[UPDATED – Originally our top 20 free tote bag sewing patterns but now updated and expanded to FORTY free tote bag patterns.]
What was the first bag you sewed? Was it a tote bag? The tote bag is perhaps the most widely used term when it comes to bag sewing patterns. The term tote bag can really cover bags of all shapes and sizes and designs, from the very simple single layer of fabric market tote to quite an elaborate bag with zippers and adjustable straps that you could use as an everyday smart purse or handbag – and absolutely everything in between!
In this collection, we’ve gathered together our Top 20 (NOW OUR TOP 40) of all the free tote bag sewing patterns we’ve featured on the site. We think these will give sewers of all abilities something to add to their pattern stash. And with every tote bag and purse pattern in this list being free, you can quickly build a pattern stash that will keep you sewing for weeks!
Top FORTY Free Tote Bag sewing patterns
Our favorite collection of the Top 40 FREE Tote Bag Sewing Patterns from all of the patterns we've added to the archives here to date. You might want to open each pattern in a new tab so you can keep this list available, and check them all out.
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The Ethel Tote Bag from Swoon Patterns is a darling to sew. It's quick and easy and ideal if you’ve sewn for a while but never made a bag before. You can create something really eye-catching with this one.
Here we have found you an excellent free pattern to make the Jelly Roll Market Tote Bag. This bag is the ideal scrap buster. You can make it with a few leftover strips from a jelly roll, or cut 2.5 inch wide strips from some yardage, or grab them from your scrap collection.
It’s a great-looking Tote Bag that is fun and pretty fast to make. You can make one for yourself and then think about making some gift ones for your friends and family.
A classic tote bag sewing pattern which makes an easy to sew, easy to use everyday tote bag purse, but also acts as the perfect base pattern for adding your own style and pattern variations such as pockets and zippers. This tote is great for trips to the beach, yoga, school, day trips, overnight stays, and more!
The Mercato Tote is an eco-friendly, reusable, and durable market tote bag that makes a great go-to bag for the Farmers Market, grocery store, beach trips, or running other errands. With its extra-secure handles and large capacity, the Mercato Tote is the perfect bag to carry groceries, library books, art supplies, etc. There are three sizes of the bag included in this one pattern.
We love this expanding bag design. The sides have snaps that keep the bag neat and together when you don’t have too much to carry, but when the kids are with you, and you are off to swimming, the beach, or anywhere you need to carry more – then the sides open up to give you much more space.
The designer, Vicky Myers Creations, shows you how to make this large Tote Bag with a variety of upcycled materials. She adds hand stitching for embellishment and adds homemade padded fabric handles plus a magnetic closure. Vicky made this bag for herself, at the time in her life where she had toddlers and all that entails in terms of spare nappies, a packet of wipes, various toddler cups, and snacks, an extra cardigan, etc.
This is the Bucket Basket Tote Bag sewing pattern that is FREE to everyone. Grab it and sew one this weekend! You can never have enough tote bags, and never have enough free bag sewing patterns saved in your stash.
What we like about this cute tote bag is that it gives you plenty of scope to use your imagination and be creative with your fabrics. The designer has used two fabrics in her examples, and you could do that, or even use three of your favorite fabrics.
The Bucket Basket Tote Bag has an open-top which is perfect for storing all your creative projects and more and giving you very easy access.
This tote bag has a lovely curved shape at the top so it will fit absolutely perfectly and comfortably under your arm. It’s made with wool and quilting cotton, but you can substitute the wool for any fabric of your choice. Vinyl would of course look great too.
The Spring Blooms Tote Bag is ideal for that small piece of favorite fabric that you’ve still got in your fabric stash. It would look just great as the feature fabric for this bag. The contrast piping also really helps to make the feature fabric stand out!
This is a simple project for a beginner sewer with the added bonus of being a stash buster! This cute little tote bags main use is as a reusable bag. You can carry all sorts of things in it whenever you need it. So pop it in your main bag or in your pocket where it will stay until needed.
The Senza Tote Bag is a beginner bag FREE sewing pattern.
This is an easy to sew tote bag with an interior zipper pocket, and good size pockets on the end of your bag for a drink. This is a great pattern to try combining cork or vinyl with cotton fabrics.
This easy to sew tote bag was designed especially for confident beginner bag makers to try new techniques and materials. This design is a blank slate that more experienced bag makers can use to create their own designs with hardware, pockets and add-ons, and upgrades of your choice. However, no hardware is needed.
This sewing pattern for a classy Tote Bag with lining and tablet pocket is FREE and there’s a FREE YouTube video to watch as well. We love to track down and bring you the best free sewing patterns we can find every week.
This tote bag pattern is fully lined and features two slip pockets plus a padded pocket designed for a tablet. The tablet can be up to 10″ by 7″ (25.5 by 18cm) in size.
The designer, Vicky Myers Creations, says to make your DIY tote bag with lining and contrast bottom panel, you are going to need two contrasting fabrics or leather. You could upcycle an old leather jacket, or you could use jeans for the bottom section of the bag. Something hardwearing is a good idea there. When selecting your fabric choices do think about the weights of fabric, a home decor fabric is going to be much stronger than quilting cotton.
We are delighted to share with you this FREE video sewing tutorial on how to sew a Chubby Tote Bag.
This is a beginner-friendly sewing project. It’s a lovely Tote Bag that is just the right size to be used as a project bag, a shopper, or even a reusable gift bag. This bag is fully lined and with the addition of leather handles, it makes a super stylish easy to assemble finished bag.
Using straw fabric for the outside of this Tote Bag is a novel idea, and by adding outdoor upholstery for the lining this gives the bag some added body and weight. The beaded starfish added to the front is a great way of giving the bag a beach theme.
This excellent sewing pattern from the designer Sew Can Do makes a super versatile bag that offers lots of options when it comes to use and fabric. We adore the look of those shaped pockets on the outside of the bag.
The Peeking Pocket Tote Bag has curved outside pockets on either side which offer great places to store all sorts of stuff and allow for two fabric prints to be on show at once. In this example, the prints although different, were quite similar, and really don’t show off this awesome design at its best. Perhaps use one solid and one printed fabric to really show off the design.
This is a Waxed Tote Bag where the pattern comes in two sizes – large and medium. All you have to do is choose the size that suits you!
The larger bag is made from a synthetic waxed fabric that the designer bought from a market stall in France, it feels like the wrong side is coated with a thin layer of plastic, this fabric is often used for table cloths. The smaller tote is made from wax canvas.
If you want to make yourself a really good-sized beach tote bag then we have the perfect FREE pdf pattern and FREE tutorial here, just for you. This great looking bag is super practical and just great for taking all your stuff down to the beach in one journey.
So now is your chance to sew a cute patchwork Tote Bag. When making it you can use scraps, yardage, fat quarters, whatever you’ve got that you want to use. Make it bright, bold and carefree by mixing strong colors, bold prints, and colors that ‘don’t go’. Or make it pretty and casual in soft pastels and small prints for a country cottage style.
This awesome Tote Bag pattern really caught our eye with its bold fabrics and patchwork, but it would work equally as well in your favorite print or solid too. This simple design would be ideal to show off your favorite large scale fabrics too.
Here’s the Calypso Tote Bag FREE sewing pattern, which is a citrus-inspired tote tutorial.
It’s an easy tutorial designed to give a different look to the most basic eas-to-sew beginners tote bag. The designer, Bethany from Sweet Bee Buzzings, loves to sew, and she particularly likes to sew bags. That’s because they’re generally quick to sew, usually easy, can be customized infinitely, and, most importantly, don’t have to fit.
The Calypso Tote Bag is a basic tote where the lining comes over to the exterior to provide some nice contrast and a bit of a faux cuff look.
This bag is a bit different from your basic tote but is quite easy to stitch up. The designer made it in a morning, and that included math, cutting, sewing, and photographs. The math will be pretty obvious as you cut so you can adapt it to make it in any size you’d like.
The Pelican Tote Bag is a simple shopping tote bag with a magnetic closure, that fits your every day on the go needs. If you like structured bags then you can make the Pelican Tote Bag with foam or else you can make a fold-able version to carry it in your bag
Why not show off those large personality prints in your stash with this straightforward Tote Bag. Simple lines mean the fabric does the hard work for you. A coordinating zip pouch with swivel hook and D ring completes the ensemble.
Free step by step sewing pattern and tutorial from the Inspired Wren for how to make this sturdy and hard-wearing lined canvas tote bag. We love this bag because of the way it’s constructed with the handles securely held within the base and sides of the bag, not just sewn into the top.
Here’s the Farmers Market Everyday Tote Bag where the lovely designer has provided us all with a free pattern and tutorial. With our environment and oceans under threat from plastic, it makes such good sense to sew strong reusable grocery bags that you can use over and over again.
It’s always great to have a Cross Body Tote Bag that you can easily sling over your back and carry hands free, but when you can easily convert it into a should bag as well, then it’s even better. This fabulous designer has designed the Convertible Cross Body Tote Bag and she has given us all the tutorial for FREE.
Alice is an easy-to-sew large tote bag featuring an exterior open pocket with magnetic snap, with a unique shape that lets a bit of contrasting fabric peek out of the bag. There is also a simple patch pocket inside and the straps are long enough for you to carry Alice over your shoulder.
A tote bag is a great beginner sewing project. We think this free tote bag pattern would be ideal for your very first project to sew. If you are just venturing into the wonderful world of sewing, or even if you are thinking of teaching someone to sew, then check out this tutorial by Christine on the Craftsy blog.
She shows you step by step how to sew this sturdy and attractive unlined tote bag. We recommend a home decor weight fabric or a canvas-type for this project. A simple quilting cotton would be too thin for an unlined tote bag in this case.
This is the Best 1/2 Yard Tote Bag EVER sewing pattern. The designer, Gingercake, has made a fabulous pattern and given it to us all for free.
The designer rates her project as THE BEST and who are we to argue. We love it! This simple to sew tote still has handy pockets both on the inside and the outside of the bag. This makes a great beginner sewing project.
This is the Two-timing Tote/Diaper Bag FREE sewing pattern sew-along from the very talented and generous designer Sweet Bee Buzzings.
Her Two-Timing Tote Bag can also be used as a fabulous diaper bag or as a plain old roomy tote with lots of pockets.
The designer has made these bags using three fabrics before but her favorite way to make them is with two fabrics as she gets to create that faux-piping look at the top! Check out the tutorial for how you can make them and learn a new bag making skill that you can apply to any of your other patterns.
The name “Memory Lane” comes from an association the designer has with fabric, similar to one she has with music. When you hear an old song do you sometimes remember a place or a feeling you had when you first listened to that song? It works the same for her with fabric. When she digs through her fabric stash, it takes her through the memories of each of those fabrics and the projects she’s made with them.
We love sharing with you FREE patterns and this one is a great one. This Versatile Tote Bag has plenty of exterior pockets, it’s also fully lined and has a boxed bottom construction. So there’s plenty of room inside, and plenty of pockets outside too.
This free pattern for the Versatile Tote bag is an all round winner.
This is the Double Zipper Divided Tote Bag FREE sewing tutorial from the designer Sewing Times. Also included is a FREE sewing video tutorial.
This is a tote bag that divides the inner space into five with two zipper pockets. It looks like an ordinary bag from the outside, but the inside is a convenient structure to organize documents.
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Find even more Tote Bag Sewing Patterns here
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Everyone needs (a lot) more than one tote bag. They are a staple pattern in every sewing pattern collection and so versatile and adaptable. Check out a few recent tote bag patterns to sew from our store.