Project 3 - Tote Bag

Customizable tote bag

Now that we’re a few weeks into our Oh Sew Fun Sewing Challenge it’s time to tackle a project that’s a little bigger and a bit more challenging – a canvas tote bag! This fully customizable tote can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it when it comes to embellishing it. In this week’s challenge you’ll learn how to construct the bag as well as how to make it your own with applique.

Chevron tote bag

For my bag I chose to applique my last name on the bag rather than a letter, though you can do whatever you choose. To do this I simply found a font that I liked on my computer, printed my name in a size that I thought looked good across the bottom of the bag, and then added it following the same steps as in the tutorial. I also customized it a few steps further by adding a pocket on the back, more pockets in the lining and attaching my handles with grommets. Being able to make additions and changes like this is one of my favorite parts of this project. Once you learn the basics of how to make this bag you can change it up and make dozens of them with no two alike!

A Quick Tip on Needles

If you’re new to sewing and have never worked with canvas before, don’t be afraid. It’s actually very easy to work with. The one new item you may need to purchase however is a heavier needle. This can be either a heavy duty needle or a jeans needle, just something a step or two up from your standard universal needle. While you may find that you can still sew through the canvas with a lighter weight needle, you will dull your needle faster and then just have to replace it sooner as we work through the rest of the projects in the challenge.

Once you’re finished with your tote this week, make sure to share a photo with us in the Facebook group. I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

– Ashley

If you haven’t yet already, make sure to officially join the challenge so you can get each week’s project delivered right to you inbox.

Go to project button

Ready for the next project? Here’s what’s coming up next:

Orange Slice Coasters

Lace Embellished Towels

Customizable Canvas Tote Bag

Zippered Pouch

Make-Up Brush Holder

Decorative Pillow

Quilted Hot Pad

Patchwork Table Runner

Fabric Embellished Greeting Cards


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10 Responses to “Project 3 - Tote Bag”

  1. Mary

    Can't find the projects even when logged into my account..... :-(

  2. Cathy

    Can't wait to make one. Need an additional bag to carry my oxygen tank while I travel.

  3. Lorraine

    Looks fun, easy and functional!!

  4. Connie

    I just joined today, March 13th. Am I going to be able to get the tote bag lesson?

  5. Jacque

    I'm still not receiving the emails,

  6. Ann Alvarez

    where are the instructions?

  7. Tamara

    What amount of canvas did you use

  8. Carmen

    Question - is there a list of materials that is provided ?

  9. Barbara Morrow

    Suggestion... When the materials for project 3 were posted on Monday, nothing was saud about contrasting canvas for applique & handles, fusible webbing, bias tape, or ootional grommets. The list that was posted is no longer available. Now, I have a delay in starting project 3 another trip to the store. Written instructions would also be nice. It is tough listening to this long video, over & over to get to the part you want to do next. That being said, I am enjoying the challenges.

  10. Donna

    Looks fun and I need a cute tote for the pool.