This Drawstring Bucket Tote is full of wonderful possibilities. Grab it for a beach day, a picnic or a trip to the market. Or keep it at home for duty as a stash basket, a small hamper, or a toy bin. However you end up using it, our Bucket Tote is a super sturdy thing of beauty!
In fact, Purl Soho’s 24-ounce Canvas is the heaviest, strongest fabric we carry. It might seem daunting to work with something this thick, but with a few simple tips, it turns out to be totally do-able. And when you pair 24-ounce Canvas with Purl Soho’s light and ethereal Handkerchief Linen, a truly lovely project is born… full of possibilities! -Molly
- 1/2 yard of Purl Soho’s 24-ounce Canvas (Please Note: The 24-ounce Canvas is no longer available. For a slightly softer tote bag, we recommend our 10-ounce Canvas.)
- 1/2 yard of Purl Soho’s Handkerchief Linen in Mint, Pale Pink, Desert, or Peach
- 2 yards of Hemp Traders’ 1-inch Hemp Webbing
- 4 yards of Purl Soho’s 30mm Cotton Twill Tape in Ecru
- 3 yards of Purl Soho’s Fishtail Braided Cotton Linen Cord in Cream
- 1 spool of Sew All Thread in color 30
- A Quilt and Sew Ruler or a compass that can make a circle with a 14-inch diameter
- A package of Schmetz’s Jeans Needles for your machine
- An erasable fabric marker
Finished Dimensions: 40 inches in circumference, 12 ¾ inches in diameter, 12 3/8 inches tall, with an 8-inch handle drop.
This fabric is very heavy, so it’s important that you use a jeans or denim needle, like the one suggested in the Materials list.
Adjust the tension on your machine so that it’s set for heavy woven fabric.
If you have problem sewing over a thick section of the bag, you may have to manually turn your machine’s wheel to make the stitches over this area.
If you encounter any other issues, try re-threading the machine, re-loading the bobbin, and/or changing the needle. Usually one of these things clears up the problem!
Before you start sewing your bag, you might try sewing two scrap pieces of the canvas together to get used to it. A slow and steady pace worked best for me.
Because of the weight of this fabric, you will not use pins for this project, except in the “Prepare the Linen Panel” section.
Backstitch at the beginning and end of every seam.
Pre-wash the linen only, but not the canvas, webbing, or twill tape.
The finished Bag is machine washable. However, we recommend that you mold the Bag back into shape while it is still wet and let it air dry.
From the Linen cut…
- A 42 ½- X 9-inch rectangle.This is the Linen Panel.
From the Webbing cut…
- Two 22-inch lengths. These are the Handles.
From the Twill Tape cut…
- Two 42 ½-inch lengths
- Two 12 ½-inch lengths
From the Fishtail Braided Cotton Linen Cord cut…
- One 44-inch length. This is the Drawstring.
From the Canvas cut….
- A 42 ½-inch X 14-inch rectangle. This is the Bag Panel.
- A circle with a 14-inch diameter. This is the Bottom Circle. Use the Quilt and Sew Ruler (or a big compass, if you have one). Here’s how…
Cut a roughly 15-inch square from the Canvas and place the center of the Quilt and Sew ruler in the center of the square. The center of the ruler is marked by a small hole labeled “0”.
Place the tip of a pair of sharp scissors, or a knitting needle, or any similarly pointy object into this 0 hole to keep the ruler in place. This 0 point is the fulcrum point.
Now place your fabric marker (or pencil) in the hole marked “7.” Keep the 0 point firmly anchored as you move the fabric marker around 360° to mark a circle.
Carefully cut out the circle with scissors. It will be 14 inches in diameter.
Finish the Sides of the Bag Panel
Align one of the 42 ½-inch pieces of Twill Tape with a long raw edge of the Bag Panel.
Holding the Twill Tape in place as you go (since you aren’t using pins), sew the outer edge of the Twill Tape to the Bag Panel with a 3/8-inch seam allowance.
Flip the Bag Panel over and fold the unsewn edge of the Twill Tape over to this side, encasing the raw edge of the Bag Panel. The Twill Tape should reach about ¼ inch over the edge. Holding the Twill Tape in place folded over the raw edge, edgestitch it down.
The long raw edge of the Bag Panel is now neatly encased in Twill Tape.
Repeat with the second piece of 42 ½-inch Twill Tape on the opposite long raw edge of the Bag Panel.
Pick one long side of the Bag Panel that you would like to be the top. Sew one of the remaining pieces of Twill Tape onto one of the shorter sides of the Bag Panel in the manner described above, starting 2 inches from the top corner so that you have a small unfinished gap in the edge, as shown above.
There will be a ½-inch overhang at the bottom edge. When you sew the second seam, tuck this overhang inside itself to create a neatly finished bottom corner.
Repeat these steps to finish the second short side of the Bag Panel.
Attach the Bottom of the Circle
Zigzag stitch twice around the outer edge of the Bottom Circle to keep it from fraying
With right sides together, align the edge of the Bottom Circle with the bottom edge of the Bag Panel, ½ inch in from its bottom right corner. Sew these two pieces together with a 5/8-inch seam allowance, using the Bag Panel’s straight edge as the guide and shifting the circle as you go. Do this by sewing a few stitches, leaving the needle down, and then pulling the edge of the circle over to the right to reunite it with the edge of the Bag Panel.
Sew around the entire circumference of the Circle in this manner, until the end of the seam meets the beginning of the seam.
Arrange the two short sides of the Bag Panel so they are parallel to each other. (As shown here, the two sides may not meet up exactly, but that’s okay.) On the side where you first began sewing the bottom seam, mark a line ½ inch from and parallel to its edge. Holding the two sides parallel to each other, sew them together along this mark.
Press this seam open. The Bag is now in a bucket shape!
PREPARE THE LINEN PANEL
Press and pin a short edge of the Linen Panel ¼ inch twice towards the wrong side and edgestitch it down.
Repeat for the second short side.
Press a long edge of the Linen Panel down ¼ inch towards the wrong side and then ¾ inch again. Edgestitch this fold down. This is the Top Channel .
With right sides together, sew the two short edges with a ½-inch seam allowance, stopping directly under the Top Channel. The Linen Panel is now in a loop.
Sew the Linen Panel and Handles to the Bag
Fold the top edge of the Bag Panel down 1 inch, wrong sides together, hiding the unfinished edges at the top of the Bag Panel. This is the Top Fold.
With the side seam on the left, pull the Bag’s sides outwards to flatten the Top Fold. Measure 6 inches to the right of the side seam and make a small mark at the top of the Top Fold.
Then make another mark 1 inch to the right of the first. Then make a mark 6 inches to the left of the right top corner and 1 inch to the left of that. These are the Handle Marks.
Flip the bag over and create Handle Marks on the other side in the same manner.
Fluff the Bag back into a bucket shape. With wrong sides together, pull the Linen Panel onto the Bag with the Linen Panel’s Top Channel facing downward. Tuck the raw edges of the Linen Panel under the Top Fold.
Then fold the Handle up and away from the Top Fold. Press the Handle in place.
Repeat for the second Handle. (Since you aren’t using pins, the Handles will probably slip out as you’re sewing down the Top Fold in the next section, but it’s not big deal. As you approach a Handle Mark, just place the correct end of the Handle in its proper orientation back under the fold.)
Now, beginning just after the side seam, sew the Top Fold down directly above the Twill Tape, thus sewing the Linen Panel into place.
When you get to a Handle Mark make sure that the Handle is folded neatly inside the Top Edge and sew it down as well.
Sew around the entire circumference of the Bag in this manner.
Edgestitch where each Handle meets to top of the Top Edge, as well.
Turn the Bag right sides out.
Tie an overhand knot ½ inch from each end of the Drawstring. Using a safety pin or a bodkin pull the Drawstring through the Linen Channel.
Pull the Drawstring to tighten the top of the Bag.
You’re all done!