DIY / Fashion & Style

How to be a DIY Fashionista: Sew Your Own Purses and Totes

How to be a DIY Fashionista Sew Your Own Purses & Totes DIY free pattern tutorial oho bohemian paisley print osnaburg pink beige Angela Conley

Occasionally I like to immerse myself into creative fashion projects. My style is fairly classic, so I love to accessorize with unique items. Sewing your own purses allows you to show off your creativity and personalize your outfits with a one-of-a-kind accessory. Another benefit is you get to add some sewing skills under your belt. And perhaps the best part of all– they’re cheap to make!

I started by googling free patterns and tutorials, skimming them over to make sure they were simple enough for my basic sewing skills. I selected the tutorials below because the steps are broken down well and are pretty clear. If you’re a novice like myself, there are a few sewing techniques you may be unfamiliar with… but they are truly simple techniques that you can find on the web to practice beforehand.

My first project was a tote bag, using some fabric I already had in my stash that just never got used. I created them with Sew Mama Sew’s free tutorial, the Classic Tote. Tote bags are wonderful because they can be used for shopping, trips to the library, going to the gym, etc. This tote perfect for my trip to the beach when I went to Florida last month.

I actually improvised this tutorial a bit by tweaking the size of the bag, sewing the pocket on the inside, and adding a lining and strap in a contrasting fabric.For the first tote, the outside was made with non-washable, outdoor fabric, but I figure it’s okay. (If it gets dirty, I’ll just make another one!)Β  The lining and strap were made with solid Kona fabric in “Celery Green,” adding a subtle, matching contrast to the outside of the bag.

How to be a DIY Fashionista Sew Your Own Purses & Totes DIY free pattern tutorial tote melon yellow green outdoor canvas fabric

Using the same Classic Tote tutorial from Sew Mama Sew, I sewed another tote with a cotton calico print on the outside and another outdoor fabric for the lining (also non-washable). This mod print is one of my favorites and it pairs nicely with the mint green lining and strap.

Classic Tote bag purse sewing pattern tutorial black white cotton calico mod print seafoam mint green DIY Fashionista

I also researched some purse patterns and tutorials. The next purse I sewed is the Phoebe bag by Rebeka at Artsy Crafty Babe. Her free pattern and tutorial can be accessed here. On the outside, I used a boho pattern I scored on clearance; the lining was made with a solid cotton and the strap with Osnaburg.

Phoebe bag DIY free purse sewing pattern tutorial boho bohemian paisley print osnaburg pink beige Angela Conley

I loved this purse pattern so much I made another. I used this black and white crosshatch print for the outside and a light yellow cotton fabric for the lining and strap. I’m such a sucker for for mod patterns!

Phoebe bag DIY free purse sewing pattern tutorial boho black white mod crosshatch print light yellow lining Angela Conley

And I made yet another Phoebe bag, using a pastel calico print for the outside. This bag is a bit different because I experimented with a slightly longer strap. The white lining and strap was actually made with a small polka-dot print. Aqua and white is one of my favorite color combinations!

Phoebe bag DIY free purse sewing pattern tutorial mod aqua turquoise white pattern white lining

For all three of the Phoebe bags, I used the same fabric from the outside of the bag for the outside of the pocket— this way the pocket is more visible from the inside of the purse.

Phoebe bag DIY free purse sewing pattern tutorial boho bohemian paisley print osnaburg pink beige inside pocket Angela Conley

Yes, I became a little obsessed with making purses. Since I have a large fabric stash, most of these didn’t require shopping… but of course, I still bought some new stuff. πŸ™‚

Many thanks to Sew Mama Sew and Artsy Crafty Babe for sharing their free patterns and creating these wonderful tutorials. All the fabrics I used can be found at Joann’s, although some may no longer be available.

***Please note, these patterns are free and for personal use only. If you want to use them for commercial use, you may wish to contact the bloggers to see if this option is available.


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42 thoughts on “How to be a DIY Fashionista: Sew Your Own Purses and Totes

  1. They are really cute. I’ve never sewed any purses but love how it would be a good way to add personality to my mostly black wardrobe. The turquoise one is my favourite!


  2. wow, these are awesome! i’ll take on of each, please. πŸ˜‰ that mod print with the mint strap is my fave!
    Thanks so much for linking up at he Humble Brag!


  3. Dropped by from Craftastic Monday and I Should Be Mopping – I love that there’s so many bag patterns out there now, it’s fun to see what fabric choices people make too. Great collection πŸ™‚


  4. Wow! Fabulous bags! I will add this to my list of things I want to make (why does it keep getting longer and longer… so much amazing creativity and talent out there, I guess). Thanks so much for visiting The Happy Housie earlier. Love your colourful blog!


  5. You have inspired me to try making my own bags! I seem to have a mental block about it but all of yours turned out so cute that I just HAVE to try it now! Fantastic job and I love all the prints that you choose! Thanks so much for linking up and sharing!


  6. Pingback: Saturday SHOW-Licious Craft Showcase #28 |

  7. Pingback: Saturday SHOW-licious Craft Showcase #28

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