Zipper Top Tote – free bag pattern

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Did you ever see my review of the Craftsy Design your Own Handbag class?  It’s a great class and I wrote 3 articles about it which you can review here (Part 1Part 2Part 3).  This bag today is inspired by one of the bags completed as part of the course, and uses some of the techniques and hardware I learned about in the class.  You can get this class at 50% off if you want to learn about how to design your own bag patterns.

Review of the Craftsy class Design your own Handbag. Plus 50% off the class through So Sew Easy.

50% off Design Your Own Handbag

This pattern isn’t for beginners.  I’m calling this an Intermediate pattern and as such it comes with regular pattern-style instructions rather than the full step by step tutorial you might find with beginner patterns.  So some previous experience in sewing bags before and an understanding of construction, would be useful for this project.

But it’s well worth it – this is a great bag.  Previously my husband told me my Expanding Nautical Tote Bag was the best bag I’d ever made, but now he says he thinks this one is even better – looks like it was from a ‘nice shop’ he said.  Praise indeed!

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Sadly I had a bit of an interfacing issue and my interfacing came away in parts when I turned my bag, giving it a bit of a crumpled and bubbly look, but I can live with it.  When I get more supplies, I’ll make this one again, may be in a stripe!

The Zipper Top Tote

Features:

  • Full length top zipper as a feature
  • Two front slip pockets with twist locks
  • One full width outside zipper pocket on the back
  • Ready made handles
  • Zipper pocket and slip pocket inside
  • Finished bag measures about 12 inches wide by 15 tall, plus handles.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made.  Free pattern.

Materials needed (to make one the same size as mine):

I used materials from these suggested suppliers – 3D Hardwares (ships international) and Zipper Island.

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Download the Zipper Top Tote Bag pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the Zipper Top Tote Bag from my design account at Craftsy.  It's free and easy.  If you have any trouble downloading or opening the pattern, please check out this post - How to download, open and print PDF sewing patterns.

Instructions on how to make the Zipper Top Tote Bag

Full step by step and photo instructions are included with the download PDF file.  Abbreviated instructions and small photos are included here so you can see if the pattern is for you.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made.  Free pattern.

Cut and interface all of your pieces.  Assemble the outer front pocket by stitching the pocket lining to the top edge of the pocket.  Turn and press.

Line up the pocket on the outer of the bag and pin in place.  Draw a line with a disappearing pen down the center of the pocket top to bottom, and stitch through all layers, reinforcing the stitching at the top.  Install the twist lock hardware.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made.  Free pattern.

Assemble the back of the bag.  Take your lower back piece and the zipper.  Center the zipper at the top edge with the right side of the zipper facing the right side of the fabric.  Add the pocket lining on the top, face down.  Match up all raw edges and stitch with your zipper foot.  Press and top stitch.

Take the upper back piece and match it right sides together at the other side of the zipper.  Bring the bottom of the pocket lining up to match to the raw edges and stitch through all layers.  Press the lining towards the bottom and top stitch along the top of the zipper.

http://wp.me/p2WfGc-2W1

Assemble the lining.  Match the facing at the top of each lining piece, pin and stitch. Press the seam between the two and top stitch.  Check the length of the lining pieces to the outer pieces and trim if necessary.

Inside pockets.  Add a pocket or pockets of your choice to the lining of the bag now.  You can read here how you can add the perfect slip pocket, or how to add in an internal zipper pocket.  I’m adding a zip pocket to my bag on one side and a small slip pocket on the other side for my phone, keys and pen.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made.  Free pattern.

Add in any handles and decorative studs or hardware at this point.  I used ready made handles.  To place them, turn over ½ inch at the top of your fabric to check for placement.  Make sure the handles are level and equal on both pieces, front and back.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made.  Free pattern.

Prepare and add your zipper tabs.  Repeat for both ends.

Lay the outer fabric face up.  Line up the zipper on top and center it with the same overhang at either end.  The zipper teeth should be facing the right side of the fabric.  Place the lining on top, face down.  Mark in 2 inches from the edge of the fabric on each side and stitch through all layers between these 2 marks only, securing the zipper in place.

Repeat for the other side of the bag and zipper.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made.  Free pattern.

Flatten out your bag with the right sides of the outer fabric together and the right sides of the lining together, and the zipper in the center.  Match up seams and edges carefully and stitch around the perimeter.  Leave a large gap in the side seam of the lining to turn the bag right side out later.

Box the corners of the bag, both the outer and the lining with a 2 inch line across each corner.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made.  Free pattern.

Turn the bag right sides out and give it a good press.    Press the fabric carefully away from the zipper, front and back.  Close the gap in the lining by hand or machine.  Push the lining down inside the bag.  In the gaps under the zipper at each end, turn in the raw edges, match up seams and pin.

Top stitch all the way around the top of the bag, making sure to push the lining down and away from the back of the zipper as you go.  Close the gaps under the zipper.  Add on your cute zipper dangles for a bit of fun.  Give everything a final press and you are done.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

I hope you enjoy your bag as much as I love mine.  Do you have any ‘must have’ features on bags that you always look out for or add when making your own?

Opt In Image
Download the Zipper Top Tote Bag pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the Zipper Top Tote Bag from my design account at Craftsy.  It's free and easy.  If you have any trouble downloading or opening the pattern, please check out this post - How to download, open and print PDF sewing patterns.

 

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5 Responses to Zipper Top Tote – free bag pattern

  1. Megan says:

    Beautiful bag and great colours. Nice job with this tutorial!
    Megan |

  2. mywayof says:

    Very nice bag, lovely colours too. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial

  3. High praise indeed from your husband, Deby and a fabulous bag.

  4. Love this bag!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that links to your free pattern:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/free-pattern-zipper-top-tote/2014/08/29/
    –Anne

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