I have to laugh at myself sometimes when I look at the number of bags hanging in my closet. Yet somehow, there always seems to be missing just the bag I need. The one that will fit all my stuff but that won’t cramp my style no matter where I’m going. Our Hand Tote in Mineral Linen answers that need!
We made two versions of our Hand Tote, both in Purl Soho’s heavyweight Mineral Linen. One version shows only the fabric’s shiny metallic side, and the other plays with both the metallic and matte sides. For both versions, we lined the interior with pockets for pens, phones, glasses, and keys (all the things I usually lose!), while inside is roomy enough for everything else. Nice, short handles are just the right length to grab and go!
I’ve used this Hand Tote every day since I made it: to work, to the farmers’ market, out to dinner, and even to a picnic in the park. I might just be ready to toss out some of those other totes hanging around my closet… but probably not! -Corinne
- 1 yard of Purl Soho’s Mineral Linen, Heavyweight, 58 inches wide. We used the color Bronze. (The other Heavyweight color is Pewter.)
- 1 yard of Purl Soho’s Bias Tape By the Yard. We used the color Black.
- One 110-yard spool of Gutermann’s Cotton Sewing Thread in a color to coordinate with the fabric. We used color 2850.
Finished Dimensions: 14 inches wide x 11 3/4 inches high x 4 1/4 inches deep
Do not prewash the fabric. The recommended care of the finished Tote is dry clean only.
Iron Mineral Linen either with the non-metallic side facing up or if you’re ironing on the metallic side, use a pressing cloth.
We show two versions of the Tote in this post: Version A uses the metallic side of the Mineral Linen as the right side throughout the pattern, and Version B uses the non-metallic side as the right side for the contrast Accent Panel and Handles. We show Version B in our instructional photos.
- One 19 ½ x 31 ½- inch rectangle. This is the Body. The metallic side of the Body is the right side.
- One 19 ½ x 10- inch rectangle. This is the Accent Panel. For Version A, the metallic side of the Accent Panel is the right side. For Version B, the non-metallic side is the right side.
- One 19 ½ x 25- inch rectangle. This is the Inner Pocket. The metallic side of the Inner Pocket is the right side.
- Two 4 ½ x 33 ½- inch rectangles. These are the Handles. For Version A, the metallic side of the Handle is the right side. For Version B, the non-metallic side is the right side.
Use the cutting layout below to cut the 5 pattern pieces from the fabric.
Prepare the Rectangles
Fold one short side of the Body ¼ inch toward the wrong side and press. Fold that same side 1 inch toward the wrong side, press, and pin. Sew the hem down with an edgestitch. Repeat on the other short side.
Repeat as for the Body piece.
Fold one long side of the Accent Panel ¼ inch toward the wrong side and press, but do not sew. Repeat on the other long side.
Fold one Handle in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Press to create a crease. Open up the fold.
Now fold the two long, raw edges to meet the center crease and press.
Fold the Handle in half lengthwise, along the original crease, so that the raw edges are encased in the fold and press.
Repeat with the other Handle.
Piece the Tote
Fold the Body in half so that its two hemmed edges meet. Press to create a crease and unfold.
Fold the Accent Panel in half so that its two folded edges meet. Press to create a crease and unfold.
With right sides facing up, stack the Accent Panel on top of the Body so that the creases of the two pieces align. Pin together and sew along the crease line.
Fold the Inner Pocket in half so that its two hemmed edges meet. Press to create a crease and unfold.
With wrong sides facing each other, stack the Inner Pocket on top of the Body so that the creases of the two pieces align (make sure that the Accent Panel also lies flat). Pin together and sew along the crease line.
Attach the Handles
Lay the Tote so that the right side of the Body is facing up and all layers lie flat.
Align one Handle piece so that one short edge runs parallel to and 1 inch down from the folded edge of the Accent Panel and the outer long, folded edge runs parallel to and 6 ¼ inches in from the side edge of the Body. Pin in place.
When you get to the top edge, loop the Handle around and reverse direction, so that the Handle’s outer folded edge runs parallel to and 6 ¼ inches in from the other side of the Body piece and its short end overhangs the Accent Panel by 1 inch. Make sure not to twist the Handle. Pin in place.
Fold the Accent Panel back and edgestitch the Handle to the Body (and the Inner Pocket where the two pieces overlap). Sew along the entire length of both long, folded edges, from end to end.
Repeat with the other Handle on the other side of the Body.
Lay the Accent Panel flat, so that it covers the short, raw edges of one of the Handles. Pin in place and sew down with an edgestitch, sewing through all layers of fabric.
Repeat on the other side of the Accent Panel.
Sew the Side Seams
With right sides together, fold the Tote in half so that the hemmed edges of the Body meet at the top and the raw, side edges are aligned. Pin the side edges together, pinning through all layers. Sew along the pinned edges with a ¼-inch seam allowance.
Starting at the top of the Tote and leaving a ½-inch overhang, fold a 12 1/2-inch length of bias tape around the raw edges of one of the Tote’s sides. Pin the tape in place, tucking its raw end under at the top (there is no need to tuck in the end at the bottom since you’ll be cutting it off in the next section).
Edgestitch the bias tape into place, making sure you catch both sides of the tape. If you miss a little, go back and sew it again (don’t worry, it’ll be your little secret deep inside your bag!).
Press the seam allowance to one side (remember to use a pressing cloth, if ironing on the metallic side of the fabric).
Pin and sew another 12 1/2-inch length of bias tape down the opposite side of the Tote in the same manner.
Sew the Corners
At one bottom corner, pull the two sides of the Tote away from each until the bottom seam and the side seam are lying directly on top of each other and the corner is at a 90-degree angle.
At the point where the corner is 3 ½ inches across, make a 3 ½-inch mark perpendicular to the side seam.
Cut along this line through all layers.
Repeat with the other corner.
Now turn the Tote so that the right side is facing out.
Sew the seam allowance of the side seam to one side, using the side seam as a guide for a straight seam.
Repeat on the other side.
Turn the Tote so that its wrong side is facing out and realign the cut edges of one corner.
Sew along the cut edge with a ¼-inch seam allowance.
Encase the raw edges of this seam with a 4 1/2-inch length of bias tape. Tuck under both raw ends of the bias tape for a neat finish. Pin and stitch into place with an edgestitch.
Repeat for the opposite corner.
Turn the Tote so that the right side is facing out.
Place pins in one Handle of the Tote, marking 1 1/4 inches from the top edge on both sides of the Handle. Fold the Handle in half lengthwise toward the inside of the Tote and stitch the fold down with an edgestitch, starting and stopping at the two pin marks.
Repeat with the other Handle and you’re all done!