Summertime tote bags are a practical, fun project. They can be used for trips to the beach, amusement centers, parks etc. or even for an overnight bag. You can also make accessories such as cosmetic bags and cell phone cases to match the totes.
Cottons and lightweight décor fabrics are appropriate for most tote bags. Canvas makes sturdy, attractive bags as well. Vinyl and faux leather are great choices; however, these materials require special handling and are recommended for intermediate and advanced sewers. Laminated cotton is another practical, lovely choice; it also is suitable for intermediate and advanced sewers.
Tote bag patterns range from simple, all-in-one designs to sophisticated designs with pockets and fasteners. Many tote bags are an open design with no fasteners. If you are a beginning sewer, choose a pattern with straight lines and a minimum of pattern pieces. Making bags can be a somewhat addictive hobby; they are inexpensive and quick to make. A simple pattern in different fabrics can look entirely different.
Tote bags can be unlined or lined. Cotton fabrics such as cotton lawn make excellent, casual tote bag linings. Airy, lightweight cotton lawn is especially appropriate as a lining for heavier fabrics, such as canvas, or upholstery fabric.
Some tote bag patterns require interfacing to give the bag added stiffness. Interfacing ranges from soft to very stiff. The pattern will recommend the type of interfacing which is appropriate.