DIY.. Reversible 1 Hour Tote

This tote is the perfect size as a grab and go bag.  It is big enough to hold all your essentials, yet small enough for a quick trip to the market.  Not only is it super easy to make and you can sew it in under an hour, but it is reversible!

I love sewing this bag and have made it so many times that I can now do it in my sleep.  I’ve given it to many family members and friends.  My husband uses it as a baby bag, my Mom carries her iPad in it and my Mother-In-Law holds her knitting projects in it.. I travel with it – fold it up and put it in the front pocket of my suitcase. There are so many uses, right?

I’ve been hoarding and waiting for the perfect time to tear open my April Rhode’s “Arizona” fat quarter bundle from The Fat Quarter Shop.  I knew the modern, geometric designs would bring the simplicity of the bag to life. Her pattern literally vibrates and pops off the fabric. I had to check a few times to make sure my pictures weren’t out of focus!!

This is a very basic tote bag project and utilizes 1″ poly webbing wrapped around the raw edges of the bag. You sew a piece to the center front and center back and then sew one continuous piece that becomes the 2 straps.


  1. Fabric – 2 colors, 1/2 yard each or 2 fat quarters for the outside/same color/pattern and 2 fat quarters for the lining/same color/pattern
  2. Interfacing – I like using Pellon SF101
  3. 1″ Poly webbing – 3 yards. Check out Seattle Fabrics for colors and widths
  4. Disappearing fabric pen
  5. Sewing supplies – thread, pins, scissors
  6. Iron and ironing board

Let’s get sewing:

  1. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric. Both main and lining. Place and pin pattern on the fabric. Cut out 2 main and 2 lining pieces.
  2. Place main pieces on top of each other, right sides facing. Pin. Place into sewing machine and stitch side seams and bottom together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat for lining pieces.Press seams. Open seams and press again.
  3. Create boxed corners at all 4 corners. Wiggle bottom to meat side seam. Sit seams directly on top of one another. Place quilting ruler on top and line up at the 45 degree mark and 1″ up from point. Mark a line with the disappearing fabric ink pen. Repeat for each corner. Place into sewing machine and stitch following the line.
  4. Cut off the tip. Leave a 1/2″ seam allowance. Want to learn more? Check out my quick tip tutorial on sewing boxed corners.
  5. Turn main bag right side facing out. Leave lining right side facing in. Place the lining into the main bag and wiggle corners into place. Pin along top edge.
  6. Lay bag flat on working surface. Hand press wrinkles out. Measure along front along front curve and add 1″ to each side. Cut webbing to the length of the front curve. Cut 2 pieces [ one for back and one for front]
  7. Cover center front raw edge with the webbing. Pin and place into sewing machine. Edgestitch webbing along the center front.  Backstitch. Repeat for center back. Trim the ends off.
  8. Create the continuous strap – start at one side seam and cover the raw edge with webbing. Pin in place. Continue up the side seam towards the front top edge curve. Pin to hold in place. Leave 16″ of webbing free and then pin the webbing in place at the other side, top front edge. Pin. Continue around side seam [ covering raw edges] and repeat for the back. Place into your sewing machine and edgestitch along the webbing. Stitch in one continuos loop, including along the 16″ strap. Backstitch at the end. Note: Use a lighter over the webbing ends if it is fraying.

A couple of comments:

  • Take caution to not twist the webbing when sewing the straps. You don’t want to sew the webbing in place, only to find that it is twisted around. While you are wrapping the raw edges, make sure it lays nice and flat.
  • Are the ends of your webbing frayed and gross? Use a lighter and gently melt the ends of the webbing. Just a tad. This technique is perfect for anywhere the webbing is not enclosed or under another seam. Works like a charm.
  • You can determine your own strap length. Each strap in this tutorial is 16″ long. Change the strap length to suit your armhole. However, remember to cut enough at the beginning and before you attach to your bag.

I love this bag so much that I named it the “Jolly” bag a few years ago. It brings back fond memories.  I’ve used my pattern a gazillion times and it now has some serious wear and tear. I need to trace it off and make a new one. On that pattern note. Did I miss something?? Yes and No… I promise to share the pattern soon. I will keep you posted on when it goes up.

December 2014 Update.. The pattern is now available. Reversible 1 Hour Tote Pattern

This post was brought to you in collaboration with The Fat Quarter Shop. They provided me with the fabric to create this handbag. I appreciate the support that allows me to create new and unique content for my blog. The print you see above is called “Tomahawk Stripe” and is from Art Gallery Fabrics and their Arizona collection.

Want to see other tote bag tutorials? Click here for my Asymmetrical Color Block Tote.

Happy sewing.

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69 Responses to DIY.. Reversible 1 Hour Tote

  1. Ceil October 7, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    Love this but something went wrong with your directions. It’s almost as if part of them have been translated from another language and some are just cut off. Please fix this if you can and then delete this email. Great bag!! Thanks.

  2. Karin @ Leigh Laurel October 8, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    I love this. I might have to break down and actually make a bag…

  3. Katrina October 8, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    This is adorable and I can’t wait for the pattern 🙂

  4. erica barraca October 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    hello. this looks great and i want to make these for christmas. Is there a pattern to follow? you say to use half a yard of fabric, but dont include the dimensions of each side of the bag. also you cut it into a shape, so a pattern would be really helpful! Thanks

    • Haberdashery Fun October 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

      Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. I should have the pattern up in the next few weeks.

      • erica barraca October 13, 2014 at 11:27 am #

        yay! thank you! i want to make some for holiday gifts. this is so perfect and a nice departure from your usual box tote! cant wait!

  5. Anne Weaver October 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    Awesome bag!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow evening that links to your tutorial:

    • Haberdashery Fun October 10, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      Thanks Anne. Have a great weekend.

  6. Daphne October 12, 2014 at 3:03 am #

    Wow, what a lovely bag! Lovely on the inside and on the outside!

    • Haberdashery Fun October 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks for stopping by. Check out the Arizona from Art Gallery Fabrics collection.. It is really beautiful! Have a great day.

  7. Akamatra October 12, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    You make it seem really easy! I am going to give this a try! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Kristina and Millie October 12, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Lovely bag! Goodness all the possibilities of fabric!! I can’t wait for you to add the pattern to use but really, a simple rectangle would work fine. Appreciate your sharing!

    • Haberdashery Fun October 12, 2014 at 10:18 am #

      Thank you for the comment. I’ll let you know when the pattern goes up. Should be very soon.

  9. Gretchen October 12, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    Looks like a cute bag – hope Craft Gossip posts again when there’s an actual pattern. For instruction #2 – I assume you meant machine, not mating. For instruction #6, it seems you left off the rest of the last sentence – cut webbing to . . .

    Thanks for bag.

    • Haberdashery Fun October 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

      Thank you for letting me know of the typos! I’ve made the changes.I can email you when the pattern goes up 🙂

  10. Hampton October 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    I just saw this as I was browsing your blog, i came over from Pinterst and looking for vinyl crafts.. Thanks for the sewing inspiration.

  11. Mars October 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    Love it!!! Is there already a pattern I may have missed?.. Thanks!!

    • Haberdashery Fun October 19, 2014 at 7:41 am #

      Hi – Thanks for stopping by. You didn’t miss it. The pattern is coming :). I will email you when it is up.

    • Haberdashery Fun October 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      Hi There. No, the pattern is soon to come. I will email when it is up. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Laurence W October 19, 2014 at 2:38 am #

    I love this tote bag ! Thanks for sharing !

    • Haberdashery Fun October 19, 2014 at 7:42 am #

      Hi – Thanks for stopping by. You will love this tote. I will email when the pattern is up. Have a great day.

  13. Brandi October 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    I’d like the pattern when it becomes available.

    • Haberdashery Fun October 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      Sure no problem. I will email you when it goes up. Thank you for reaching out 🙂

  14. Danette October 21, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    Just learning to sew. I think your bag is super! Can’t wait for the pattern. Please let me know when it’s ready. Thank you for a tote that is pretty and can be practical.

    • Haberdashery Fun October 21, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

      Hi Danette, Thanks for coming by. You will be super happy with this tote. I will email you when the pattern is up. 🙂

  15. Vicki Souza October 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    I’ve been searching for just the right tote bag. I think this might be it. Would like the traceable pattern too please. Thank you.

    • Haberdashery Fun October 24, 2014 at 9:48 am #

      HI Vicki – great. I will add you to the list and email once it’s up. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  16. lISSA October 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Can’t wait until you have time to put the pattern up. Looking forward to it and thanks in advance/

    • Haberdashery Fun October 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      Thank you so much for letting me know. I will add you to the list and email once it is up 🙂

  17. Carishma November 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    LOVE this bag

    • Haberdashery Fun November 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      Thank you. I’m sharing the pattern and doing a giveaway at the same time for fabric. I will email you when this is up.

  18. erica November 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    hello! i was wondering if I were going to make this just a rectangle as the comments suggest above if you could tell me the dimensions you made the bag…. Im DYING to make some of these for christmas gifts and would love to test it out making it just a rectangle until the pattern is up. Thanks!

    • Haberdashery Fun November 9, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      Hi – sure. The dimensions are 14-3/4″L x 14″W. The 14-3/4″ length is from the highest point. I should have the pattern in about 3 weeks. PLUS I’m having a fabric giveaway at the same time. I will email you when it is up. Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Géraldine Cornil November 22, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Just awesome ! Going to try for my sister’s christmas gift ! Can you please add me to the email list ?
    Thanks a lot !!!

    • Haberdashery Fun November 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Thanks or stopping by. Yes, will add you to the list for sure. I hope to have the pattern up in the next 10 days or so.. Plus a fabric giveaway to go along with it 🙂 Have a great week.

      • Linda Jeter November 27, 2014 at 10:47 am #

        Hi there!

        Great idea for a tote,, and to make for presents,,with five daughters, ten grandchildren, I can make these up over a weekend!! Please add me to your list for the tote bag pattern,, I am thinking Library book bag to use with their day trip with Nana,,(thats me)..

        • Haberdashery Fun November 27, 2014 at 11:24 am #

          great idea. Would be an awesome Library tote. My toddler has a little V-Tech computer and he uses a smaller version to carry around the computer.. You can make the straps as long or short as you like 🙂

  20. Mary November 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    I just found the One Hour reversible bag—is the pattern out –if so , where do I find it? Thanks

    • Haberdashery Fun November 28, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      Hi – Thanks for stopping by. No, the pattern isn’t out yet. Should be in the next 2 weeks. I can email you when it is up

  21. Lori M. December 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Thank you for the tutorial on this great looking tote…..I have downloaded the pdf and with be making quite a few of these for myself and family……..

    • Haberdashery Fun December 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      Thanks for letting me know Lori :). I’d love to see pictures of your finished totes.. Have a happy holiday season.

  22. Susan DiBartolo December 25, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Great bag! Can you be more specific on which webbing you used from Seattle Fabrics- there are quite a few! Thanks!

    • Haberdashery Fun January 1, 2015 at 11:16 am #

      Hi Susan,

      I used the 1″ Polypropylene Webbing. They have a variety of colors. I recently found a bunch of colors at Jo-Ann fabrics as well. Let me know how it goes.


  23. Ellie February 24, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    Thank you for sharing. What great gifts this one will make. Like your fabric choices.

    • Haberdashery Fun February 25, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Thanks Ellie.. Isn’t the Arizona collection amazing? If I do another fabric giveaway [ I did one for the PDF pattern release], I will make sure to add you to the email list. Have a great week.

  24. Angela February 24, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    Thank you for a great tutorial. This bag does look easy, I will have to give them a go.

    • Haberdashery Fun February 25, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Thank you Angela, I appreciate your leaving me a comment. You will LOVE this bag!!

  25. mary May 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    I’ve printed out the pdf – but it seems shorter than the picture. What are the finished dimentions?
    The bag looks great – and hope to make it this weekend for a conference I’m attending.

    • Haberdashery Fun May 29, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      Hi Mary. Did you print 2 pieces? There should be a top and a bottom piece and you tape them together where it says ” tape along this line”.. Then you place that on the fold.
      Let me know how it goes. – Marni

      • Mary June 9, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

        Lol! of course- feeling silly, thanks for responding. I made a bag last night, so easy and very clever. I’m sure it’s the first of many!
        Not sure how to upload a pic or I would

        • Haberdashery Fun June 12, 2015 at 9:08 am #

          Thanks Mary.. no worries! I’m glad it worked for you. You could email a pic if you like.. marni@haberdasheryfun . com
          Thanks again for stopping by and happy sewing!! 🙂
          – Marni

  26. lene December 7, 2015 at 10:49 am #


    just wanted to say thank you for a great pattern!! Have made two of these already and love them 🙂

    • Haberdashery Fun December 7, 2015 at 11:22 am #

      HI Lene, Thanks so much for getting me know.. It means a lot to me. I’d love to see photos, if you want to post on FB or on Instagram? Have a great day – Marni

  27. Tango bleu April 15, 2016 at 6:10 am #

    Geetings from Paris !
    Thank you Marny for sharing the tuto. I have just made one tote.

    • Haberdashery Fun April 15, 2016 at 11:58 am #

      Hi Tango – thanks for letting me know. I would love to see images of your tote! If you are on instagram, pls share and use #HaberdasheryFun or @haberdasheryFun… Thanks – Marni


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