Easy Tutorial On How to Sew a Tote Bag With Flat Bottom

Sewing Times
by Sewing Times
8 Materials
2 Hours

Follow this DIY bag tutorial to discover how to sew a tote bag with flat bottom - otherwise known as a gusseted bag. I'll share my pattern for a tote bag with a gusset, showing all measurements, as well as a step-by-step guide to making a tote bag with a flat bottom. All you have to do is choose the fabric!

Tools and materials:

  • Patterned fabric 
  • Plain fabric 
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Two 0.7-inch magnetic buttons 
  • Pins 
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Iron
Pattern for tote bag with gusset

1. Cut out your fabric

Cut out six square pieces of fabric - two patterned, two plain, and two interfacing - that are all 12⅝ inches. Next, cut out three more pieces - one patterned, one grey, and one interfacing - that are 12⅝ inches by 10¼ inches.

Once that’s done, cut out three strips (one in each fabric) that are 5 inches by 33.5 inches, as well as two additional pieces of plain fabric that are 13⅝ inch by 15⅞ inches, which will be used for the straps.

The finished measurements of this bag are approximately 11⅞ inches W × 11⅞ inches H × 3¼ inches D. I left a seam allowance of ⅜ inch.

Pattern to make a gusseted bag

2. Shape your fabric

For all the required markings and the guide on how to shape your pieces, watch the video from 1:31 - 2:24.

Once that’s done, iron the three pieces of interfacing you shaped onto the wrong side of the three pieces of squared patterned fabric.

Next, place the patterned fabric and the grey pieces together, right sides touching. Pin the fabric together and cut around the shaped interfacing so all three pieces of fabric are the same shape. 

How to make a tote bag with flat bottom

3. Create the body

With your grey pieces and patterned pieces right sides facing, pin the straight edge and sew with a ⅜ inch seam allowance. Turn the sewed piece right side out (so the wrong sides are facing) and pin down the sewn edge. Sew again.

Place your sewed piece over a patterned piece, slightly lower, so the top of the patterned piece still sticks out. Pin and sew around the three remaining open sides (curved edges). This will be the body of your bag. 

Making a tote bag with flat bottom

4. Create your straps

Take your two fabric rectangles and fold them in half (lengthwise). Iron them and then unfold them. Fold the sides towards the line you created to make a bias tape that hides all raw edges. Pin the bias tape closed and then sew it on both sides.

Next, take your remaining cut-out patterned piece and measure out where your strap will go. Pin it in place (I had mine 4 inches from the edge) and then pull the strap to the other side of the same piece of fabric to form a loop. The loop will serve as your strap. Sew them in place and repeat on the other side. 

How to make a gusseted bag

5. Make the bag gusset and flat bottom

Get your long rectangular pieces (one patterned, one grey, and one interfacing) and iron the interfacing to the patterned piece.

Next, fold the body pieces in half (right sides touching) and cut a small notch on the bottom edge, by the center. Fold your long pieces of fabric that were just ironed in the same way and cut notches in the folded corners.

Align the notches and place both pieces, right sideshow together. Pin in place. Bring your bottom piece up to the top of your bag, align the corners and pin again. Cut notches along the curved corners, pin around the entire piece and then sew (leave a ⅜ inch seam allowance). 

Ironing the interfacing

6. Insert the button

Place your two body pieces right sides together and sew leaving a ⅜ inch seam allowance. Cut notches along the curved corners of the seam allowance to help the fabric lay flat.

Turn the bag right side out and then create the lining using the plain pieces that we cut out in the same shape. Fold the grey pieces in half to find the center and mark it off - that is where your button will go.

Iron small squares of interfacing right where your button will go and then use a seam ripper to poke holes into the fabric. Insert the buttons into the holes and secure them. 

How to make a gusseted tote bag

7. Make the lining

Using your remaining plain pieces of fabric, attach the bottom pieces of the lining the same way you attached the bottom pieces of the body. Wrap it around one-half of the body, pin it in place and sew.

Place the two body pieces right sides together, align, and sew again. Make sure to leave an opening so you can turn the bag right side out later on. Insert the body of the bag into the lining - right sides touching. Clip and sew, leaving a ⅜ inch seam allowance. 

How to make a bag gusset

8. Finish the bag

Pull the body of the bag out through the gap, clip the gap closed, and sew it. Push the lining back into the body of the bag, iron out the edges, and add one final top seam around the opening. 

How to sew a tote bag with flat bottom

How to sew a tote bag with flat bottom tutorial

This basic DIY gussted tote bag is the perfect accessory. It’s functional, practical, and creative. Make one for yourself in any color scheme or style you like! 

Suggested materials:
  • Patterned fabric
  • Plain fabric
  • Fusible interfacing
See all materials

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