Last week we announced our Garden Gift Set Giveaway: our favorite gardening products along with seeds and gloves and more, all wrapped up in this garden tote. If you haven’t entered yet, make sure to click on over and leave a comment before June 7.

If you’d like to make your own tote bag for a gift or maybe for your own garden tools or books, here’s how I did it.

You’ll need fabric in the following sizes and dimensions (I used remnants of heavy cotton in two different patterns, washed and pressed before cutting):

– 1 piece 16″ x 28″ (This is the bag)
– 1 piece 7″ x 8″ (This is the pocket. I made this in the second fabric pattern, but you can make it the same as the bag if you’d like. Cut two if you want a pocket on each side of the bag.)
– 4 pieces 2″ x 18″ (These are the straps; I cut two in one pattern of fabric and two in the other.)

You’ll also need scissors, thread, measuring tape, and of course a sewing machine and iron!

Once you’ve cut out all the pieces, start by finishing the top edge of the bag. On each 16″ edge, press down 1 inch (see photo left), then open and press down 1/4″. Fold along first pressing, tucking  the 1/4″ under, press, then stitch 5/8″ from edge. Leave about 1 1/2″ open on each end of the seam (this will allow you to finish the top edge over the side seams.)

Next you’ll want to prepare the pocket. Press down 1/2″ along each side. Press each corner toward the middle, as shown right in (a). Then fold in both sides as shown in (b) and press. The finished size of the pocket will be 6″ wide by 7″ long. Stitch along one of the 6″ sides 1/8″ from the edge to finish the top pocket edge. 
Pin the pocket to the bag, placing the finished pocket edge 2″ down from the finished top of the bag and centering with approximately 5″ to each side (see left). Stitch pocket to bag along sides and bottom 1/8″ from the edge.

If you’d like a second pocket, repeat steps a and b above to prepare it, then pin and stitch as you did for the first pocket.

Now you can prepare the straps. Take two of the 2″ by 18″ pieces you cut earlier, one of each pattern. Pin along the long edge with right sides together, then stitch with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Press seam open, then press under 3/8″ along the outside edges (as shown below). Press corners toward the center to make triangles (as you did with the pockets), then fold under to make a clean corner. Fold in half lengthwise along the seam with wrong sides together and pin along outside edge. 

Pin strap to tote just above the pocket, lining up the outside edge of the straps with the edge of the pocket (see below). Stitch strap to tote 1/8″ from strap edge, then continue all around both sides of the strap. Repeat with the second strap; if you have only one pocket, position the second strap with the ends 2″ down from the top of the bag and 5″ in from the side. Stitch as you did with the first strap. 

Next you can stitch the side seams. Fold the bag in half bringing the straps together and pin sides with right sides together. Stitch with 1/2″ seam. Repeat on the other side.

Press side seam flat at the top (as shown on the top at left), then fold under 1/4″ and tuck under (middle left) to finish the top edge (bottom). Press and stitch 5/8″ from the edge to finish the top seams we made earlier.

Repeat for the other side.

Flatten the bag with handles together and press the bottom edge flat. Then turn the bag inside out to create the gussets, which will give your bag a flat bottom.

With the bag inside out, take one bottom corner and fold it toward the middle, lining up the seam with the center bottom of the bag (using the press line you just made as a guide). Pin the fold to create a triangle, then repeat with the other corner (see below).

Draw a line perpendicular to the side seam that is 4″ long (see below). Stitch across this line, then repeat for the other side. Press toward the center bottom of the bag, then turn the bag right side out. Press one final time and you’re finished! 

I chose not to add any embellishments to this bag, but you can add burlap flowers, buttons, or any other “extras” you’d like! Fill with gardening gloves, shovels, seed packets, some gardener’s hand soap, and a gardener’s hand care set and give to your favorite gardener! 
Who will you make this for?