Free Purse Patterns: Monogram Tote Bag Pattern!

Ladies Craft Night at our church got pretty in-depth compared to our usual scope of practice, so if you’re looking for free purse patterns you’re in luck!

Thanks to a very talented member and her crazy-cool embroidery machine, we made our own monogram tote bags from her original tote bag pattern. I’m actually not sure which category this free sewing pattern falls into: tote bag, handbag, or purse so I’ll probably refer to it as all three at some point. Here’s how we made them and you can to!

DIY Tote Bag craft - These cute handbags make a great beginner sewing project. Free sewing pattern!

Tote Bag Pattern

You will need:
3/4 yard duck fabric
3/4 yard duck fabric in a coordinating color
3/4 yard heavy interfacing
All-purpose thread
Rotary cutter and mat
3″ wide ruler
Sewing machine
Ironing board and iron
Embroidery machine (optional) ** if you have a Brother PE-700 go ahead and monogram your initial on the outer fabric. I don’t and have no idea how it’s done, but am grateful to Rachel for doing it for me.

Brother Embroidery Machine

Brother PE770 5×7 inch Embroidery-only machine with built-in memory, USB port, 6 lettering fonts and 136 built-in designs

Step 1 – Fold the heavy interfacing in half and cut a pattern like the one pictured below. The dimensions are 14″ high and 19″ wide.

purse pattern

There are two rectangular notches cut in the top corners that measure 2 1/2″ by 2″ (picture below)

Free Purse Patterns: Monogram Tote Bag Pattern!

This is what it should look like unfolded

Free Purse Patterns: Monogram Tote Bag Pattern!

Step 2 – Using the interfacing as a pattern, cut each 1/2 yard piece of duck into the same shape. Use a mat, rotary cutter and ruler to do this making sure to salvage as much fabric as possible since you’ll need the leftovers for straps


And it’s easier to cut the two notches with scissors


Now you should have a piece of interfacing and two pieces of fabric, all cut into the same shape.

Step 3  – Choose which fabric you want to use as your bag liner. Fold so that the right sides are together and topstitch both sides. Press seams open.

Step 4 – This is so hard to describe! Align the seams that you just stitched, right sides together at the rectangular openings. This forms a little “mouth” and will be the corners of your bag lining. See photo below


Stitch this closed and repeat on the other side of the bag liner. Press the seams open. See? Corners.


Step 5 – Stitch the fabric you’ve chosen for the outside of the bag to the interfacing by topstitching all along the edges except for the rim of the bag. You wan’t the interfacing and the outside fabric to function as one piece. You can use a wide zig-zag stitch around the rim of the outer bag/interface piece to make it easier to topstitch later. Optional but does make it more manageable when you get to that stage.


Step 6 – Repeat steps 3 and 4 with this piece. Viola! It’s starting to look like a tote bag.


Step 7– Time for straps! Using a 3″ ruler and mat for straight edges, use the rotary cutter to cut a strip of fabric #1 into a 3″ wide strip (the exact size of the ruler) that is 58″-60″ long. Do the same with fabric #2. If your fabric isn’t long enough, cut another 3″ wide strip and sew them together to get the length you need.



Step 8 – Iron each strip in half horizontally so there’s a crease down the middle all the way down the strips


Unfold then iron each edge into the middle crease you just made so that both strips look like this


Step 9 – Place both strips wrong side together and topstitch down both sides. Cut this strip in half. Your straps are finished!


Step 10 – Measure 5″ from edge of the outer bag/interfacing and pin raw edge of one strap into place. Matching pattern to pattern (so I placed the blue chevron of the strap against the blue chevon of the bag) and lining up the strap edge with the bag edge. Repeat measuring 5″ from the other side


Repeat on opposite side of bag until straps are pinned in four places. Sew straps in place as close to the edge of the bag as possible.


Step 11 – Place outer shell inside sewed liner (opposite sides together). Match up seams and pin together. Pin where the straps are too to make it easier. Stitch around the edge leave 5″ -6″ open.


Step 12 – Turn the liner right side out using the 5″-6″ opening you left


And stuff the liner in the bag where it belongs


Step 13 – Iron the rim of the bag flat (you’ll have to manhandle the open portion before pinning to look like the rest of the rim) then topstitch the entire rim as close to the edge as possible. Make sure you are stitching on the correct side of the tote bag handles too. The chevron side in my case.


Run an iron over the finished product so it looks pretty and enjoy your new tote bag!

DIY Tote Bag


And here are a few more fabric combos for your purse patterns inspiration

diy handbags

diy canvas totes

If you enjoyed this free tote bag pattern, check out my Mug Rug tutorial. Mug rugs are a combination of a coaster and a place for snacks. Super cute gift idea!

DIY Quilted Mug Rug

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