Make Your Own Project Tote

Finished project tote

Make Your Own Project Tote

I love to corral my project items into bags when they are works-in-progress. I like to be able to see all of my supplies without having to dig deep in a big bag, or one with a drawstring. I designed this project tote to be able to hold several skeins of yarn for a knitting project, or my embroidery hoop, threads and fabrics.

This was a quick and easy project. I think it took me longer to figure out I wanted to make it than it did to actually make the bag – start to finish! Using Kraft-Tex made it even easier. New to Kraft-Tex? It’s a rugged paper that looks, feels, and wears like leather, but sews, cuts and washes like fabric.

Finished project tote with embroidery

How to Make a Project Tote with Kraft-Tex

Finished size = 13.5″ wide x 5″ deep x 5″ high

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  • One (1) roll of Kraft-Tex (18.5″ x 28.5″)
  • Coordinating (or contrasting) thread

Start by cutting the following pieces from Kraft-Tex. I used my rotary cutter to make nice straight cuts.

  • Two (2) pieces 9″ x 18.5″ or One (1) piece 18″ x 18.5″
  • One (1) piece 4″ x 18.5″
  • Two (2) pieces 1″ x 18.5

Note: The color is denim, but the lighting in my studio is making it look grey.

Kraft-tex pieces cut out for tote

Start by top stitching the pocket onto one of the main tote body pieces. I tested a Frixiron pen to see if I could mark on the Kraft-Tex for placement. It worked fine, and came right off with a burst from the steam iron.

I marked 1″ down from the top for the top of the pocket and 5″ down from the top of the main tote body piece.

Marking for the pocket

I lined up the pocket with this line and top stitched about 1/4″ from the edge. I used the top stitching foot which keeps the stitching line nice and straight.

Top stitching the pocket on the tote body

Next I sewed vertical lines to make smaller pockets to hold accessories. I also topstitched the top edge of both tote body pieces.

Pockets sewn on the tote body

Next, I sewed the two body pieces together on the bottom. I realized that I could have just cut one big body piece and eliminated the bottom seam — next time!

Sewing the bottom seam

This shows the bottom seam. Just like for the pocket, I drew a line with my Frixiron pen, and then lined up the Kraft-Tex and topstitched. To get the bottom edge nice, I pressed both the front and back of the tote along the bottom edge so it would be crisp.

Here is another view of the pressed bottom. I love the body of Kraft-Tex for these types of projects. Once pressed, it keeps its shape.

Next I topstitched both edged of both handles.

Topstitching the handles for the tote

Next is to sew the handles to the tote. Again, I marked the placement with Frixiron pen. I topstitched two rows of stitching to secure the handles on the tote. It’s easier to sew them on before sewing the side seams, as the tote is now flat.

Stitching the handles on the tote

Line up the side seams and sew them.

To make the bottom of the project tote flat, finger press the bottom along the pressed lines. Stitch along the pressed lines, forming the boxed bottom.

Trim off the excess fabric. Press the side folds on the tote.

Finished project tote, ready with a knitting project.

Finished project tote

Browse through more bag projects on Create Whimsy.

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