Conference Tote Bag Pattern Sew-Along

Want to learn more about sewing bags?  This tote bag pattern sew-along includes so much info with videos, photos and lots of helpful links and tips.

I’m so excited because the first ever So Sew Easy Sew-Along launches today.  It’s been months in the making and finally you all get to join me in this project.  Let me explain to you about the bag we will sew and about how the Sew-Along will work.

The finished size of the bag is approx 12 inches wide, by 4 inches deep and 10 inches tall.

The schedule

The Sew-Along will last for 10 days, with new lessons being released each day, comprising the pattern, materials list, tips on interfacing and then step by step sewing instructions each day with photos and a video.

All throughout we’ll be sharing what we make at each stage, showing off our fabric choices, asking questions and sharing advice over in the Sewing Chat Group and I am really looking forward to it so much. I want to see what fabrics you’ll be using, ask us if you aren’t sure which combo works best, and following along with your progress each day until we all share our finished bags there at the end.  So if you aren’t already a member, come and join us now.

Sewing Chat Group


Want to learn more about sewing bags? This tote bag pattern sew-along includes so much info with videos, photos and lots of helpful links and tips.

The schedule is flexible and lasts for 10 days whenever you sign up, so if you don’t read this until next week, next month, next year, you can still join us at any time and work on the bag.  Of course you may miss in the big sharing of bags 10 days from now, but that’s OK, we’ll always be delighted to see what you make, whenever you get it finished.

Pick your own pricing – and why…..

Just recently you may have noticed that some of the downloads have been ‘pay what you think it’s worth to you’.  Through our chat group I’ve become increasingly aware of how the internet has changed the world, brought us all closer together in some ways, and yet in real practical ways we are still all a world apart.

Just discussing the price of fabric, we find in Singapore it seems like a bargain, while in the UK it seems really expensive, when we convert all of those prices to our local currency.  $20 for a tote bag pattern / sewing lesson in the US/UK might seem quite reasonable, while to others in different parts of the world, that might be completely out of reach. We all love to sew, and I want to bring that enjoyment to as many people as possible, without restriction based on your comparative wages and cost of living.  It’s important for me to be aware of how my ideas can be made affordable to as many people as possible.


Readers come from all over the world

So far this year, the site has registered visitors from 235 different locations.  Visitors from closer to home in the USA and Caribbean and then much further away such as Antarctica, Kiribati, Eritrea, Togo, Bhutan to Tuvalu. (We tried to think of every possible country and there were visits from all of them, but not one visit from Vatican City.  I guess they don’t sew their own clothes.  Or maybe they are big fans and Google just doesn’t show them separately?)

So this tote bag pattern and sew-along is on a ‘pick your price’ basis so that I hope everyone can take part.  Pick a price anywhere from $3 to $20.  The course content is exactly the same whichever price option you pick.  I hope its not confusing, and that I will see you ALL there sewing along with me.

To sign up for the Conference Tote Bag Pattern Sew-Along

There is a brand new site where I’ll be hosting the sew-along and also some future sewing classes too (watch out for these coming up), on a new site for Courses-So-Sew-Easy. If you click in the box below, you’ll be taken over to the site and the page for the Conference Tote Bag.  My silly video is there on top to tell you all about it if you’ve not watched above.

Want to learn more about sewing bags? This tote bag pattern sew-along includes so much info with videos, photos and lots of helpful links and tips.

Read through the explanations, then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and pick your price from the drop down box here…


You’ll get an email confirming your purchase and login details.  Then you’ll also get a welcome email from me, giving you the login link, and some screen shots about how to navigate around the new site so you don’t miss a thing.

Then I’ll be dropping into your inbox every day for the following 9 days to tell you about the latest lessons released so you can login and check out the next steps in our sew-along.  Thank you so much for reading ALL this info.  Sorry there’s a lot here but I wanted to make sure no one was going to get lost along the way.

I’m very much looking forward to sewing-along with you all soon.

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Join the Conference Tote Bag Sew-Along

I really would love for you to join me in the 10-day sew-along project for the Conference Tote Bag - everyone is welcome.  Click to come on over to the courses site and pick your own price.  Pattern included.

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Want to learn more about sewing bags? This tote bag pattern sew-along includes so much info with videos, photos and lots of helpful links and tips.

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59 Responses to Conference Tote Bag Pattern Sew-Along

  1. Tina says:

    Boy, I’m having a hard time getting the contrast pieces to fit on the required 3/4 yd. of fabric. Is there a cutting layout for the contrast pieces?

  2. sidney says:

    Do I need to download a pattern, or is it given in the 10 day sew along?

  3. Estela Mendoza says:

    Would like to know if you can start this anytime, do you have to do it all in ten days, and can you go back on parts you done quite don’t understand? Thanks

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Estela, you can start this course any time. You will get emails for 10 days with the daily course work but you can take as long (or as short) as you want to complete the course. You will have continued access to the course forever. Hope that helps!

  4. Sandi B says:

    Hello from Texas, USAI just bought this tutorial. looking forward to doing the conference bag. I want to add extra padding for my laptop/tablet. I make the cross body bag. It was a hit with my daughter, she ask for one for each season. I’ve made 3 so far. She uses it has a diaper bag too.
    I have two problems, i don’t know where to log-in. I logged out and now I can’t figure out how to get back in without going through this page. My other problem is, I can’t print the PDF files either, Can you email them to me, thanks

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Sandi and hello to Texas! To log in, just go directly to our Courses site at: and log in from there. Please let me know the issue with the PDF files. The ones you can download from the site are the same I would email. I have checked them and they all seem fine. Kind regards and happy sewing.

  5. Linda Price says:

    This sew along is what gave me the confidence to carry on and make numerous other bags and wallets.
    Absolutely brilliant

  6. Lynn Vanderpoel says:

    I’m so happy to see a sliding scale fee set-up! Life’s not always so easy (money and otherwise). I love getting lost in a good pattern (sewing or knitting) or a good book. This looks like it will satisfy so much of what I like about learning something new! Thanks so much for sending sunshine my way (it’s snowing here today – MA is April; all is normal!!)

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Lynn, please enjoy. I hope you like the course. Kind regards, Mayra

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      WOW Lynn, where are you? Snow in April? I thought it was spring!

      • Lynn Vanderpoel says:

        Hi Mayra, I’m in Massachusetts, known for “don’t like the weather? wait 10 minutes and it will change…” and it has! We have about 2″ of snow and now the sun is breaking through! The temperature is supposed to stay low and chilly. We’ll see…

  7. Debra says:

    I would love to make this bag, but it won’t let me order anything.

    What am I doing wrong?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Debra, please just click on the orange link in the pink box towards the bottom of the post. This will take you to the Courses site where you can purchase and sign up for the Sew-Along. Please let me know if you’re having any further difficulties.

  8. McB says:

    Hi! I’m new here, but I’ve been reviewing some of your posts and really enjoying them. I started sewing a few years ago, but am still learning. I think I want to try this tote – summer travel plans are my incentive to find the time. I do want to ask, because I ran into a little trouble with another project, if my little Brother LS590 would be suitable? It’s a game little machine, but doesn’t have the power for dense materials. I ran into trouble before with multiple layers of fusible fleece. And would I need pieces larger than 18″x20″? I have a fat quarter stash that is embarrassing considering I haven’t yet attempted a quilt. But some of them would make a really fun tote.

  9. Jacquie says:

    Would this bag be suitable for carrying a laptop, please?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Jacquie, the bag will definitely hold a laptop. Perhaps you could put some extra padding in the main compartment to further protect it. Depending on the size of the laptop, you could certainly carry it one of the side pockets but you’d want to be careful of potential theft I suppose. It’s a very versatile design. You can really carry pretty much what ever you want.

  10. Mariana says:

    Hi ..what a beautiful bag to make. Congratulations to all the peoples lovely bags. Good tutor as well . I am from South Africa -Centurion and only now noticed detail on this course. Is it still available.. how.. and the cost of it. Greetings on a sunny day in SA, Mariana

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Mariana, the course is definitely still available. Please go to this link and sign up: There will be a series of daily emails and videos to guide you through the project. Please enjoy!

      • Mariana says:

        Hi Myara.
        Thank you for your reply.
        I have now tried many times using your link to the coarse. Fortunately I get to ‘Join sew-a-long’ at which point I don’t get any further than that- no respons at all.
        Any other way to do it?

        • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

          Hi Mariana, sorry you’re having difficulties. We’ve had 40+ people sign up over the weekend so I’m confident the systems are working well. In the article you linked from, towards the bottom of the page, there’s a big pink box. In that box, click on the link that says “Join the Sew-Along”. That will take you to the site. Otherwise, just click here: Please do let me know if you’re still having any problems. I know you’ll love the course so anxious to get you involved.

          • Mariana says:

            Yepee. I eventually made it..:-) that is now to register for the course.. 🙂
            The problem is not on your side Myara. I now used another internet path and success story.
            Thank for your patience.

          • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

            That’s great Mariana. Terrific to have you along. Please enjoy the course. We welcome your thoughts and feedback.

  11. thegreatbc says:

    Just saw all the pictures of this bag. It looks great. Can’t wait to try it. It will be my first bag. Have lots of stash mateerial to choose from, but will have to wait till next month to get the pattern (soc.sec. only goes so far,you know and doctor’s visits add up). I’ll definitely see you on the first of the month.

  12. Hallo Deby. I am all the way from SA. Although I am not going to make the Conference Tote now I really enjoy the sew-along. You are a very good teacher and I already learned a lot of things I can use in other projects. I am staying in a small town and there is not anyone around to help me with sewing, so I depend on the Internet to learn. Thanks for your sew-along. Me and my husband are sewing mainly Messenger Bags, but are now starting to sew other items like yoga mat bags. Thanks again and I will surely follow you.

  13. every stitch says:

    I’m just trying to catch up with this sew-a-long and am struggling to figure out how the outside pockets go together. I’m not trying to jump ahead, but my feature fabric has a large print that I’m going to want to centre on the pockets. There are four front pocket pieces – do they all show from the outside?

  14. Wendy Cookson says:

    I am away from home looking after my parents (Mum is in hospital) so am missing my sewing machine! Just love your patterns Debbie and I am looking forward to making this when I finally get home!

    Awesome job!

  15. Lynda says:

    oh it’s a shame the chat group is only on facebook.

    • I did try another seaprate Forum and it never worked, people didn’t visit and they all asked for FB instead. Sorry, its the only place where its easy for a large group of people to all chat and share together. You can still take part in the sewalong though and make the bag.

    • Marg Oakley says:

      I swore I’d never go on FB after hearing so many bad things about it. But with the So Sew Easy chat being there, I had to use fb or not be part. It was the best thing ever, Lynda, because Deby’s site is brilliant and you don’t have to look at anything else.

  16. Robin Granger says:

    Hi Deby. Enjoy your site. Will the sew along classes be available to participants even after the sew along is over? In other words will I be able to go back and review parts as needed in the future? Thanks for all you do!

  17. Jane says:

    Frustrated, can’t seem to get in. Asks for password, is it Sew so easy or Facebook

    • Hi Jane, you have to purchase and register first and then you login with the user name and password you picked when you registered. Have you clicked the purchase button and registered your details? If you are stuck, drop me an email and I can give you a complete step by step.

  18. Chrissee says:

    Hi Debu, I’m so excited to work on this bag. I love the option to pay what you can afford. If anyone is struggling with being able to buy fabric and supplies to make this bag I’d be happy/willing to send what it takes for this project. Please just contact or reply!

  19. Lodi Srygley says:

    I’m wondering how many pages the pattern is. I don’t have the internet at home. I’ll have to travel to the library, get on the internet, and pay to print the pattern (per page). Also, are the bag pieces measurements, or bits to tape together? (Directions? I don’t know how.) Hope I’m not the only newby! Thanks, Lodi

  20. Kim says:

    Wish I could sew along now, but am trying desperately to finish a baby quilt for my next grandchild. I want to have it done so I can send it with someone who will be visiting, since I don’t dare trust it to the postal service here. We live in South America and our daughter is in the U.S. Our visitors will take the quilt back with them and mail it to her — I do trust the U.S. postal service 🙂

    But I have pinned it for later!

    Look forward to seeing everyone’s version!

  21. Brenda rose says:

    I can’t seem to be able to contribute to their the
    class don’t know what I’m doing wrong

  22. peg sullivan says:

    Sounds like great fun. If I can get into the site.

  23. Danita says:

    Hi Deby!

    I so wish I could join you on THIS sew-along!!! But I am in the middle of wedding preparations for my daughter. My dress, the flower girl dress and all the fabric flowers you can imagine, including the bride’s bouquet. As soon as I am finished I WANT to join you on one of your guided sew-along’s! So, PLEASE keep them coming when you can! You are an amazing teacher/instructor! Awesome project! Have fun!!!!
    Your pal in Maine, US

    P.S. You look lovely, by the way! 🙂

    • Hi Danita, sounds like you have your work cut out! Even if you can’t sew along at the same time as others, this will always be open for you to join it later on, so don’t think you’ll miss out. I still want to see your bag when the wedding is over 🙂

  24. Elaine says:

    Do you have to be a Facebook user to participate?

    • Not at all Elaine, you can take part in the sew-along with out the Chat Group, but being a member there does help us all to stay in touch, ask questions and share our projects. If you aren’t on FB you can always email me with any questions that arise.

  25. Carmen says:

    When is the first lesson? I’m just going to be heading out for holidays but might still want to participate down the road.

    • The actual sewing won’t start for a few days yet, but if you sign up now, it will all drip drip out to you a day at a time, and then when you are ready to sew, the lot will already be live and you can sew at your own pace then, slow or fast. Have a good holiday.

  26. Sheila says:

    I’m interested in exploring the bag class possibility. It’s been so long since I registered for your site, I don’t remember my sign in name or password. My email address didn’t work for retrieving my password. Suggestions?

  27. Gina B. says:

    That sounds like a lot of fun – can’t wait for the first lesson!

What do you think?