Sew an easy tote bag with a cute bunny applique design on it! If course you can grab the free bunny applique pattern and put it on somthing else, but I’m going to show you a trick for easily having a big applique on a bag -you sew on the applique before sewing the bag!
And this is a perfect egg finding Easter bag!I. Instead of Easter baskets, my kids are going to search for eggs at grandma’s house with these fun tote bags I made them.
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below contains everything you will need to make the Bunny Applique Tote Bag and it is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The formatted-for-printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.
The totes have an easy, unlined design that is perfect for canvas or home decor weight fabric (what I used). There’s a magic corner that is stitched and boxed at the same time. I raided my stash of Blend Fabrics for the applique. Plus white fleece for those puffy tails. 🙂
Ready to make one (or lots)? Let’s go!
You will need:
fabric scraps for the applique (including something soft for the tail)
a 17” x 34” canvas or home decor weight fabric for the tote
2 strips of quilt weight cotton fabric 4” x 28” for the handles
2 strips of fusible fleece 1” x 27 1/2” for the handles
a fabric marking pen
Fold the 17” x 34” piece of heavy fabric to make a 17” square. With the fold closest to you, mark the edge of the fold and both sides 4” above the fold. Mark both layers, on both sides.
Use your favorite applique method, I really like HeatnBond. Trace the design onto the paper side of the HeatnBond, cut it out, fuse to the back of your fabric, and then cut the shape out and remove the paper. Easy.
Arrange the bunny applique near the center of the square, wherever you like. I made 4 bags (4 kids, lol) and put the bunny in different spots, but I think I like it best about 2 1/2” above the fold.
Press the applique pieces to fuse. The fleece circle wouldn’t fuse, and I was afraid to melt it with my hot iron, so I use a SuperStik glue stick to attach it.
Stitch the applique to the bag with your favorite stitch. This is a fun machine blanket stitch on my old Bernina.
Here comes the magic! Fold the tote bag piece in half again right sides together. At the bottom bring the mark you made at the fold up to the marks 4” away from the fold to make a pleat. Repeat on the other side too.
Pin the pleat securely, and then pin up the side of the tote (do this on both sides). Stitch from the top all the way down and over the pleat to the very end. Backstitch securely.
Finish this seam with a zig-zag stitch or a serger.
The sides were sewn and corners boxed all in one step, isn’t that cool? You can leave the corner alone now, but I like to stitch the triangle down just to make it look more finished. It’s awkward, but doable. Pin the triangle first before you put it under your sewing machine to stitch.
I didn’t take a picture while I was doing it, but at this point hem the top of the bag: fold down 1 ” and press. Then fold down another inch and press. Stitch close to the fold.
Now make the straps. Fold each strip in half and press, open and press the long edges to the inside, about 1/8” from the center. Press the short ends 1/4” to the inside.
Lay the 1” strip of fusible strip along the inside of the strap on one side. Re-fold the strap and press well, aligning both long edges.
Stitch all the way around the straps about 1/8” from the edge.
Pin the straps to the bag 4” from each side seam. The strap should overlap the front of the bag about 1 1/2” to 2”. Do what looks best to you.
Stitch the straps to the bag following the topstitching. You can make a rectangle or a rectangle with an ‘x’ in the middle. I think they both look good. 🙂
And that’s it! If you want something smaller, check out my Bunny Treat Bags tutorial that I wrote a couple years ago:
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