The Wanderer Tote features easy to attach leather straps, and is a great beginner project for people new to bag construction. It is made from a series of rectangles, so no paper pattern is required! This tote features an exterior slip pocket, perfectly sized for a paperback, e-reader, or sketchbook.
Follow the instructions below, or print out this 2 page PDF I put together, you can download it for free here!
The Wanderer Tote is such a simple project as an introduction to sewing, and as an introduction to using leather straps. I love this bag with my leather strap kits, but it would also look great with fabric straps (tutorial for fabric straps not included).
- Fuse the interfacing onto wrong side of exterior body pieces and lining pieces if using quilting weight cottons.
- Take one exterior pocket piece and fold in half widthwise so that the ends measuring 18” wide align. Press and topstitch folded end 1/4” from the top. Repeat with remaining pocket piece.
- Lay each exterior pocket on top of the right side of each of the exterior body pieces, aligning the 18” ends of each piece together. If the fabric is directional, make sure that it is facing the right way. Baste the exterior pocket to the exterior body along outer raw edges using a 1/4” seam allowance.
- Next, use a marking pencil to draw a line on the pocket piece that is 3” in from each side edge and parallel to the side edges. Topstitch along each line to tack down the pocket. I decided to sew another line of stitching about 1/4” away from the first for more stability.
- With right sides together, sew side and bottom of exterior body pieces. Open up each corner of the bag and align the side seams together. Mark a line that is perpendicular to the side seam 1 .” up from the corner point. Stitch along this line and trim off corner triangle.
- Repeat the previous step using the interior pieces, except this time leave an opening at the bottom of the bag that measures approximately 5”.
- With the Exterior Body right side out and the lining should be right side in, place exterior body into lining, aligning top raw edges and side seams. Carefully clip or pin components together along the top raw edge (see photo below).
- Machine stitch along top raw edge. You will be sewing in one continuous line of stitching around the top of the bag, and end just where you started.
- Pull bag exterior through the gap left in the bottom of the lining and push lining to the inside of the bag.
- Pull the lining up 1/2” past the exterior (see main photo and photo below for reference). Clip or pin in place and stitch in the ditch along the top of the bag.
- Next, attach the Leather Strap Kit following the tutorial found on the back of the packaging, or by following my tutorial here. You can choose the placement of the strap on the bag to fit your personal preference, just make sure they are all evenly spaced. I chose to position my strap ends above the line of stitching on the pockets. I like to use clips to test out a few strap positions before I commit.
- Enjoy your new Wanderer Tote! Please share your projects with me on Instagram (@jenfoxstudios) and use the tag #wanderertote
Photos above show just how much I love my clips! Photos are for step #7 and step #10 above.
I made a super simple 2 page PDF download with all of the info at your fingertips, download the pattern for free here!