Sweet Quilted Tote {free sewing tutorial}


Have you ever wondered if you could make a beautiful quilted bag just like the designer ones in fancy stores? Well you can!

It’s super easy to use fusible fleece or quilt batting to stabilize fabric pieces and add quilting stitches. Sew it into a little bag and you have a Sweet Quilted Tote!

{Hey! This free pattern is included in my Ultimate List of Fast and Easy Tote Bags to Sew. Check it out.}

UPDATE: This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The pattern in the blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.

Today I’ll show you how to sew up the sweet little tote. I really love this bag. It is only about 10” tall, 8 1/2” wide at the bottom, and 4” deep.

For this one I used Flower Sugar Maison, also from Lecien. It’s a heavier, home decor weight fabric that looks fabulous on tote bags and purses.


Cut the following from fabric:

  • 1 rectangle 13 1/2” x 25” for the exterior

  • 1 rectangle 13 1/2” x 25” for the lining

  • 2 strips 2 3/4” x 15 1/2” for the handles

Fold your tote exterior and lining pieces in half with the 13 1/2” edges together. At the fold of fabric, measure and mark rectangles that are 2” wide and 1 1/2” tall at the corners as shown above.


From fusible fleece or cotton quilt batting cut:

  • 1 rectangle 13 1/2” x 25” for the exterior

  • 2 strips 2 3/4” x 15 1/2” for the handles

If you decide to use cotton quilt batting (which is not fusible fusible), use quilt basting spray to adhere the stabilizer to the wrong side of the tote exterior and handle pieces.

Cut out the corner rectangles in the stabilizer, using the fabric as your guide (see below).


1. With the exterior piece attached to fusible fleece or other stabilizer, quilt it in any design you like. On the one above, I marked and quilted lines that were 1 ” apart.

See how I quilted the little blue and red tote here.

2. After quilting, trim around all the edges of the fabric, including the cut-out rectangles.

Sew all seams with a 3/8” or 1cm seam allowance.

Make the Handles:

1. Fold the handle pieces lengthwise and sew along the long straight edge.

2. Turn the handles right side out using a safety pin or turning tool and press flat.

3. Topstitch along both sides of the handles 1/8” from the edge.

Note: If you want to add a pocket to the interior of the bag, sew it to the lining now, before assembling it. You could use my welt zipper pocket tutorial.

Assemble the Tote Bag

1. Pin and one handle to each shorter edge of the tote bag exterior, 3’’ from each corner.

2. Place the lining over the exterior piece and handles, right side down. Pin and stitch along the shorter edges only. Press the seam allowances open.

3. Adjust the tote so that the lining is folded together and the exterior is folded together, with the shorter seams horizontally along the middle.

4. Pin the long side edges together. Note the opening about 3’’ long that is marked on the actual fabric lining piece in the seam allowance.

5. Sew the long side seams, leaving an opening about 3’’ long in the lining, as mentioned above. Press the seam allowances open.

Sew the Gussets:

1. Flatten each corner of the bag, making a straight edge where there was a cut-out corner.

2. Pin and stitch across the straight edge. Repeat for the 2 corners in the exterior and the 2 corners in the lining.


1. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining.

2. Hand or machine sew the opening in the lining closed. Push the lining down into the bag.

3. Press the top edge of the bag gently. Topstitch around the bag 1/8’’ from the top edge.

Let me know what you think of this little pattern. Did you make one? Did you customize it with a pocket or a different kind of quilting? Share a picture on Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe!


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. 🙂