Fat Quarter Gift Bag/Mini Tote Tutorial

Size: Approx 21.5cm x 21.5cm (8.5″ x 8.5″) excluding handles

With Christmas around the corner our thoughts are turning to Xmas sewing tutorials. We have a number on the way but thought we would start with a few mini bag ideas, first is our speedy gift bag, made out of a fat quarter of fabric – buy smart and you can make a whole heap of these nifty little bags for less than the cardboard ones in the supermarket 🙂

We have used Riley Blake’s Little Flyers Collection for this make – click here to view in store.


2 x main bag pieces 25.5cm x 26.75cm (10″ wide x 10.5″)
2 x strap pieces 5cm x 54cm (2″ x 21″)


Step 1 – The Straps

Iron 12mm (1/2″) seam allowances onto the back of each strap piece, along both long edges.

Place the two strap pieces on top of each other, wrong sides facing each other, and pin together.

Top stitch, 3mm (1/8th”) in from the outside edge, along both long sides.

Fold the strap in half and cut into two.


Step 2 – Attaching the Handles

Pin one of your handles to the top of one of the main bag pieces.  The raw edges of the handle should be lined up with the raw edges of the main bag fabric and the handle ends should be 7.5cm (3″) in from the nearest side of the main bag fabric piece.

Sew the handle ends into place, using a 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance.

mini-tote-attach handles-2-tutorial-fat-quarter-gift-bag-french-seams
Turn your fabric over and fold the top of the fabric down by 12mm (1/2″), iron into place.

Turn the top over again by 12mm (1/2″).  All the raw edges will now be hidden.  Iron.

Pin the fabric into place, folding the handles up onto the folded over fabric, so that the handle sticks up over the top.  Make sure the straps are straight and pin into place.

Top sew the folded over fabric, 3mm (1/8″) in from each long edge, taking care when going over the handles.


Repeat these steps with the second side and handle pieces.


Step 3 – Sewing the Bag Together

Pin the two bag piece together, WRONG sides facing each other, and sew the left, right and bottom edges together, using a 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance.

Trim the seam allowances back close to the sew line.

Turn the bag inside out, iron to ensure the seams are along the edge on each side. Pin and sew a 12mm (1/2″) seam along the left, right and bottom edges.


Turn back out – FINISHED!


We have used Riley Blake’s Little Flyers Collection for this make.

Click here to download a printer-friendly version of this pattern.

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