tote 3

Please note: we have made adjustments to the original post. Changes are in red.

This stylish carryall will hold all of your picnic supplies. Create in outdoor fabrics for durability and easy care.

Designed by Pam Hastings

Finished Size: 16 1/2″ x 12″ x 7″.

You Will Need:

54 – 60 Wide Indoor/outdoor fabric or canvas
1 ½ yards fabric for bag
1 ½ yards lining
½ yard fabric for handles
½ yard fabric for zipper and small pockets
¼ yards fabric for large pocket
1 20Coats Polyester All-purpose Zipper
1 7” Coats Polyester All-purpose Zipper
Coats Outdoor thread
Coats Dual Duty All-purpose thread

Use Dual Duty All-purpose for construction and Coats Outdoor thread for Topstitching. Read this post for Tips for sewing with Outdoor thread.
Cutting Directions:

BAG – Cut as follows
Bag: Front and Back: 2- 17 ½” x 12”
Sides: 2- 8” x 12”
Bottom: 1- 8” x 17 ½”
Top: 2-5″ x 19 1/2″

LINING – Cut same as Bag

Zip Pocket : 1- 7 ½” x 7 ½” and 1- 3” x 7 ½”

Plain Pockets: 1- 7 1/2” x 12” and 1- 7 ½” x 15”

2- 5” x 50”
Sewing: All seams ½” unless otherwise indicated.

PLAIN POCKET (Shown in photo)

1. Fold pocket pieces in half with wrong sides together along the short edge. Press.
2. Center and layer the pockets on bag front and pin in place. Machine baste along the sides of the pocket through all layerstote 2

1. Turn under and press ½” along one edge of the square pocket piece
2. Turn under and press ½” along the two long edges of the smaller pocket piece
3. Place one pocket piece on each side of the 7” zipper with the folded edges 1/8” from the zipper teeth. Stitch along each folded edge using a zipper foot.
4. Center pocket on the bag back, aligning the bottom edge of the pocket with the bottom of the bag. Pin in place. Topstitch the top of the pocket close to the fold. Machine baste the side edges of the pocket in place.


1. Fold handle in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
2. Open out and bring each long edge in to the center fold and press.
3. Re-fold along original crease. Edge-stitch close to each edge of the handle
4. Pin handle in place on bag front and back. Position handle so the ends are aligned with the bottom of the bag and the handle overlaps the sides of the pockets by about ½”. Pin in place.
5. Stitch close to each edge of the handle pivoting 1 ½” from the top of the bag.
6. Stitch a square at the top of each handle to reinforce.

Bag Body
1. Pin the panels to side edges of bag front with right sides together. Stitch, ending the seam ½’ from the bottom edge. Repeat with bag back.
2. Mark a point ½” from each corner of the bag bottom.
3. Pin the bag bottom in place with right sides together, align the end of each seam with the markings.
4. Stitch bottom in place, pivoting at corners.

Bag Top
1. Place zipper right side down on one bag top piece. The edge of the zipper tape should be even with the edge of the fabric.
2. Layer one bag top lining piece, sandwiching the zipper between the lining and the bag top.
3. Stitch 1/8” away from the zipper teeth using a zipper foot.
4. Repeat with remaining side of the zipper. Top Panel: 19 1/2″ x 10″.
5. Square off and stitch each outside corner as follows – you will do one corner at a time. Fold fabric with right sides together to form a 45 degree angle – matching the short and long edges.
6. Measure from the point along the raw edge and mark 1 1/2”. Measure from the point along the fold and mark 2 1/8”. Draw a line connecting the dots and stitch along the marked line. Repeat at remaining corners.
1. Assemble lining body and side edges in the same manner as the bag.
2. Pin the lining bottom to the lining with right sides together, stitch pivoting at corners and leave a 5” opening in one long edge for turning.

1. Turn bag right side out, and tuck handles down away from top edge.
2. Pin bag top to the bag with right sides together, matching seam lines and raw edges.
3. Stitch top in place. Open zipper. DO NOT TURN RIGHT SIDE OUT
4. With lining inside out, pin the lining to the bag top, right side of lining and right side of bag top lining together. Note: when this is pinned it will look the bags are butting up against each other at the top edge.
5. Align seams and raw edges. Stitch in place. You will be stitching along the same seam as before.
6. Turn bag right side out through opening. Stitch the opening closed.
7. Tuck lining back inside the bag. Top stitch around top edge of the bag (optional)

Skill Level: Intermediate

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3 Responses to Stylish Picnic Carryall
  1. I love the look of this bag, but I am having trouble sewing the top panels. My top is 17.5 x 11 laying flat including the zipper. If I square up the corners then the length is too short and the seams don’t match. What am I doing wrong?

    • We are checking with the designer and will get back to you soon.

    • We have made corrections, however if you have already installed your zipper here is what our editor suggests:
      If you have already made your top panel and do not want to go and get another zipper etc. If you unsews the corners and cuts the top panel down to 17 1/2″ x 8″ and attaches it to the top of the exterior in the same manner the bottom is attached, opens the zipper and then attaches the lining as in the pattern along the seam when the top was attached to the exterior your tote will be functional it will just be approximately 1″ shorter.


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