How to Make a Cross Body Tote Bag

By Kelli Karanovich
Channel your inner seamstress to make a customized tote bag.

Cross body tote bags are great for women who like to keep up with lots of odds and ins. The size of the bags vary and the long cross body strap makes for a style that looks fashionable and flattering. When you create the tote bags yourself you can also customize the size to meet your personal needs. Cross body tote bags can be crafted by using a pillow case as your base. Look for vintage pillow cases and embroidered pillow cases. Also consider using kids cases with pictures to make a neat tote for a young girl.

Cut the sides of the pillow case to reach the size bag you want. Cut the length as well.

With the front and back piece face down, iron on interfacing to the sides. Put the right sides together and make about 3 pleats along the bottom on both sides of the bag. Insert a pin about an inch above your pleats on each side. The pin will serve as your guide.

Stitch a 1/2 inch seam down both sides of the bag. Begin curving slightly when you reach the pins of each side. Remove the pins when you're done.

Cut the excess fabric from the bottom to curve with your seam. Stitch a zigzag along the seam to connect the loose edges of fabric. Turn the bag right side out and inspect your work.

Sew the ends of the shoulder strap to each side of the bag. Sew them on the inside to help further secure the interfacing and add a couple rows of stitching for stability.

About the Author

Kelli Karanovich was internationally published for the first time in "Adbusters" in 2006. She teaches online at the Christa McAuliffe Academy and contributes to the blog Mama's Musings. Karanovich holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from the University of Georgia and a certificate to teach from Shorter College.