Decorator Cotton Fabric Pt. 1 (tote bag)

Hey. Hi. Hello. I have been thinking about doing a series on 3 fun projects to make with decorator weight (cotton) fabric, and decided to put that plan into action today! For the next 2 Thursday’s I will be posting a part of the series! Today we will be making a super cute tote bag, that is perfect for carrying your yarn stash, favorite books, or anything else you fancy! Plus, I’ve taken a ton of pictures, so even if you are a beginner sewer this shouldn’t be too hard!

First, before we get started I thought I should tell you a little more about Decorator Weight Cotton Fabric!

-What is it?-

Decorator Weight Fabric (also known and Home Decorating Fabric) is a little stiffer and is woven a little looser than regular cotton fabric. It’s stiff-ness makes it perfect for totes, pillows, table-clothes, chair covers, etc.


To make this cute tote you will need a few supplies!

  • Sewing Machine (and the knowledge of how to use it)
  • Sewing equipment (e.g. fabric scissors, thread, pins)
  • 1/2 yard of Decorator Cotton Fabric for the outside*
  • 1/2 yard of Decorator Cotton Fabric for the lining/handles*
  • A 1 1/2 inch square piece of paper.
  • Iron.

*I bought 1 yard of fabric for the entire tote and it worked perfectly. However I made a tote for my mom with two different patterns/colors of fabric and it worked perfectly fine.

-Prep Work-

1. Cut 2 pieces of outer fabric to measure 12 1/2 by 15 each inches for the outside.
2. Cut 2 pieces of lining fabric to measure 12 1/2 by 15 inches each for the inside.
3. Cut 2 pieces of lining fabric to measure 4 by 17 inches each for the handles.

-The Outer Bag + Lining-

1.  Line up the 1 1/2″ square piece of paper with the bottom corner of one of the pieces of the outer fabric, trace around it with a chalk pen.

Deco 1










2. Do the same with the other outer piece. Cut out on the marked lines.

Deco 2

3. Place the outer fabric pieces right sides together and pin along the sides and across the bottom.

Deco 3

5. Sew down the sides and along the bottom with the edge of the presser foot on the edge of the fabric. Make sure not to sew in the cut-out corners!

Deco 4

6. Bring the side and bottom seams together at both bottom cut-out corners of the bag. Place the seams so they will lie right on top of each other. The cut-out square will become a straight line with the side and bottom seams in the middle. Pin the edges together.

Deco 5

7. Repeat Step 6 with the other side as well and pin in place.

8. Sew both corners with the edge of the presser foot on the edge of the fabric.

9. Turn inside out and your done with the outer bag! Great job!


10. Repeat the above steps with the lining fabric.

-The Handles-

1.  Begin by folding the edges of 1 of the strips to the middle. Press with the iron.

Deco 7

2. Fold the already folded strip on the center. Press with the iron.

Deco 8

3. Sew along both edges of the folded strip with an 1/8 seam allowance.

Deco 11

4. Now you’ve finished one of the handles! Great work! Repeat the above steps with the other handle strip!

Deco 10

-Putting it all together-

1. Turn the outer back right side out and the lining bag inside out.

2. Slip the lining bag inside the outer bag.

Deco 12

3. Line up the seam edges and turn each bag’s edge in an inch. This will give the bags edges a nice and clean look!

4. Measure in 3″ from the side seam of the bag and mark. Insert an end of the handle between the lining and the outer fabric at the 3″ mark, push it in about 1 1/2″. Pin in place. Do this with both handles, on both sides.

Deco 13

5. Sew around the whole edge with the presser foot on the edge of the fabric.

6. You’re done! Congratulations!

-The Finished Tote Bag-

Finished Tote BagAhh! Isn’t it so cute? There is something so satisfying about finishing a project and loving how it turned out!

Make sure to join us back next Thursday for pillow making! I hope you enjoyed this first part of the series! Also, if you do make this tote bag make sure to contact me and paste some pictures in the “message” box! Have a great rest of the week!

Will you make the tote bag?

Did you enjoy this tutorial?

Are you excited for next Thursday?

blue flower sign off


19 thoughts on “Decorator Cotton Fabric Pt. 1 (tote bag)

  1. This is super cute! I LOVE it! I will definitely be making this for myself. Did you get my email? I have been noticing that we haven’t been getting each other’s emails lately. Or more like you aren’t getting mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That looks so cute and professional (I feel like I say that a lot but it’s true) I’ll attempt to make one, but with my sewing skills, I don’t think it’ll look as good as yours!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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