Tiny Bag Sewing Pattern – Sew a super adorable tote – free pattern!
All your favorite fabric scraps are screaming to be sewn into a super cute tiny bag! This free tiny bag sewing pattern is so fun to make. And because it’s so small, it’s really fast to sew too. I’m thinking that tiny totes like this are going to be THE Christmas present from me this year. It could also be a little purse because it’s just the right size for a phone, keys, and a few cards (even a small wallet if you want).
UPDATE: This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The instructions that follow contain everything you will need to make the Tiny Bag Pattern 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.
One side of the bag has a pocket and the other side doesn’t – at least that’s the way mine are. If you want to add pockets to both sides – go ahead!
There are two pockets on the inside two to help organize your keys and cards.
Are you ready to sew my a Tiny Bag Sewing Pattern? Let’s get started!
Tiny Bag Sewing Pattern
Finished size: Approximately 5 1/2” tall X 8” wide (not including the handles).
Fat quarter friendly!
You will need:
- 1 FQ or less cotton fabric for the exterior
- 1 FQ or less cotton fabric for the lining
- other pieces of fabric for the exterior pocket and handles if you choose to not use the fat quarters mentioned above (see below for dimensions)
- 1 zipper, 9” long or longer (measuring between the stoppers). Note: I used a handbag zipper – it’s wider than a usual nylon zipper with a big pull. A regular nylon zipper would work fine too.
- 7” x 18” of Soft and Stable interfacing from ByAnnie. Or fusible fleece if you can’t find Soft and Stable.
- Fabric chalk or fabric marking pen
From the exterior fabric, cut:
- 2 rectangles 7” x 9”
From the exterior pocket fabric, cut:
- 1 rectangle 11” x 9”
From the strap fabric, cut:
- 2 strips 4” x 21”
- 1 strip 2” x 9” (for binding the exterior pocket)
From the lining fabric, cut:
- 2 rectangles 7” x 9”
- 1 rectangle 11” x 9” (the interior pockets)
From the Soft and Stable (or fusible fleece) interfacing, cut:
- 2 rectangles 7” x 9”
Make the handle straps.
1. Fold the 4” x 21” strips in half lengthwise, press. Open and fold the long edges to the center and press. Fold in half lengthwise again and press.
2. Topstitch along both long edges of the handle strip, 1/8” from the edge.
Make 2 handle pieces. Set aside.
Make the Pockets
1. Fold the two 11” x 9” pocket pieces in half with wrong sides facing and the 9” edges together. Press.
2. Press one long edge of the 2” x 9” pocket binding piece to the wrong side by 3/8”.
3. Topstitch along the folded edge of the interior (lining) pocket piece, 1/8” from the edge.
4. Bind the folded edge of the exterior pocket piece: place the long raw edge of the binding piece along the top (folded) edge of the exterior pocket. Stitch in place with a 3/8” seam allowance.
Flip the binding around to the other side of the pocket and tuck the folded edge under. Topstitch close to the folded edge.
This is what the two pocket pieces look like.
Attach the Tiny Bag Handles.
1. Place each 7” x 9” exterior piece on top of a matching piece of Soft and Stable and baste in place around the edges (1/4” from the edge). A walking foot may be helpful for this step if you have one.
If you are using fusible fleece, fuse to the backs of the exterior pieces instead.
2. Using chalk or a fabric marker, draw a line across both of the handle piece 5 1/2” from the ends. Draw 4 lines total, two on each piece, 5 1/2” from each end, on the same side of the handle.
3. Pin a handle piece to an exterior piece as seen above, with the chalk lines facing upward so you can see them. The handle edges are 2 1/4” from the side edges of the exterior piece.
4. Stitch the handle in place, sewing over the topstitching: first sew up from the bottom. When you reach the marked line that is 5 1/2” from the end – sew across it. Then sew back down the other side of the strap to the bottom of the piece. Repeat on the other side of the handle.
Stitch the other handle piece to the other bag exterior piece.
Sew on the Tiny Bag Pockets
1. Lay the exterior pocket over one of the exterior side pieces with the bottom edges aligned. Baste around the sides and bottom of the pocket to attach it to the bag side.
2. Using the chalk or fabric pen, draw a line across the bottom of the pocket, 1 1/2” from the bottom. Topstitch along the line – this is to prevent items from slipping to the bottom of the pocket and getting lost.
3. To attach the interior pocket piece:
Lay the interior pocket over one of the lining pieces with the bottom edges aligned.
Baste around the sides and bottom of the pocket to attach it to the lining piece.
Fold the pocket in half and finger press to find the center. Stitch down the center of the pocket piece to divide it into two pockets.
Using the chalk or fabric pen, draw a line across the bottom of the pocket, 1 1/2” from the bottom. Topstitch along the line – this is to prevent items from slipping to the bottom of the pocket and getting lost.
4. Mark 1 1/2” squares at the bottom corners of all 4 exterior and lining pieces. Cut out the 1 1/2” squares at the corners.
Attach the Zipper.
1. Lay an exterior side piece right side up. Place one edge of the zipper along the top, right side down. Place a lining piece on top, right side down, with the top edge aligned. Pin or clip the edges together at the top.
2. Sew along the top edge with a 1/4” seam allowance. Use a zipper foot if available.
3. Fold the tiny bag exterior and lining pieces wrong sides together and press the edges carefully away from the zipper. Topstitch along the bag exterior, 1/8” from the edge.
4. Lay the remaining exterior piece right side up and place the zipper on top with the zipper face down and the unsewn edge of the zipper aligned at the top.
Then place the remaining lining piece on top with the lining right side down and the top edges aligned. Pin or clip the top edges together.
Sew along the top edge with a 1/4” seam allowance.
Then fold the side exterior and lining pieces wrong sides together and topstitch the other side.
Finish the Tiny Bag Sewing Pattern
1. Re-fold the bag pieces, placing the bag exterior sides right sides together and the bag lining pieces right sides together.
Stitch across the bottom edge of the bag exterior with a 3/8” seam allowance.
Stitch the bottom of the lining, leaving an opening about 4” wide. This means that you will only sew for about an inch on either side of the opening.
2. Pin or clip the side edges of the bag together. Make sure that the zipper tapes are folded toward the bag lining.
Stitch the sides of the bag with a 3/8” seam allowance.
3. Press the seams open as much as possible. Flatten the side and bottom edges together (matching the seams) and stitch across the edge with a 3/8” seam allowance to make boxed corners. Sew all 4 boxed corners (2 exterior and 2 lining).
3. Trim the extra zipper tape 1/4” from the stitching and trim the rest of the seams 1/8”-1/4” from the stitching to reduce bulk in the seams. Do not trim the bottom edge of the lining where there is an opening.
4. Turn the tiny bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Tuck the raw edges of the opening to the inside and hand or machine stitch the opening closed.
Tuck the lining inside the bag.
Done! I would love it if you tagged your Tiny Totes that you made from my Tiny Bag Sewing Pattern on social media with #sewcanshe so I can find them and see.
I’m adding this free Tiny Bag Pattern to my 14+ Tote Bags You Can Sew in a Day and Ultimate List of Crafty Little Things to Sew if you want to check out other fun stuff to make!
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. 🙂
So cute! Thank you very much!
Best regards from Germany,
Very cute! I’m thinking that if you leave out the zipper and the interior pockets, you can also use it as a container for a potted plant or flowers as a hostess gift or a get well present.
This is so perfect, I’m thinking about the embrordery I do it’ll be a nice one to take the small parts with.
This bag is so cute. I am gonna make two!!
Hello everyone! I have made four of these tiny bags thus far!! Easy to follow directions, easy to cut the few pieces needed to make the tiny bag. Assembly sewing these are the way to make them,, Already have four more cut out. I know what will be under my needle today!! Thanks sew much!!
I’m with Linda on the assembly-line sewing – I cut out 3 yesterday, and stitched one today. I cut all pieces out of each of 3 fabrics, and am switching the bits around so each bag will be different. CUTE bag, and so easy to make! Thank you for a fabulous and adorable tutorial – I plan on making a bunch of these cuties 🙂
Love this cute bag. Thank you for sharing. I did however add a pocket to both sides and put the straps on the pockets. Helps to hold the outside pockets closed.
I loved making this bag!
Thank you for the Fabulous patterns I can’t wait to do them
Hey Caroline, I like the mini bag a lot … can I translate your tutorial and place it on my blog (linking to yours of course!) greetings from Belgium! Lily
You may take 1-2 photos and link back to me but copying any text (whether you translate it or not) is a direct copyright violation. Please respect the hours of work that I put into each post and do not steal my work. Thank you!
Okay, thank you, that’s why I asked! Love the bags 🙂
Hi Caroline, I’m so glad you didn’t quit. You little tote is the best I’ve seen and made. Kids and adults alike love them. Now that here in Pennsylvania small bags like this are what everyone wants. Thanks for a great pattern.
When things get to me I sew even more.
Happy sewing and keep smiling ( they’ll never know what your really thinking 🙄🤣)
Pretty awesome little bag! My niece is giving birth to #3, and I always like to gift the siblings at birth time, so this bag is perfect for my two little grand-nieces. One bag down, me to go! Thank you Sew much!
I have made 3 of these bags. they are so cute. the directions are great. I Love them.
What a cute purse perfect for little girls or even us big girls…Thank-you!
I have made 2 of these bags already as gifts. But they are so cute that I haven’t given them away yet. I really liked working with the foam interfacing for the first time. I really appreciate this pattern and tutorial to teach me new bag making skills. Thank you!
I recently made one of these tiny bags, I LOVE IT! At first, I didn’t know what I would use it for but then I discovered it is the perfect size for dashing into stores during the pandemic. I keep my "new" essentials in this bag and leave my main bag in the car so that I don’t contaminate that bag. I keep my mask in an outside pocket, my hand sanitizer upright in an inside pocket I added, and my debit card. There’s room for my phone and car keys too. I slip it on my wrist and off I go. Thank you for this cute little bag.
I finally made a pair of these adorable tote bags! I really love the finish of having a lining inside. My BFF is getting one for Christmas and she loves collecting miniatures. I know I will end up making more just because they are so much fun to have. Originally I had made a designer version of this tote bag using using the foam interfacing that I could get my hands on but it was not as successful:( I wasn’t able to buy the soft and stable brand interfacing by Annie’s here in Canada. The shops here always seem to be out of stock and it is quite expensive to buy from Amazon after shipping and the currency conversion. Thanks for all your super pattern designs. They are an inspiration when I don’t feel in the mood to make a garment now that I work from home.
LOVE the bag and so does my granddaughter they asked if I could make it a couple of inches larger Told them I try if you dont mind. Thank you
At what point do you move the zipper pull so as not to cut it off?
Thank you so much for the cutest bag pattern ever. If I can’t find the print directions, I just remember. “Reading is an art”.❤️
As a recommendation, I would add a note to unzip the zipper before you sew the sides together. I didn’t and had a heck of a time unzipping it to turn it right side out.