Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

I have a thing about charm squares.  I love to buy them because you can get a sampling of all fabrics in a line for less than $10, and they’re all so pretty cut up in perfect little squares.  But using them… that’s another story.  My OCD doesn’t like me to break apart my perfect little set!

Recently I picked up a pretty little pack of charm squares from the Marquesas line by Dena Designs.  I was determined THIS TIME to actually use my charm squares, not just save them for posterity in a perfect little bundle.  (Upon writing this post, I have discovered that this line is now discontinued.  I’m glad I didn’t know that before I started this project, or I would never have broken up the set!)

As soon as I got them home, I broken apart the bundle and started playing with the squares, arranging them one next to the other to see which combinations I liked best.  And as I played with the squares, they started forming themselves into a tote bag in my mind.

And so here is my Charm Square Satchel Bag!

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

The front and back are made with a patchwork of charm squares (or 5” squares cut from your scrap stash), and finished out with a home décor weight canvas.  I added a flap and a swivel hook/D-ring closure to give it more of a satchel feel.  I kept the flap short, though, because I wanted all that pretty patchwork to show.

There’s something about a satchel bag that makes me feel like I’m about to get some business done, know what I mean?  Okay, I might be the only one.  But I think the satchel flap and closure is a fun twist on a basic tote.

If you’re wanting to make your own satchel tote, I’ve got a tutorial below showing how.

Fabric & Supplies

16 5” squares of cotton prints (use charm squares or raid your scrap bin)

From a canvas or home dec weight fabric:

–2 pieces 18.5” x 5”

–2 pieces 18.5” x 1.75”

–2 pieces 4” x 30” (shoulder straps)

–1 piece 4” x 3” (swivel hook strap)

–1 piece 4” x 7.25”(D-ring strap)

–2 pieces 10.5” x 5” (flap)

Quilting weight cotton (lining) – 2 pieces 18.5” x 15.5”

Fusible interfacing – 2 pieces 18.5” x 9.5”

1 swivel hook

1 D-ring

 

Make the straps

Press shoulder strap, swivel hook strap, and D-ring 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 straps.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Make the bag front and back

Sew the 5” squares together using a ¼” seam allowance into two panels, each one 4 squares wide x 2 squares tall.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Fuse interfacing to the back of your patchwork panel.

Zig zag stitch across one short end of the D-ring strap to control fraying.  Thread the D-ring on to that end.  Fold the end of the strap to the back 1.25” to hold the D-ring.  Stitch across to secure.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Center the D-ring strap on to the right side of one of the patchwork panels, with the raw edge of the strap aligned with the bottom edge of the patchwork panel.  Stitch in place directly over the edge stitching on the strap.  This is the front of the bag.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Sew the 18.5” x 1.75” canvas piece to the top of each patchwork panel, right sides together with a ¼” seam allowance.

Sew the 18.5” x 5” canvas piece to the bottom of each patchwork panel, right sides together with a ¼” seam allowance.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

 

Make the flap

Thread the swivel hook strap through the swivel hook, folding in half so raw edges are aligned.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Baste the swivel hook strap to the center bottom of one of the flap pieces, raw edges aligned and right sides together.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Place the remaining flap piece on top, right sides together.  Sew around the sides and bottom with a ½” seam allowance.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Clip curves and turn right side out.  Top stitch close to sewn edges.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

 

Make the lining

Sew the lining pieces together at the sides and bottom, right sides together and with a ½” seam allowance.  Leave 3-4” open on the bottom seam so you can turn the bag right side out later.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Box the corners to create a 3” bottom.  If you haven’t boxed corners before, here’s a good tutorial showing two easy methods.   If you want to use the method that has you cut squares from the corners, you’ll need to cut 1.5” squares to get a 3” boxed bottom.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

 

Assemble the bag

Center the bag flap across the top of the bag back, right sides together.  Baste in place with a ¼” seam allowance.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Baste the ends of the straps to the top of the of the bag front and back pieces 3” from the sides, right sides together and raw edges aligned using a ¼” seam allowance.  On the bag back, the flap should fit just inside the straps.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Sew the bag front to the bag back, right sides together and with a ½” seam allowance.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Box the corners to create a 3” bottom.

Place the bag inside the lining, right sides together.  Sew around the top with a ½” seam allowance.

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

Turn right side out.

Topstitch around the top close to the edge.

Use a ladder stitch to close the hole in the bottom of the lining.

FINISHED!!

Charm Square Satchel Tote Sewing Tutorial

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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tutorial: Charm square satchel tote with swivel hook closure – Sewing

  2. Janice June 26, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Hi Orange! Learned of you thru CraftGossip. (I hate to gossip, but….). This satchel/tote/bag/purse looks awesome! And I will try. Just want to tell you thx for this instruction. I purchased a kit and yanked out hair trying to follow their instructions (multiple pages). Made 2 bags – one their way, or close. One my way. Much better.

    But still, I wanted to do it the way you’ve instructed, leaving only a turn-hole in the lining (makes so much sense!) So Big Thanks! AND can you tell me a good source of the swivels & D’s? I have trouble locating the desired hardware. Thx again.

    Reply
    1. Orange Bettie June 28, 2017 at 2:33 am

      Thanks so much!! I’m so glad my tutorial worked for you! 🙂 I don’t have a good source for swivel hooks yet (though I need to find one). You can find some good deals on Etsy. I was too impatient to wait for shipping so I bought mine at JoAnn. The ones on the notions wall were pretty expensive, but there were others in a separate purse hardware section of the craft aisles that were less expensive and had several metal finishes. One of the JoAnn stores in my town had that section, the other was a smaller store and only had the ones in the notions wall. –Anne

      Reply
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