Carryall Tote! Perfect for organizing a Dorm Room

Categories: Utility, Gifts, Fashion Accessories, Bags and Totes, Accessory, Back to School

The Carryall Tote is ready for whatever dorm life brings!

Whether it accompanies you to the laundromat full of laundry; stuffed with papers and mail for the coffee shop or bursting with materials for the big art class project.

What you need to make this project

1 1/2 yds. Stiffen double sided fusible interfacing
1 yd. Structure double sided fusible interfacing
1 yd. Canvas fabric for Outside of Bag
3/4 yd. Canvas for Lining of Bag
2 yds. All-Cotton Twill Tape
Standard Sewing Supplies

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Structure Double Sided Fusible Interfacing 20″ Wide X 20 Yard Roll

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Stiffen Double Sided Fusible Interfacing 20″ Wide X 10 Yard Roll

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Step One

Cut Main Bag Body Fabric:

  1. 2 pieces = 13″ across by 16″ tall for front and back
  2. 2 pieces = 6.5″ across by 16″ tall for bag sides
  3. 1 piece = 6.5″ by 13″ for bag bottom
  4. 4 pieces = 6.5″ across by 7.5″ tall for side pockets
  5. 4 pieces = 13″ across by 7.5″ tall for front/back pockets
  6. 1 piece = 10″ across by 6.5″ tall for inside pocket
  7. 4 pieces = 3″ by 35″ for bag straps

Cut Lining Fabric:

  1. 2 pieces = 13″ across by 16″ tall for front and back
  2. 2 pieces = 6.5″ across by 16″ tall for bag sides
  3. 1 piece = 6.5″ by 13″ for bag bottom

Cut Stiffen Fusible Double-Sided Interfacing:

  1. 2 pieces = 12″ across by 15″ tall for front and back
  2. 2 pieces = 5.5″ across by 15″ tall for bag sides
  3. 1 piece = 5.5″ by 12″ for bag bottom

Cut Structure Fusible Double-Sided Interfacing:

  1. 2 pieces = 5.5″ by 7″ for side pockets
  2. 2 pieces = 12″ by 7″ for front and back pockets
  3. 2 pieces = 2″ by 34″ for bag straps

Cut Twill Tape:

  1. 2 pieces 13″ long
  2. 2 pieces 6.5″ long
  3. 1 piece 10″ long
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Step Two

Prepare inside pocket by folding cotton twill tape along the top. Pin it in place and sew.  Iron the remaining three sides, towards the wrong side of the fabric, over 1/2″ to create a pocket.

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Step Three

Pin the pocket at the midway point of one 13″ by 16″ lining fabric piece, 7.5″ from the top with the twill tape end facing up.  Sew the three folded side to create a patch pocket.  Set aside.

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Step Four

Create side pocket:

  1. Match Stiffen interfacing sized 5.5″ by 7″ with fabric piece sized 6.5″ by 7/5″, the side pocket.  Note: The interfacing is purposely 1″ smaller on the side and 1/2″ smaller on the bottom.
  2. Situate the interfacing at the top of one of the pocket pieces leaving a 1/2″ gap at the three other sides.
  3. Place the matching fabric piece on top, sandwiching the interfacing in the middle.
  4. Iron to fuse the interfacing in place
  5. Fold, pin and sew the cotton twill tape across the top just as we did for the inside pocket.
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Step Five

Repeat to create remaining side pocket and both front and back pockets.

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Step Six

Match a side pocket piece with the same width size of the main bag, the bag side. Pin at the bottom and along the sides.  Sew along the three raw-edged sides to hold the pocket in place. Repeat for remaining bag side as well as the front and back.

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Step Seven

It’s time to adhere our Stiffen interfacing! We are using a two-sided fusible interfacing but for our purposes right now, we only want to adhere one side! Here is how we will do it.

  1. Place a length of PARCHMENT PAPER on your ironing board a good size larger than 13″ by 16″.
  2. Set down a 12″ by 15″ piece of Stiffen fusible on the parchment paper.
  3. Place the front/back bag body piece over the Stiffen interfacing, leaving a 1/2″ gap around all four edges.
  4. Iron in place LIGHTLY. Too much ironing and it will adhere to the parchment paper.  Iron just enough to hold it in place.  You will be going back over this later.
  5. Repeat for all remaining bag pieces including the bag bottom.
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Step Eight

Now we can create our bag. Begin by placing both bag sides along the long edge of the bag front.  Pin in place, lining up the top of the  pockets.

Sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Note: Be gentle as you sew, the Stiffen interfacing isn’t fully adhered and might want to peel off a little.  Don’t worry if it does a little bit, you will be re-adhering it further down the line.

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Step Nine

Pin in place and sew the remaining bag back piece to the remaining side pieces with the right sides together and with a 3/8″ seam allowance.  This will create and kind of tube.

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Step Ten

Attach the bottom of the bag by pinning it, right sides together, to the bottom of the “bag tube” you just created.  This process can be a little tricky, especially at the corners.  Just be sure to keep it aligned along the front, back and sides and then keep the corners as straight as you can.

Sew in place at a 3/8″ seam allowance.  The interfacing WILL make this process challenging but try to keep the seam allowance as consistent as you can without killing yourself. 🙂

Turn the bag right side out.

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Step Eleven

Repeat the bag construction for the lining pieces. It will be much easier because you are not dealing with any pesky interfacing!

Once the lining is constructed, fold the top edge down 1/2 and press in place.

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Step Twelve

Place the lining inside the main bag such that the wrong sides are facing.  Nestle the two so they fit together well.

Fold the main bag top down to meet the fold of the lining.

Hold in place (I used Wonderclips for this because of the interfacing but it’s only optional.  Pins work too).

Sew using a topstitch to close it up. Now you have a completed bag body!



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Step Thirteen

Press heavily with an iron on the inside, outside, and bottom of the bag body. This will fully adhere the interfacing creating a bag that can stand up on it’s own!

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Step Fourteen

Making Bag Straps:

  1. Taking the long strip of fabric, 3″ by 35″, fold in 1/2″ on both long ends and short ends.  Do the same on another of the long fabric strips.
  2. Nestle the Structure interfacing sized 2″ by 34″ inside of the folded strap.
  3. Place the two straps on top of each other lining up all four edges
  4. Iron on both side to fuse the interfacing and create a strong strap.
  5. Repeat for second strap.
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Step Fifteen

Sew a topstitch along the long sides of both straps.

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Step Sixteen

To attach straps to bag:

  1. Pin the end of a strap, along the outer edge, 2″ from the side of the bag on both sides with 3″ dipping down from the top. Be sure not to twist the strap when you pin it in place.
  2. Sew a straight line along the bottom and up 2.5″ to hold it in place.
  3. Repeat for the other strap.
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Step Seventeen

Your bag is done! Your beautiful bag is ready to tackle anything dorm life brings!