Fat Quarter Stash Tote Bag

I've been working on another project in-between mask making sewing sessions. To be honest, I've felt a little lost while sheltering at home without working, trying to navigate my kiddo's new home schooling schedule, keeping tabs on my parents who are in that high-risk category, I mean - my daily routines are in total chaos. Giving myself this kind of sewing "assignment" was a welcome way to feel like I was doing something useful, something I could control, something that had a good outcome.

My goal was to create a better tote using only fabric from my stash with as little waste as possible. I wanted to try and remedy issues I've had with other totes I made, like too-short handles, narrow bag bottoms that tip over easily, wide open tops that allow contents to spill out, not to mention how messy the bags get stored thrown in a pile (which yes, I know in theory you can always neatly fold totes and store in another tote, it just never ends up happening in real life).

After lots of sketches, measurements, and testing, I created an easy-to-sew tote bag that's roomy, features drawstring handles that fit over your shoulder, a nice side pocket, and hidden ties to keep the tote neat and tidy until you need it.

Best of all, you can make this tote from exactly 6 fat quarters with almost zero waste!

I shared a full step-by-step tutorial to make the Fat Quarter Tote Bag over at BERNINA's WeAllSew blog, go check it out. I'm loving the new totes for quick shopping trips. 

Here in Chicago our local grocery shops are no longer bagging with totes brought from home, but I can still bag my own items with these totes. I just open the totes in the cart and pop the items right in, pull up the drawstring handles, and I'm ready to go. Also - these totes are 100% washable if you are at all concerned about the cleanliness of totes during shopping trips. I leave one tote open on the back porch, to collect totes coming back from shopping. Wash these totes with warm water and regular detergent (color safe bleach if needed) on delicate setting, and use a good soak cycle if you have that option available on your washer. I lay the bags flat to dry and they're good to go for another round of shopping.

I hope you enjoy the tote tutorial, and if you end up making one please share and tag me! You can find me at @erika.mulvenna on Instagram.


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