I made this bag for my mother in law who had dropped some hints about how she would like to have a handmade bag for her birthday.
This bag has the shape of a tote bag, but I 'pimped' it with a pocket on the outside (closed with flap and wooden buckle) and two simple pockets and a zippered pocket on the inside. The bag closes with a recessed zipper and has two longer handles, so it can be worn over the shoulder.

Technique Materials

I used a thick cotton for the outside and a plastic coated cotton for the inside. Because my fabrics were quite thick, I did not have to use interfacing. But when using thinner fabrics I recommend to iron on some interfacing on the main bag and lining pieces.

19 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Aug 17, 2011, 08.12 PMby Sara McKillop

    So cool, thanks! Have linked to it on my blog:

    I made it in oilcloth and did the lining and flap slightly differently but what a great pattern! :-)

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      Aug 18, 2011, 02.16 AMby susanne2011

      That is so awesome! :) :) :)

  • In_marg_s_kitchen_large

    Dec 29, 2010, 05.01 AMby SixteenSeams

    Awesomeeeeeeeee! I plan to make this. Thank you so much! Seriously, cool bag.

  • Img_0066_large

    Sep 2, 2010, 01.32 PMby kintijap

    Thanks Susanne! I just made a bag according to your instructions and it turned out to be really nice. Some of my colleagues were interested of the place I bought it, but I was happy to answer that it is made by me :)

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      Sep 2, 2010, 10.32 PMby susanne2011

      Ah, you’re welcome, so good to hear!
      Will you post your version? I’m looking forward to seeing what you made! :)

  • Missing

    May 14, 2010, 04.52 AMby tekkie

    hi, im thinking about making this bag! i was wondering how much fabric would i need for the main and the lining

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      May 14, 2010, 01.40 PMby susanne2011

      I don’t remember exactly how much I used, but I don’t think it was more than 1 meter of each…

  • Glo_copy_large

    Apr 17, 2010, 07.29 PMby domestic-divaonline

    Wow! This is an exceptional bag! What a lucky mother in law! Great photos and instructions. I’m in the middle of making a bag of my own and might “lift” some of your ideas. I would mark this as a favorite but I’m kinda new here and haven’t quite figured out how to do that. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work.

    2 Replies
    • 5_large

      Apr 17, 2010, 09.28 PMby susanne2011

      Hi, thanks for your nice comment! That makes me happy!
      I think you could add tutorials like this one to your favorites by clicking ‘add to my toolkit’, a link that you can find underneath the pictures, next to ‘share this and ’get instructions’. Good luck with your bag!

    • Glo_copy_large

      Apr 18, 2010, 03.44 PMby domestic-divaonline

      Thanks for the “favorites” tip!

  • Missing

    Mar 26, 2010, 04.53 PMby cathysew

    I made my own templates for this bag per your measurements, but step number 2 ( cut on the thick lines) will not open and I need the pattern for the flaps . I could figure it out myself but would be easier if you give me measurements to help. I am so looking forward to making this bag – I want it to look the same as yours!! Thanks for the pattern and instructions and I appreciate any help!

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      Mar 28, 2010, 04.08 PMby susanne2011

      I’ve noticed that step 2 cannot be viewed with Internet Explorer, I use Firefox and that seems to work.
      But maybe have a look at my website: , if you go to the sewing section, you will see that I posted the tutorial there as well and the pattern for the flap should be visible there.
      If this all does not work, just send me your e-mail address using the private message function and I can e-mail the picture to you, no worries!

      I’m very much looking forward to your version!

  • Missing

    Mar 21, 2010, 05.33 PMby yessee

    I tried getting this tutorial , PDF file didn’t open said it was damaged ? Is there any way to get it ? Thanks!

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      Mar 21, 2010, 10.36 PMby susanne2011

      Hmm, I don’t know, it is the burdastyle website that should convert it into a PDF. Try writing the guys at Burdastyle to ask whether they can resolve this?
      I will soon post this tutorial in my blog on as well (but not so detailed), so you could print it from there as well. Right now my blog only has the tutorial for the weaved clutch bag I made….

  • Naburdaprofil_large

    Mar 6, 2010, 11.07 AMby janul

    Hi Susanne, I keep coming back to this tutorial, I guess I have to see everything 100times to get it :). The zippered inside pocket is genius, I would never figure this out myself! You´re so clever! I have great fabric for my bag, but I want to make one long adjustable strap, and I don´t know how. Thanks for your kind words :).

    2 Replies
    • 5_large

      Mar 7, 2010, 10.54 AMby susanne2011

      Hi Janul, thank you for your nice words! If you want, I can post a little tutorial on how to make an adjustable strap, this is really not so difficult to make. I first have to go to the fabric store to get the right materials, I will try to post the tutorial soon!

    • Naburdaprofil_large

      Mar 7, 2010, 12.24 PMby janul

      Yeah, I guess I just have to look at some bag with adjustable strap I already have and buy the metal “thing” for it :).

  • Toothbrushes_large

    Mar 5, 2010, 09.03 AMby jellybean

    Great work. Love your step by step photos.

  • Big_tri_large

    Mar 4, 2010, 02.45 AMby cantare

    This is a great pattern! And your picture-by-picture guide is SO much better than written, one can actually follow along. I’m definitely making one this summer, thank you for figuring it out for us—you have a knack at the pattern-making!

  • Wanda_large

    Feb 27, 2010, 10.31 AMby mama50

    Beautiful you bag !Thanks.

  • Missing

    Feb 24, 2010, 09.35 PMby rebearguello

    Your bag is wonderful! It really looks pretty professional, and I don’t think is that easy but I’ll try it out. Thank you!

  • Naburdaprofil_large

    Feb 24, 2010, 07.35 PMby janul

    Well, to me, it looks so complicated and not easy at all… your bag looks so professional! Plus I don´t understand the last part, where you sew the straps between the lining and the main fabric… but I guess I would understand in the process of making it… also, my bag must be much simpler than this, this is just too much for unexperienced sewer like me :). I can´t even make a straight seam (almost :).

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      Feb 24, 2010, 10.14 PMby susanne2011

      Hi Janul, I only started sewing 1.5 years ago, so I am not too experienced myself. So I am sure you will be able to make this, it is more or less square pieces of fabric, no darts or pleats or anything! And I see you have made some beautiful garments yourself (love your antistress dress!), so I am sure you will make something wonderful!

      About when you sew it all together: yes you are right, this is something that is better to understand when you are actually doing it. You just have to think about the order of how the different elements are laid on top of each other before you sew them together, so main bag (right side out)-straps-zipper closure-inner bag (right side in). Good luck!

  • Dscn7887_large

    Feb 24, 2010, 03.53 AMby Liza Azman

    Nice bag!

  • Prof_large

    Feb 23, 2010, 03.17 PMby fraiche

    How long did this take?

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      Feb 23, 2010, 05.43 PMby susanne2011

      Making the bag: 2 evenings (thinking of how I wanted it and cutting out the pieces took the most time).
      Making the tutorial: a loooooooong time! Hahahahah

  • 234da2be1ba722bc26fa4322b927c0ba584dfb54_large

    Feb 23, 2010, 08.50 AMby kiraph

    This bag looks great! Can’t wait to try it out, will have to keep an eye out for some great fabric…

  • Missing

    Feb 23, 2010, 02.13 AMby montesnathalie96

    nice, i might make one out of leather with a metal buckle, and satin lining, great bag!

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      Feb 23, 2010, 08.21 AMby susanne2011

      Wow, that sounds like a great combination of fabrics, I would love to see the result!

  • N1073986719_30321162_1932_large

    Feb 23, 2010, 01.37 AMby stylenanda

    This is great! My hubby is one of those guys into man purse. I think I’ll make one for him. Thanks for great info!

  • Karen_large

    Feb 21, 2010, 04.30 AMby sapphiresea

    I love this bag… I have to have one, and the best part it looks easy enough to make. The buckle idea is superb. I think I shall make mine in a grey with pink trim and buckle…. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1 Reply
    • 5_large

      Feb 21, 2010, 09.06 AMby susanne2011

      I would love to see how yours will turn out, if you end up making one!

    • This is a question
  1. Sign in to add a post