This cat tote bag has it all – a cute kitty face on the front, a kitty tail on the bag, and four kitty paws hanging from the bottom! Get the free sewing pattern.
If you’ve read more than about 3 posts on this blog, you can tell that I have a thing about cats. Specifically, black cats. Like, I decorated an entire Christmas tree in black cats. And then there’s that time I made a Halloween banner with appliques of all 5 of my black cats. You get the picture. Crazy cat lady over here.
So it makes sense that if I were to make myself a new bag, it would have a black cat on it.
This cat tote bag has a cat face on the front, a cat tail on the back, and – best of all – four kitty paws hanging from the bottom. Squee!! Those paws are killin’ me!
I’ve been carrying this bag around for the past week or so and I’ve gotten compliments everywhere I go! People especially like the kitty paws, I think because they’re unexpected and a fun detail.
I’m calling this my Paws And All Cat Tote Bag and I’ve got a free pattern and tutorial for you below.
The Paws And All Cat Tote Bag is made from a canvas so it’s good and sturdy. The boxed bottom makes it roomy and also lets those fabulous kitty paws stand out. Finished dimensions are approximately 14” tall x 15” wide x 3” deep. It’s big enough to carry my laptop, so that’s perfect for me.
The inside is lined with a quilting weight cotton. I didn’t add a pocket, but you could easily do that if you like. The straps are easily attached with large plastic grommets, like you find in the drapery section of the fabric store. This was my first time using those grommets, and they’re so easy to install I’m wondering why I waited so long.
Paws and All Cat Tote Bag
Fabric & Supplies
3/4 yard fabric for the main bag pieces. Use canvas, home dec weight fabric, or interfaced quilting weight cotton.
1/2 yard quilting weight cotton for the lining
1/2 yard fabric for the cat face. For a cleaner finish use a fabric that won’t fray, such as knit, vinyl, or high quality felt.
1 yard fusible webbing
4 1” drapery grommets
Glue stick (optional)
Cut the pieces
From the main bag fabric, cut the following:
2 pieces 16” x 16” (bag body)
1 piece 16” x 4” (bag bottom)
2 pieces 39” x 4” (bag straps)
From the lining, cut the following:
2 pieces 16” x 18”
From the cat applique fabric, cut the following:
1 piece 16” x 4”
Cat paws (8)
Iron fusible webbing to the back of all cat applique pieces except the paws.
For the cat face, cut the following from fabric scraps with fusible webbing ironed to the back:
Cat nose (pink fabric)
Cat eyes (yellow, green, gray, or white)
Cat pupils (black)
All seam allowances are ½” unless otherwise noted.
Make the cat paws
Sew 2 paw pieces wrong sides together around the sides and top using a contrasting thread. Trim seam allowance to ¼”. Repeat for the remaining paw pieces, to create 4 cat paws.
On each cat paw, stitch lines from the bottom to create their itty witty cat fingers. (You may want to mark the stitch lines with an erasable pencil first.)
Make the outer bag
Fuse the 4” x 16” knit piece to the 4” x 16” canvas piece. This will be the bag bottom.
Fuse the cat front piece to one of the 16” x 16” canvas pieces. Fuse the cat back piece to the other 16” x 16” canvas piece.
Top stitch the cat front and back pieces with a contrasting thread.
Arrange the cat eyes, pupils, and nose on the cat face. Fuse in place and top stitch to secure.
Using notches as a guide, pin cat paws to bottom of bag front and back pieces, raw edges aligned. Baste in place ¼” from the edge.
Sew one long side of the bag bottom to the bottom of the bag front, right sides together. Press the seam allowance open.
Sew the other long side of the bag bottom to the bottom of the bag back, right sides together. Press the seam allowance open.
Fold whole thing in half and sew down both sides.
Finally, box the corners to give it a 3” bottom.
A couple of tips for this step:
You may want to pin the paw pieces to bag body to keep them from getting caught in your boxing seam.
The seam where you attached the bag bottom will fall near or on where you need to sew across the box the corner. Try to adjust the boxing seam to avoid sewing directly on that seam. Reinforce with another line of stitching 1/8” away, and don’t trim the corners off.
If you haven’t boxed corners before, here’s a good tutorial showing how.
Make and insert the lining
Sew lining pieces right sides together at sides and bottom.
Box the corners to give it a 3” bottom. (The boxing seam will be 1.5” from the tip of the flattened corner.) Trim the corners off.
Place the lining inside the bag, wrong sides together.
Baste the lining and bag together around the top, ¼” from the edge.
Turn ¼” down to the inside of the bag, and press. Then, turn another ¾” down toward the inside and press, creating a double fold hem. Use a glue stick to glue baste. Iron to make sure the glue is dry.
Top stitch the hem in place 5/8” from the edge.
Make and attach the straps
Mark grommet centers 3” from the bag sides and 1.75” from the bag top.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to install the grommets.
Fold the short ends of the strap pieces under ½”. Press.
Press strap pieces in half lengthwise, then open up and fold long edges to the center and press again.
Top stitch close to the edge down sides of the strap.
For each strap, thread the strap through the grommets being careful not to twist the strap, overlapping 1.5” toward the back. Clip or pin in place.
Sew across the ends of the strap. You’ll be sewing through quite a few layers, so sew slowly and hand crank the stitches as needed. I reinforced the seam by sewing a box, ¾”’ tall and with an X-stitched across.
You’re done. Now go show everyone your new Paws And All Cat Tote Bag! I bet they’ll squeal over those kitty paws.
Adorable! Thanks for sharing it with us.
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I need a tutorial and pattern for a dog tote with paws:)
I got the tutorial, but there were no patterns in the download. Did I miss something or are there no patterns for this? I am looking forward to making this but it would be easier with patterns. Thank you for the tutorial
Were you able to download the pattern? There’s a link to download it at the bottom of the materials list, under “wonderclips”. –Anne
I have been smiling since I saw this! Eager to make this as a sister cat lover. Your drawings are adorable, directions seem easy to follow. I have never used fusible webbing before, so this will be new for me. I may adapt the tail to reflect the quirkiness of my Maine Coon cat however.
Thanks for sharing this!
This makes me smile!!! You should absolutely adapt the tail to make it look like your Maine Coon baby! 🙂 –Anne
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Thank you for the great pattern! I am going to make one for our local cat/dog Rescue’s Silent AUCTION FOR OUR FUND RAISER!
I love this!!
Most darling tote EVER ! I have pieced the pattern pieces together. I THINK I can proceed, but that pattern piece #4 doesn’t seem to fit anywhere. Is it me? I can send you a photo of the pattern ALMOST all together.
Awwww thanks!! 🙂 Are you talking about the tiled pieces to tape together? If so, there should be 3 pages per row so piece 4 should be taped to the bottom of piece 1. Hope that helps! –Anne
Thank you so much! My six-year-old granddaughter loves cats. Everything is cats! She will love this!
So cute have a granddaughter that loves cats! Thanks for sharing .?
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Loved this but my sister has a Corgi and my mother has a Bassett..So I adapted the outer bag to be a minimalist version of each respective dog. Turned out super cute for dog lovers too! Just took a little imagination is all.
Hi, great tute and pattern. I just wanted to confirm though – the instructions say to put the paw pattern pieces right side together when stitching around. Am I right to assume the cat paws are then turned before top stitching?
Actually that was an editing mistake on my part. I should have said wrong sides together. Then you can just stitch them together and trim the seam allowance. I’ve got that changed now so it’s correct. Thanks for letting me know!! –Anne
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I love this pattern! I made it for my daughter for Christmas, then made myself one – without the cat appliqué – for work. I loved that one so much, I made myself a larger size with pockets inside for weekends. It’s so fast, easy and customizable. Thanks!
I made one for my daughters birthday on friday
And put a zip in it. I would like to share a photo but dont know how
LOVE it! I agree. I would LOVE a doggie pattern for my sister’s. Thank you so much for sharing this! ?
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