Michelle from Falafel and the Bee has joined us several times before, with some knock-out challenge sewing (like here and here!) and more. This time she’s showing you how to make a Triangle Pocket Tote, one of her favorite bags. It’s roomy enough to fit all of your summer essentials, for the beach, pool and farmer’s markets.

Michelle has a busy site full of so much creativity. She also has a newsletter you can subscribe to (lower right corner of her site), and lots of tutorials (sewing, crafting, etc.). There’s even a gluten-free recipe archive! Visit Michelle at Falafel and the Bee for more…

Hi everyone! I am Michelle from Falafel and the Bee and I am thrilled to be here today sharing my tutorial for making one of my favorite bags, The Triangle Pocket Tote.

If you would like to make one too, you will need:

  • 6 squares of fabric that measure 15″x15″ (2 will be the outer bag, 2 are for the lining + 2 will be the pocket)
  • 2 strips of fabric measuring 5″ x 30″ (these will be the straps)
  • 1 square of 15″ x 15″ interfacing (for one side of the pocket)
  • 2 strips of 3″ x 30″ interfacing (for the straps)
  • Sewing machine or needle + thread (more power to you!)
  • Scissors, pins, fabric marking tool, iron
  • * Optional: pinking shears

Note: Please feel free to make any size bag you would like. I like my totes roomy with longer straps since I always end up carrying a lot of stuff, wherever we go.

The fabric I used is from the Four Corners Collection by Simple Simon for Riley Blake Designs.

OK. Now that your pieces are all cut, iron the interfacing onto the back of the pieces that need it (the straps and one side of the pocket).

Grab a strap piece, and fold it in half and press lightly. Then open it up.

Fold each side toward the center and press.

Fold them once more, into a strap.

Top stitch both sides. Repeat for other strap.

Place those aside, and grab the two pocket pieces.

Lay one on top of the other, right sides together. Then fold them both in half. From the fold, across the top, mark 1.5″. Then going down the side, mark 8″ from the top.

Connect the dots using a ruler and your fabric marking tool of choice. Cut along the lines.

Open them up, and you should have two pieces (still RST) that look like this. If you would like piping or to insert trim, this is the time. Pin your piping inside that sandwich along the angled sides. Sew along the angled sides 1/4″ from seam (or really close to the piping).

Flip right sides out and top stitch. The top of the triangle should be unfinished (it is OK), as well as short sides and bottom.

Now get one of your outer pieces.

Lay the pocket piece on top. Pin in place. Baste the top of the triangle, the two short sides and the bottom.

Now grab the back outer piece, and lay it on top (RST). Sew along the sides and bottom using a 1/2″ seam allowance to create a bag. Finish seams however you would like. Turn right sides out.

Pin your straps in place on both sides. Make sure they are not twisted, and that they are pinned an equal distances from the sides. I use my hand to measure (very scientific! Ha!). These are four fingers from the sides (in case you were wondering). Now pick up those lining pieces, and sew the three sides RST together with a 1/2″ seam allowance, and finish seams.

Carefully slip the lining over the outer piece (RST). Tuck in those straps. With your hand on the strap so it doesn’t move, remove the pin and re-pin on the lining. I find this the easiest way to have everything stay where it should.

Stitch around the perimeter of the top of the bag using a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving at least a 3″ opening on the back side for turning.

Turn bag right sides out, and tuck the lining in. You will have a hole to close up in the back. I like to top stitch around the top edge of the bag, catching the hole. You can also hand sew it closed.

Stuff with important things.

You did it!

Happy Toting!