:
1 11" x 24" rectangle of fabric for Pocket Piece
1 scrap of fusible interfacing, about 2"x10"
1 zipper, at least 7" long
some type of erasable marking pen
2 small 2-3" squares of fusible fleece or craft felt
1 magnetic snap closure

1. Start by folding you rectangle (Pocket Piece) in half, wrong sides together to get a 11" x 12" rectangle.   Press to get a nice crease at the fold.

2. Now place 1 lining piece right side up on your cutting mat to make it easy to line up the pocket.  Center the folded pocket piece along the top (4" squares you cut out of lining are at the bottom, out of the picture below), unfold pocket piece and line up the fold 3" below the top.

3. Next draw a rectangle .5" below the fold measuring 7" x 3/8".  I know the picture above says 8, I goofed on that, just do 7.  You should have 2" on either side of the rectangle.  Draw a line through the center of the rectangle and a triangle at each end like so:

4.  Sew around the outside of the rectangle, ignoring the center line & triangles for now.

5.  Now use a small pair of scissors to cut along the center line and then along the triangle toward the corners.  I usually fold it in half to make my first, small cut to get it started.

6. Push the pocket piece into the whole, smooth it out and then press. Make sure to leave the pocket piece unfolded for this next step.

7.  Place your zipper under the nice little rectangle you just made and pin in place.

8.  Turn it over to make sure it looks like this & that you only have one layer of your pocket piece in the pins.

9.  Using your zipper foot, sew all the way around the rectangle, about 1/8" from the edge, to secure the zipper.  If your zipper is longer than 7" (mine is), sew the long end, very slowly & carefully, back & forth a few times so you can cut off the extra after you finish this step.

10.  Admire your inset zipper!  Don't you love how the pocket piece shows through like piping?  I do!  Ignore the pen marks I have not removed yet.

11. Fold your pocket piece in half again along your crease so that right sides are together and sew a 1/2" seam from the top of one side, turning the corner, coming across the bottom and turning again to come back up the other side, making a big "U."

12.  Now that your pocket is set, let's move on to the magnetic closure.  Get out your two squares of felt or fusible fabric and your magnetic closure.

13.  Place the back side of one end of the magnetic closure centered on your lining piece about an inch above your zipper.  Mark the two rectangles on the side.  Use your iron to fuse the fleece to the backside of the lining where you made the marks.  Now cut a small slit in the fabric & fleece at both marks,  being careful not to make the slit to big.  You can always make it bigger, but not smaller!

I need a manicure.

14.  Push the ends of the magnetic snap through the holes, and then through the little hardware backing before pressing them out flat to secure.

15.  Do the same thing with the other piece of lining and the other end of the magnetic closure.    I lined the lining pieces instead of measuring.

Continue following the Tote Bag 101 instructions to assemble your bag, everything else is the same, your lining pieces are just a bit fancier!

Finished, and just in time!  Someone is up who has no interest in tote bag making classes!


  1. Thanks for the shout out and I love the zipper. Looks easier than I thought it would be- the snap too. Can't wait to try this. I'm hooked!

  2. I will be trying this zippered version!

  3. I'm appreciate your writing skill. Please keep on working hard. Thanks for sharing.
    clipping path


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