Chubby Lunch Tote – Free Sewing Pattern {part 2}

Are you sewing a Chubby Lunch Tote with my free tutorial?

If so, you’ve probably come to Part 2 ready to finish!

Click here to go back to Part 1 of the tutorial. 

Assemble the tote sides:

1. Fold the zipper panel in half and find the center at both edges. Mark with pins or a fabric marking pen.

2. Fold the front and back pieces in half and find their centers along the top edge also. Mark.

3. Pin or clip (I think clips are easier) the front piece to one side of the zipper panel. Start at the center, matching the pins or marks that you made. Skip the flaps that stick out where you sewed the handles. Open out the 3/8” wide unsewn edge next to the handle and place it along the zipper flap. This part is a bit fussy, but don’t stress over it. It will look great.

Clip the side edges and the top edge of the front piece to the zipper panel. It should fit perfectly.

4. Start sewing at one end with the lining up. Sew until you reach the flap with the handle and stop. Backstitch. Try to stop right where the stitching starts that secures the handle inside the flap.

5. Take the tote out from your sewing machine and trim the threads. Start sewing the tote again on the other side of the flap. Try to start sewing right where you see the stitching that secures the handle inside the flap.

Repeat steps 3-5 above with the tote back on the other side of the zipper panel.

Finish the raw edges:

1. Clip to the stitching on the handle flaps in order to make the side seams easier to finish. Clip near to the point where the seams meet without cutting the stitching.

2. Finish the raw edges of the handle flap with zig zag stitching.

3. To apply bias binding to the side seams, sew the binding to the seam with a 1/4” seam allowance. Wrap it around to the other side of the seam and sew close to the edge.

Note: Sewing this tiny binding in place was a pain! But I persisted because the color matched, lol! I suggest using wider binding or finishing the edges with zig zag stitching or a serger.

Attach the tote bottom:

This part is not difficult, but follow each step carefully.

1. Fold to find the centers of the lower tote edges as well as the edges of the bottom piece. Mark with pens or a fabric marking pen.

2. You will sew the front and back to the bottom piece first. The front and back edges are longer than the long edges of the bottom piece, but that’s okay.

Match the centers of the front and back of the tote to the centers of the bottom piece on the long edges. Pin in place with the exteriors of the front and bag against the exterior of the bottom piece. 

3. You will sew the lower front and back edges of the tote to the bottom piece, starting and stopping 3/8” away from the corners of the bottom piece. Place a pin to mark 3/8” away from the corners on the bottom piece, if desired. (left image above)

4. Sew with the bottom piece up and the tote front (or back) against the sewing machine. As stated above, backstitch and then start sewing 3/8” from the corner and sew across the the edge. Stop sewing 3/8” from the corner and backstitch.

5. Repeat to sew the lower back edge to the opposite side of the bottom piece. Again, start and stop 3/8” from the corners.


6. Clip to the stitching at the places where you started and stopped on the front and back of the tote only (not the bottom piece).

7. Flatten the sides of the tote against the sides of the bottom piece. With the tote front and back clipped to the stitching at the corners, the edges should fit perfectly. Pin in place.

Make sure that the zipper is half-way open.

8. With the tote bottom against the sewing machine, sew across the side edge. Repeat on the other side.

9. Clip the corners to make turning easier. Finish the bottom seams. I decided to serge these edges instead of binding them. You could also finish the edges with zig zag stitching.

Turn your chubby tote right side out and enjoy!

Have you sewn one or more of these totes? I’d love to hear what you’re using it for! Tell me in the comments. Or even better – upload a picture to our next Show Off Saturday Picture Party!

Happy sewing,

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. 🙂