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Project

Felt Tote Bag

This soft felt bag is simple enough to make in multiples for shopping trips and stylish enough to use as a tote.

Created By: Johnny Miller, Raymond Hom

Materials

  • Tote bag template
  • 1/2 yard of heavyweight felt
  • Fabric pen
  • Fabric shears
  • Sewing machine

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Print the full-size template. Cut out template, and trace onto heavyweight felt (we used 2-millimeter-thick material; 1/2 yard of fabric is enough for 1 bag) with a fabric pen, and cut out; repeat to make a second cutout. Stack pieces.

  2. Step 2

    Using a sewing machine, stitch around the sides and bottom of bag, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance. Then stitch top of each handle.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, January

Reviews (28)

  • vpokierose 6 Mar, 2013

    Felt at $85.00 a yard just make this project 'project non grata' for the average homemaker; for $85 I would invest in a real purse or apply it toward a designer bag. This bag would be wonderful made/designed from INEXPENSIVE upholstery remnants or even off the bolt. Another design idea would be to design this tote pattern from medium weight fabric making it reversible. If one plans to use this for carrying food or lunches, FABRIC SHOULD BE WASHABLE TO PREVENT E-COLI & OTHER BACTERIA INFECTION

  • BevTexas 6 Mar, 2013

    I would love to make this of denim, but can't open the template.

  • Pat1110 6 Mar, 2013

    How do you make the flat bottom??

  • anjade 6 Mar, 2013

    I've made several shopping totes from various materials and they are much more functional when the straps are on the front and back, not on the sides. They also roll up and/or fold more neatly this way.

  • fmk45 17 Feb, 2013

    I wonder how olcloth would work for this project; of course it would have to be the heavy weight kind. Love the pattern.

  • glasseye 28 Sep, 2012

    the project calls for an industrial felt which will not sway or swag, therefore the price. it will wear well with use, no problems. you make the bag out of a cheaper element & it will show it.

  • DesignMan 14 Nov, 2011

    What a bunch of hateful, rude people.

  • jbentley 12 Nov, 2011

    use your own brain....make it out of something else

  • DesignMan 11 Nov, 2011

    First of all, in response to Erah, it's WarehouseFabrics.com, not WearhouseFabrics.com. Once I was able to find the correct website I searched for felt and the response was "no matches for your search." So don't waste your time going there.

  • bulldogmom2 9 Nov, 2011

    Couldn"t get template to print correctly.

  • GenTink 9 Nov, 2011

    Yikes. For $75, that's one high-end grocery tote.

  • Erah 9 Nov, 2011

    That is just crazy for felt prices..go to JoAnns , their felt is 3.99 yd and up. I would never pay that much per yard.. fashion fabrics kind of tacky..go to wearhouse fabrics.com

  • DesignMan 9 Nov, 2011

    Go to www.fashionfabricsclub.com. They have felt for $6.95 per yard.

  • lesterlu 6 Oct, 2011

    i went to the above mentioned website. they say $19-75 yard, but when you scroll through colors, all available are $75 yard and the fine print reads 5 yard minimum.

    hmmm. somethings is awry with this vendor plug. very disappointing.

  • raspberryrosy 10 Sep, 2011

    Try cutting out the edges with pinking shears for cute exposed seam allowances.

  • Kqlawonn 2 Dec, 2010

    The yardage is off. I purchased 1/2 yard and is only enought for 1/2 of the tote! Perhaps the width of the material should also be included. Very dissappointing as I was so excited, went to the store specifically for the felt, printed off the pattern to the correct scale and not a go! Check things out!!

  • B_R_P 29 Nov, 2010

    Why not to add a couple of layers of the cheap felt, or even three.....?

  • B_R_P 29 Nov, 2010

    Why not to add a couple of layers of the cheap felt, or even three.....?

  • corknut 28 Nov, 2010

    Why couldn't you use a woven fabric (like a mediun weight canvas) and bind the raw edges with bias tape? Or use a serger. That way they can be machine washable too! My grocery totes get dirty and I like to throw them in the washer. I like the pattern. I'm gonna make a few!

  • corknut 28 Nov, 2010

    Why couldn't you use a woven fabric (like a mediun weight canvas) and bind the raw edges with bias tape? Or use a serger. That way they can be machine washable too! My grocery totes get dirty and I like to throw them in the washer. I like the pattern. I'm gonna make a few!

  • MarthaMaven 28 Nov, 2010

    Great idea Monkeymama! Think I'll try it, thanks for the idea.

  • fabricrazy 14 Feb, 2010

    I don't think felt is at all practical for a tote bag, assuming you'll actually be toting something. I'm going to make it in heavyweight denim. You could also cut it double and use a fun contracting fabric as lining.

  • AnnaGig 6 Feb, 2010

    I do think the quality of the felt matters. I made the bag with the felt suggested and it doesn't stretch at all.

  • monkeymama 2 Feb, 2010

    How about using a wool sweater that you felt? You can buy them at thrift stores pretty inexpensively and then just a few washings and voila. I'm going to try it.

  • Sandibug 1 Feb, 2010

    The felt I bought for this project at Joanns Fabric DID stretch. Martha recommends the felt from Filzfelt in 2 mm (originally I thought she recommended 3 mm). The 2 mm is about $75 a yard... pretty expensive to make a couple grocery bags!

  • Veridical_Angel 1 Feb, 2010

    I have some wool felt that seems to not be stretchy. You could line it with duct tape to stop the stretch.. (Same as they do with totes made out of tank tops.)

  • debisavannah 1 Feb, 2010

    I can't get the template to open. I've upgraded my Adobe reader and still nothing! Can you see if it's on your end ??
    thanks,
    debi

  • joannakat 1 Feb, 2010

    doesn't felt stretch? wouldn't be too useful of a tote in that case. just a thought.