Easy to Make Totes with ZipperszippersPattern Description: 

1. Tote bag in various sizes, with and without top zipper, and various straps. 2. Purse/shoulder bag. 3. Square duffle bag in 2 sizes. 4. Large cosmetics style bag. 5. Flea Market Bag

I made “the purple tote” which is a tote bag with zipper top and long, padded straps.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Mostly. My bag is highly embellished.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

These are great instructions. The material list called for mat board for the bottom on the bag, but there are no instructions for inserting it for that particular bag. I forgot about the mat board until I was done with the bag. I was going to use timtex interfacing.


There’s a section on applying the zipper which should take the fear of simple zippers out of every sewer.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I used my own design for the last bag I made, but I wanted to see what a pattern might offer me. The bags on this one look very cute, so I decided to try it.

LIKE: Very complete instructions.

DISLIKE: I don’t like the way the top is attached for this particular bag. The instructions ask you to apply what I would call a wide binding. It’s cut in 4 long narrow pieces on straight of grain. 2 pieces are sewn end to end, twice, to get 2 even longer pieces. Those 2 pieces are sewn WST to make a double thick “binding”. Why not just cut one long piece and fold it in half?

DISLIKE: Still about the wide binding. I don’t like it so wide. It looks sloppy to me. I wasn’t able to get mine to fall nicely into the back to make a recessed top like in the picture. I was in a hurry because this was supposed to be a Mother’s Day gift, and I was a week late.

DISLIKE: Still about the wide binding. And why not cut it on the bias? It would wear better on the bias.

Fabric Used:

An assortment from my collection for crazy patch. I used a polyester silky fabric for the lining.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

My bag shrank a little from the crazy patch, and I didn’t make enough of an allowance, so it’s slightly shorter than the pattern calls for.

I made my lining bigger than the pattern calls for. I want the muslin base of the outer bag to support the bag. I hate it when linings in bags are smaller than the bag causing them to shred.

I made handles instead of using webbing. They are the same length as the webbing would have been, and I followed the directions in the book to make the handles.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I’d like to make several of the bags. They look very rtw in the pictures.

This would be an excellent bag for a beginner, especially one who has fear of zippers.


Good pattern, and an excellent base for embellishment.

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