Freebie Friday: The Frayed Tote Bag


So here it is! My first free project for you all! My goal is definitely that this be the first of many more to come 😀

This first leg of my mission to bust all my scraps came from some leftover fabric from a Nintendo bag I made for my boyfriend ^-^ I thought I might keep it simple with this first project and do a remake of one of the favorite bags that I own. It’s a simple tote bag, really, with a plain pocket on the front. However, it’s perfect for going to the gym, library, or picking up a few things from the store.

This remake has frayed edges for a worn-in look and a little trick I did for some faux piping along the pocket sides. The result is a really comfy bag that has an old jeans feel to it, like you’ve had it forever. And the lining adds a light and colorful feminine touch. Keep reading to find out how to make it! Or just download the .pdf here!


Very straightforward, but has a pocket and lining, so it needs just a bit more effort.
Makes one 10” x 12” bag that’s about 4” deep.

Materials & Tools:
• ⅔ yd. of medium weight fabric for outer bag (denim, twill, or canvas is good)
• ⅔ yd. of lightweight fabric for lining (I used quilting cotton here)
• Matching sewing thread
• Sewing needle

Before you begin:
1. Print out the project pattern here
2. Assemble the pattern pieces, see the page here for more help
3. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out
4. Mark the fabric pieces with the markings from the pattern: the strap placement and pocket placement lines

1. With right sides together, sew the outer pocket to the lining around the sides and bottom. You’ll notice that the lining is just a little bit larger than the outer pocket piece. Sew with the outer pocket layer on top and pull at it slightly (also called easing) to make the pieces fit. This is what creates the faux-piping kind of edging on the finished pocket. When sewing, be sure to leave the top edge free for turning it right side out. Notch the seam allowances in the corners, turn the pocket right side out, and press it flat. You’ll see that some of the lining will peek out of the sides, this is your faux piping edge!

2. Enclose the top of the pocket by topstitching along the open edge, about ¼” in.

3. Apply the pocket to the outer bag. Pin it along the lines transferred from the pattern, and sew it in place by edge stitching along the sides and bottom of the pocket, about ⅛” in from the edge.

4. With right sides together, sew the front and back of the outer bag pieces together along the sides and the bottom. Skip over the corners (as we’ll be sewing those later) and leave the top edge open for the top of the bag.

5. With right sides together, match up the seams from the side and bottom of the bag, and you’ll see the corner edges match up. Sew along this edge and it will create some depth to your bag.

6. With wrong sides together, match up one of your outer strap pieces with the corresponding lining piece. Sew them together by topstitching along the left and right side, about ¼” in from the edge.

7. Nestle the lining into the main bag with wrong sides together and make sure the top edges are lined up. Tuck the ends of the straps in between the layers where the pattern lines indicated and pin all the layers in place.

8. Topstitch entirely around the top of the bag, about ¼” in from the edge. When you do so, you should catch the ends of the straps, anchoring them in place.

9. Throw the bag in the wash and the edges of your fabric should fray a bit. Cut away the loose strands of fabric and you’re left with a comfy, worn-in looking bag!

Now go out and enjoy your bag! Take it with you anywhere you just need to carry a few items but need that extra little pocket for something tiny 😀 I hope you’ll try and make it if the project looks like fun to you 😀

Please do tell me if you’ve run into any problems and I’ll do my best to help! And if you enjoyed it, I’ll strive even harder to make more projects like this (and maybe a bit more complex and interesting ^-~).

If you do wind up making the project, I’d love to see it! And I’ll send you free patterns from my Monthly Crafting Challenge!

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2 thoughts on “Freebie Friday: The Frayed Tote Bag

  1. Hi! I just found your blog today and I am afraid that I like bombed you🤣! Thanks for all of your great ideas and I love your Etsy shop too. Everything is so much fun, I think that I NEED to dust off my sewing machine later and start making some cute stuffies and great bags!

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