Summer Totes – Go Big or Go Small

Summer Totes Watermarked Go Big or Go Small

Sometimes the trip to the beach, home to visit relatives, or just a quick weekend away means packing Big, sometimes it means grabbing a bathing suit, sunscreen and your favorite magazine and packing Small. With these handy summer totes constructed using oly*fun™ from Fairfield you will be packing in no time at all.

Supplies for Summer totes:

Oly*fun™ Kiwi & Blueberry

Two Buttons – optional

Basics sewing supplies such as sewing machine, iron, scissors, thread, pressing cloth

Sizzix Die Cutting Machines and Die of your choice – Optional

HeatnBond® Feather lite iron-on adhesive

Cut the following pieces from oly*fun™

Kiwi                  Pattern piece                Blueberry         Pattern piece

(2) 5” x 12”         Bottom of Tote                 (2) 10” x 12”         Body of Tote

(2) 1/2” x 3”       Strap Accent                     (2) 2” x 30”           Strap

6” x 7”                 Front Pocket Lining         5” x 7”                   Front Pocket

Instructions for summer tote:

All seams are ¼” unless otherwise stated. Set your iron to the silk setting and always use a pressing cloth. Both sides of oly*fun™ can be considered the right side of the fabric, the choice really is yours to make, however be consistent for a more finished look.

Creating the Front Pocket:


Press HeatnBond® Feather lite iron-on adhesive to the back of  Oly*fun following the pressing instructions given above. Using the Sizzix die and die cut machine , cut out accent flowers. Remove paper backing and fuse cut outs to pocket front. Sew a button to the center of the flower cut outs. With right sides together pin the two pocket pieces together along one of the 7” sides. Flip the lining section over the top of the seam, leaving a ½” extending. Top stitch through both layers of fabric; stitching next to the seam.

Summer Totes by Lorine Mason Front Pocket and Hemming

Pin the pocket to the bottom edge of one of the tote body (front) sections.

Fold over 1” along the 12” length of each of the tote body sections; repeat turning an additional 1” and press. Top stitch along the first fold through all layers of fabric. Repeat using the second tote body section. This will create a reinforced hem at the top of each of the tote sections.

Summer Totes by Lorine Mason - Strap Construction


With right sides together, stitch along the length of each of the straps. Turn right side out. Press centering the seam. Stitch the strap accent piece down the center of the strap. Repeat for the second strap.

Summer Totes by Lorine Mason Strap Placement

Pin the straps to the tote front, covering the edges of the pocket. Top stitch along either side. Repeat stitching the second strap to the remaining bag body (back) section.

Summer Totes by Lorine Mason Tote Bottom

With right sides together; stitch the tote bottoms to the front and back sections. Press the seam down and top stitch.

With right sides together; stitch the bottom seam, press the seam to one side and top stitch.

Summer Totes by Lorine Mason French Seam 1 Summer Totes by Lorine Mason French Seam 2

With wrong sides together; stitch the side seams using a 1/8” seam. Turn wrong side out and re-stitch using a ¼” seam. This will create what is called a French Seam. Turn the tote right side out and you are finished, if you would prefer a flat bottom on your tote, continue following the instructions.

To create a flat bottom on the summer totes:

Place the tote right side in on a flat surface and pinch one of the bottom corners, matching the side seam line with the bottom seam line. Completely flatten the tote corner to form a triangle and pin to secure. Measure and mark a line that is running 90 degrees to the side seam and 2 inches long across the width of the triangle. Laying the tote on a gridded cutting mat makes everything line up perfectly.  Stitch across the flat bottom line mark. Repeat for the opposite side. Turn the tote right side out and trim. For a more complete tutorial on ‘boxing the corners of a tote, be sure to check out my next blog post entitled Boxing Corners.

Summer Tote by Lorine Mason - Small Tote


Your Small tote is complete. For measurements and a floating pocket tutorial for the Large version of the Summer Totes – Go Big or Go Small as well as a post about creating fun Tote Tags using oly*fun™, check out my blog at








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *