Panel Tote Bag With Vintage Textiles

Crafts are definitely calming for me, and this extra time at home has been devoted to learning to make purses and tote bags. I started with the Noodlehead 2-4-1 tote by Anna Graham, followed by her Trail Tote. With some bag-making skills under my belt, I decided to try to create my own version of these lovely panel tote bags, and voila!

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Browsing for inspiration, I discovered beautiful panel tote bags made by Les Sauvage in Nice, France. I love the shape and how they feature unique vintage textiles. I spoiled myself for my shelter-in-place birthday and bought a bunch of fabrics and supplies, including several vintage cotton kimonos I found on eBay. Vintage textiles have so much personality, and they’re an earth-friendly choice as well!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • feature fabric – mine is cut from a vintage kimono
  • accent fabric – I used navy ultrasuede from my mom’s stash
  • lining fabric
  • fusible interfacing
  • magnetic clasp
  • basic sewing supplies

Cut the following pieces:

Most of the pieces are simple rectangles, so you can measure and cut directly, or you can cut them out of paper to create reusable pattern pieces.

  • Center panels – 10″x 12.5″: 2 feature fabric, 2 lining, 4 interfacing
  • Bottom panel – 10″x 5″: 1 accent fabric, 1 lining, 2 interfacing
  • Side panels – 8.5″x 12.5″ (trim the panels, so they are 5″ wide at the bottom and taper out to 8.5″ wide by 10″ up the side): 2 accent fabric, 2 lining, 4 interfacing
  • Straps – 31″x 3″ if fabric, 30″x 1.5″ if ultrasuede: 2 accent fabric, 2 interfacing
  • Slip pocket – 10″x 7″: 2 fabric, 1 interfacing

Seam allowances of 3/8″ are included

Sew exterior of bag:

  • Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior center panels, side panels, and bottom (I skipped the ultrasuede side panels, because are stiffer already, but I would have used interfacing if they were a lighter fabric
  • Sew center panels and exterior bottom, right sides together, along the 10″ sides, leaving 3/8″ at either end
  • Sew the bottom of the side panels to the bottom panel, right sides together, leaving 3/8″ at either end
  • Sew the sides of the side panels to the side of the center panels, right sides together
  • Clip corners
  • Press the seams toward the center panels and top stitch around the edges of the center panels
  • Trim the top of the side panels to be even with the center panels

Sew lining of bag:

  • Create Interior slip pocket by fusing interfacing to the wrong side of one of the pocket panels. With right sides together, sew along the top and bottom (10″ long) sides. Turn right side out, press, and top-stitch the top of the pocket.
  • Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the interior center panels, bottom, and side panels
  • Line up sides of the pocket with sides of a center panel, 3.25″ from the top and pin in place. Sew bottom of pocket in place, sew a divider in the pocket, based on your needs – I made one side 6.5″ and the other side 3.5″. The sides of the pocket will get closed, when you assemble the rest of the lining.
  • Sew center panels and interior bottom, right sides together, along the 10″ sides, leaving 3/8″ at either end and a 4″ opening along one of the sides (you’ll use this to turn the bag later)
  • Sew the bottom of the side panels to the bottom panel, right sides together, leaving 3/8″ at either end
  • Sew the sides of the side panels to the side of the center panels, right sides together
  • Clip corners
  • Press the seams
  • Trim the top of the side panels to be even with the center panels
  • Install the magnetic clasps 1.5″ from midpoint at the top of the center panels

Assemble bag:

  • Place the lining inside the exterior of the bag, right sides together
  • Match the seams, pin, and stitch around the top of the bag
  • Turn the bag right side out by pulling it through the opening in the bottom of the lining
  • Close the opening you used for turning the bag by folding the seams under and topstitching close to the edge
  • Press and top stitch around the top opening of the bag

Add straps:

  • Pin the straps in place, 0.5″ from the edge of the center panel, with the bottom 1.5″ from the top of the bag
  • Sew straps in place

Here are some pics of the finished tote. I like the proportions, though they ended up different than the inspiration Les Sauvage totes. I may try another version soon!

Pocket!

Stay safe,

Julie aka “Jewels”

One thought on “Panel Tote Bag With Vintage Textiles

  1. Pingback: Noodlehead Trail Totes | Jewels at Home

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