Hello everyone! I recently realized that I had this gaping hole in my life that only a massive canvas tote could fill. Unfortunately it proved quite impossible to find one with a zip so I decided to make one. If you’ve got access to a sewing machine (or consider yourself one), this is really easy and very affordable. You can even customize it!
- 1/2 m thick cotton like canvas in cream/white
- measure tape
- 35 cm zip
- 1 m stringed sequins
- Fabric or Bostic Glue
- The first step is to measure and cut out all the pieces. I like using a pencil and measure tape for this. Measure out a 1 m by 38 cm piece for the bag’s body and cut. Check weather your fabric frays as you might have to zig-zag it to keep it from unraveling.
- Down the length of your fabric cut two pieces for straps. I wanted mine quite thick and long so I cut two pieces about 80 cm long and 12 cm wide.
- As I wanted a pocket on the inside, I used a contrasting stripy fabric swatch of about 20 x 10 cm.
- Start by folding over what will be the opening of the bag and sew neatly in place.
- If you want to create a side pocket in the bag as I did, you’d have to sew a small piece of fabric (20 x 10 cm) about 8 cm below one of the fold. This will be the back of your bag as the sewing will be slightly visible, but if you carefully match your thread to your fabric this will be barely noticeable. I chose to sew mine simply down the sides and below and then again in the middle, creating two smaller pockets.
- The next step is to sew the sides of the bag together. Once this is done, you can flip the top over once more (about 5 cm) and sew about 2,5 cm in leaving a small flap on the inside. This is where you’ll sew in the zip.
- I also wanted to box out the bottom of my bag, which was way easier than I imagined even though it is the hardest thing to describe! I struggled to follow others tips as I had used one large piece of fabric instead of two pieces for the body. The simplest way is to flip the bag inside out and draw a pencil line where the bottom of the bag’s fold is. Then take the corners between your fingers and flip them open aligning the side seam with the pencil line on the bottom of the bag, creating a triangle. I hope this kinda makes sense! See here for a pictorial guide. Then you’ll sew the triangle in place and do the same on the other side, taking care to make the two triangles the same size.
- The next step is to take your straps, fold them in three and sew it in place. Next you’ll attach it to the bag. Take care to only sew it onto the 2,5 cm you left above the zip. I chose to sew it on the outside and used a square with a cross in it. This is a pretty secure way to sew the strap on so that it can take heavy loads.
- BAG done! Phew! Take a breather and decide on which words you want to write on your bag. I liked playing with it and draping a few words onto it to get a rough idea of how it would look and whether it would fit. I finally decided on Chanel, but cities like Paris and Rome and French Words like Merci or even Meow could also have worked.
- Once you’ve chosen your word, write it in pencil and then place glue over it and press the sequins in place. I cut a few pieces to avoid having to go over the same line twice, which made it easier to read.
- Voila! You’re completely done! If you had any trouble following my steps, please ask and I will clarify.