Want to keep everything ship-shape as you go to the beach or the pool?
This handy tote bag has lots of great features and optional extras to keep your organised. It also has a handy expanding feature to keep the bag trim when you don’t carry much, and expand it out when you have enough ‘stuff' for the kids too.
With the use of really cool hardware and handles, this bag looks anything but home-made. Use a nautical fabric in red, white, and blue and big rope handles to be on-trend, or mix it up with cool prints of your choice for an everyday tote that is sure to bring admiring comments from all your friends.
Change it up a little
Of course, all the hardware and fancy stuff is optional. If you want to skip the rope handles and just sew on regular handles, that's cool too. Same with the shoulder strap.
It need not be nautical if that's not your thing – any fabrics can be used, its just a great bag!
- Lots of options
- External zipper pocket and external slip pockets
- Your choice of pockets for the inside
- Large expanding action – snap it closed to keep it trim or open it out to carry more
- Very hard-wearing multi-layer bottom for the bag
- You'll learn how to use some bag hardware you might not have used before.
- Optional anchor applique for the nautical look
- Long cross-body strap option as well as the regular handles
- Very full photo and written tutorial as well as a 2-part video tutorial.
- Finished bag measures approx 5 x 14 inches at the base, by 12 inches tall
How to sew the Expanding Nautical Tote Bag Pattern
- Fabric – see instructions for full details
- Your choice of interfacing and stabilisers
- 2 yards of rope for handles or use regular fabric handles
- 4 Grommets, sized to suit your rope handles (optional)
- 2 snaps or magnetic closures
- 1 x 9 inch zipper for outer pocket
- 2 x 1 inch d-rings (optional)
- 2 x 1.25 inch strap swivel hooks (optional)
- 1 x 1.25 inch slider (optional)
- 4 bag feet (optional)
- Foam core board or similar for hard bottom (optional)
Download the pattern and instructions here for the full photo and written step by step – it's got a lot of detail, about 21 pages. Or watch and copy with the two-step by step videos where I'll take you through everything.
I've decided not to put all of the written instructions here – too much of it!
How to Install Bag Feet
If you want a refresher on how to install bag feet like the ones used in this project, have a look at this post from earlier in the week.
Full Video Tutorial Part 1
Full Video Tutorial Part 2
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And that's it – your expanding tote bag is completed. I SO love this bag. Hubby says its the best bag I've ever made, and I think that has a lot to do with both the right choice of eye-catching fabrics and the hardware I used. I think a good bag is worth investing in, and I enjoyed using some bright shiny hardware to really take this bag to the next level.