The Flying Geese Tote… a modern bag tutorial

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You can sew a Big Flying Geese Tote Bag from my free pattern! This is a big sturdy tote bag that’s perfect for taking to the beach, yoga class, or just to the grocery store. There are pockets on the inside and lots of room too.

 

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Flying Geese Tote Bag Pattern Ever is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library to access anytime you want? 

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All you need is two coordinating 1 yard pieces of canvas fabric. Quilting cotton may also be used but the bag will not be as sturdy.

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By the way, I have more fun flying geese sewing ideas here:

Materials:

You will need

  • two coordinating 1-yard pieces of cotton canvas (like these that I got from Fabric Loft at Target – no longer available)

  • 3/4 yd of 809 Decor Bond interfacing from Pellon

  • coordinating thread

  • fabric marking pen

Cutting guide for main fabric

Cutting guide for main fabric

Cutting guide for accent fabric

Cutting guide for accent fabric

Cutting:

From your main fabric cut

  • 2 squares 20”

  • 2 straps 6 1/2” x 40”

From your accent fabric cut

  • 2 squares 20 7/8”

  • 2 pocket pieces 12 1/2” x 20”

My accent fabric

My accent fabric

Decor bond interfacing

Decor bond interfacing

Cut the 20 7/8” accent fabric squares in half diagonally.

Cut two 20” squares of Decor Bond interfacing. Cut these squares in half diagonally too.

Apply interfacing:

Fuse interfacing to two of your accent triangles. The interfacing is 1/4” smaller than the accent triangles on all sides.

Fold both main fabric squares in half diagonally, press.

Fuse one interfacing triangle to each square, with the long edge along the fold.

*Note: The accent triangles with interfacing are your exterior triangles. The sides of the squares that have interfacing will also be the exterior. The pieces and sides without interfacing will make the interior.

Press and sew the strap:

Press the strap pieces in half lengthwise. Open and fold the raw edges to the inside and press. Re-fold and press to make a 1 1/2” strap.

Topstitch strap pieces close to both long edges.

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Fold one of the main fabric squares in half along the crease. Place the interfaced side (the exterior) facing up. With the fold at the top, measure from one top corner towards the lower corner and make a mark at 12 1/2”. Repeat on the other side.

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Open the square of fabric and pin both sides of the strap to the interfaced side. The straps should be placed perpendicular (at right angles) to the crease with the ends of the straps on the outside of your markings. Pin from the crease down to the cut edge.

Sew the straps to the exterior stitching on top of the previous topstitching. Sew only from the crease down to the cut edge.

Trim away the triangle that hangs off the edge.

Sew the pockets:

Fold the pocket pieces in half lengthwise, right sides facing. Stitch along the long edge with a 1/4” seam allowance. This will make a 6” x 20” tube.

Turn right side out. Press flat.

Topstitch along top (seam) edge.  Repeat for both pocket pieces.

Working on the interior side of each square (the side without interfacing), pin the pocket piece  on the right side square with the top of the pocket piece 10” from the bottom corner and parallel to the crease, as shown.

Stitch across the bottom edge of the pocket piece.

Flip the square over and trim away the triangles that hang off the edge.

On the right side, baste the sides of the pocket to the main square within the 1/4” seam allowance.

Use the fabric pen to mark sewing lines dividing the pockets as desired. Stitch along the lines.

Assemble the bag:

1/4” seam allowance allowed except where noted.

Sew the non-interfaced triangles to the non-interfaced (pocket side) of one square.

Sew the non-interfaced triangles to the non-interfaced (pocket side) of one square.

To make the bag, first you will stitch two triangles to each square to make two large triangles.

Pin and stitch one non-interfaced triangle to the pocket (non-interfaced) side of one square, right sides facing, as shown. Line up the long edges and let the pointy corner extend past the square a bit.

Open and press the seam toward the accent triangle.

Repeat on the other side: pin and stitch the other non-interfaced triangle to the other non-interfaced side of the same square.

Sew the interfaced triangles to the interfaced side of one square.

Sew the interfaced triangles to the interfaced side of one square.

Now pin and sew the interfaced triangles to the exterior (the interfaced) side of the other square in the same way as before.

Now get ready to sew your two large triangles together to make a parallelogram. You will still sew non interfaced edges together and interfaced edges together.

Place the two triangles together right sides facing, as shown. Match the center seam and pin outward. Small triangles of accent fabric will hang off either edge. Stitch.

This is the trickiest part, but you’re almost done! Pin the side edges of the parallelogram together to make a tube. Remember to sew the non-interfaced accent triangle to the non-interfaced edge of the square. Sew the interfaced triangle to the interfaced edge of the remaining square. Stitch. It’s awkward, but it turns out fine.

Once you have a large tube, arrange it with the squares on the front and back. Pin all the way across the bottom of the exterior (interfaced) edge. Stitch with a 1/2” seam allowance.

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Stitch a second time, within the seam allowance to reinforce the bottom of the bag. Trim away the little dog ear triangles, if desired.

On the other side of the bag (which will be the interior/lining) measure 8-10” from each corner and make a mark. Stitch with a 1/2” seam allowance, leaving the bag unstitched between the markings. This leaves a nice big opening so you can turn the bag right side out without wrinkling it up too much.

Box the corners:

Flatten the bottom of the bag and align the seam in the middle. Measure a 4” line across one corner and mark. Stitch along the line.

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Trim away the corner with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Repeat until all 4 corners are boxed.

Finishing:

Press the edges of the opening to the inside. Hand or machine stitch the opening closed.

Stuff the lining into the bag, with the straps on the outside. Press the top edge all the way around. Pin around the top too.

Stitch around the top of the bag 1/4” from the edge. This will keep the lining on the inside. Done!

Enjoy your beautiful Flying Geese Tote Bag! If you make one, be sure to snap a pic and show me by tagging me on Instagram @sewcanshe.

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂