diy wednesday: market tote

We love totes, so we were thrilled when the powers-that-be recently outlawed plastic bags in our fine city. It gave us all the more reason to liven up our trips to the farmer’ts market with a fun hand-sewn carryall. We remembered seeing a bag like this in an old craft book, so we scooted on down to the fabric store and loaded up on colorful scraps of vinyl to appliqué onto a simple handmade canvas tote. Click here for the full post and instructions or just click “read more” below.

Happy Sewing!
Derek & Lauren


Here’s what you’ll need

-One piece of heavy duty natural canvas, measuring 15″ x 40″
-One piece of heavy duty navy blue canvas, measuring 15″ x 20″
=5′ of 1″ wide navy blue cotton webbing, for straps
-1 yard of 1/2″ pre-folded seam binding
-Vinyl scraps in green, brown, purple, red and orange
-Thread to match
-Sewing Machine

1. Press a 1/2″ seam on both of the short ends of your blue canvas. Fold entire piece in half, matching pressed edges.
2. Fold natural canvas in half, matching short ends, and press.
3. Line up centers of both pieces of canvas with the blue piece on top. Pin in place and stitch to white piece, along the folded edge.
4. Cut out your veggie shapes from the vinyl scraps.
5. Place vinyl pieces onto front of bag, and pin. You can also use double-stick tape or glue to hold them in place so they don’t slip as you’re stitching them onto the bag.
6. Using the appropriate colored thread, machine stitch the vinyl pieces to the bag as shown in the picture.
7. Fold entire piece in half, right sides together. Press a 1/2″ seam at top of bag towards the outside. Fold over another 1″ and press.
8. Cut your cotton webbing in half, so you have two 30″ pieces.
9. At the top of the bag, measure and mark 4″ in from each side (front and back). Insert one end of cotton webbing under folded down edge and pin into place. Repeat with other end (straps will be facing the downwards, towards the bottom of the bag). Stitch down folded edge using a 7/8″ seam allowance. Repeat to attach second strap on other side of bag.
10. Fold straps up and reinforce by stitching a square around the edge of the strap where it overlaps the canvas.
11. With right sides together, stitch along long sides of bag with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
12. Cover raw edges of sides with seam binding and stitch into place.
13. Create a 4″ gusset by folding the bottom corners in (making a triangle) and stitching straight across the side seam.
14. Turn bag right side out, throw it over your shoulder, and load up on all your favorite fruits and veggies!


Just a note from experience with sewing with vinyl – if you have a walking foot it is really helpful in preventing slipping or sticking (which was the biggest problem I encountered when first machine stitching vinyl).

Great post & cute bag!


It’s great that they banned the use of plastic bags. I always opt for paper bags, but this cute turnip tote idea is even better. Great job!


This bag is amazing! I’m tempted to run out to the fabric store right now for the supplies!

Thanks for a great tutorial, (and thanks to kati for the walking foot tip).


i’ve been in love with this tote since i first saw it here.
realy fantastic!

i set a link. i hope you’ll agree.