This plaid flannel fall tote bag has a modern classic look that's the perfect accent for any fall outfit. Use my tutorial to sew your own from plaid flannel and faux leather!
Is it just me, or are the fabric stores killin’ it with the plaid flannels this year? Like, every time I go to JOANN, I find myself coming home with at least one gorgeous plaid in rich, fall colors.
This one plaid flannel I brought home was just begging to be made into a tote. Like, every time I looked at it in its beautiful rust, black, and gray color scheme, I kept seeing an oversized fall tote with leather accents for a classic look.
And so with a couple of free afternoons in front of me, I sat down and created my Plaid Flannel Fall Tote Bag. Read on for the tutorial!
I gave it faux leather corded handles, which I’m in love with! This was my first time creating corded handles and I’m hooked. It’s so easy and they look so polished. I’ve got a tutorial showing how to make them here.
It’s a generous sized bag, 22” wide x 13.5” tall) with boxed bottoms so you can carry lots of stuff. I gave it deep pockets on the sides. They’re cut on the bias for a nice contrast with the straight grain plaid on the bag front. They actually wrap around to the front by about an inch, and they’ve got a little gap engineered into the top so it’s easy to slip your hand in there when you need.
Do you see the monogram key fob in the photo above? You can see how to make one here.
Inside, there’s a row of patch pockets – also deep and generous sized – that are the perfect size for holding phone, keys, even a power cord or mouse for my laptop.
Here’s how to make your own Plaid Flannel Fall Tote Bag!
Gather your supplies
Main fabric (flannel) – 1 yard
Lining fabric – 1 yard
Faux leather – ½ yard
Fusible Fleece – 1 yard
3/8” diameter home décor cording – 1.5 yards
Teflon coated presser foot OR tape to cover the bottom of your presser foot
Tips and tricks for best results:
The cording tends to fray, especially the cotton cording. When you cut the cording, go ahead and wrap some tape around the ends to keep it from fraying.
For best results when sewing on faux leather, use a leather needle and a Teflon presser foot. If you don’t have a Teflon presser foot, you can cover the bottom of your presser foot with tape. This will keep the faux leather from sticking to the bottom of the presser foot.
Pins create permanent holes in faux leather, so use fabric clips instead of pins to hold the faux leather in place.
Unless otherwise stated, all seam allowances are ½”. RST = Right Sides Together.
Prep Your Pieces
Cut out your fabric pieces using the pattern pieces and cutting list in the free pattern.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the 16” x 14.5” fusible fleece pieces to the back of the Bag Front/Back piece.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the Side Pocket Interfacing (also fusible fleece) to the back of your Side Pocket pieces.
Use my Faux Leather Corded Bag Handles to create the bag handles.
Make the side pockets
Place the Side Pockets and Side Pocket Lining pieces RST. Sew across the top edge.
Turn right side out. To keep the lining from peeking out at the top, press the top seam line slightly to the lining side.
Baste the Side Pockets to Bag Sides at the bottom and sides, with ¼” seam allowance. The Side Pocket wider than the Bag Side at the top. This is on purpose; it will create a little gap at the top that will make it easy to slide your hand into the pocket. Line up the pieces so the edges meet and baste in place.
Make the outer bag
Take one your Bag Front/Back pieces and place a Bag Side piece along each side, raw edges touching and RST. Sew down the sides. Turn right side out. Now you should have a long piece that has (left to right) one Bag Side, a Bag Front/Back, and then the remaining Bag Side.
Turn right side out.
Place the remaining Bag Front/Back piece on top of this long piece, RST and with right-hand edges aligned. Sew together along that right-hand side.
Turn right side out. Now, fold the whole thing in half the short way, RST and with raw edges aligned. Sew along the short side.
Rotate the bag sides so the seam lines are lined up with each other. Sew across the bottom.
Box the corners to give it a 3” bottom. If you haven’t boxed corners before, here’s a good tutorial showing how.
The Bag Side pieces are wider than 3” so they will wrap around to the front/back of the bag a little once the corners are boxed.
Make the lining
Fold the Interior Pocket piece in half lengthwise RST. Folded measurements will be 16” x 7”.
Sew around sides and bottom, leaving 2” open on the bottom (long) edge to turn.
Clip corners, turn right side out. Press the unsewn edges of the turning hole inside, even with the sewn edges.
Place the Interior Pocket on the right side of one of the Lining pieces, centered horizontally and 3.5” from the top of the lining. Make sure the edge of the pocket with the turning hole is on the bottom of the pocket.
Sew Interior Pocket down to lining, 1/8” from the edge.
Divide the Interior Pocket into sections by sewing vertical lines down the pocket. I divided mine into three 5” sections, though you can make them whatever size you wish.
Place the Lining pieces RST and sew together at sides and bottom, leaving 4.5 -5” open at the bottom to turn. Make sure the turning hole is at least 3” from the corner so it doesn’t interfere with boxing the corners (in the next step).
Box the corners to give it a 3” bottom.
Assemble the bag
Place the outer bag inside the lining, RST. Stitch around the top edge.
Turn right side out through the turning hole. To keep the lining from peeking out at the top, press the top seam line slightly to the lining side.
Top stitch around the top, ¼” from edge.
Use a ladder stitch to sew the turning hole closed.
Sew your handles to the bag. You may want to audition the placement to see the best placement for you. For me, the bottom of the tab was 3” from the top of the bag, and the side of the tab was 2” from the seam line.
DO NOT USE PINS to hold the handles in place. I used masking tape to hold the tabs in place, removing the tape as a I sewed.
Stitch a box shape on each tab so your strap is good and secure.
Your Plaid Flannel Fall Tote Bag is finished!