Tote of Many Pockets

This sturdy tote bag makes a great carryall when shopping, and features Mitzi the Duck with Pluck by Beth Yarbrough.




Embroider and Construct the Front Pocket

Note: Stitch all seams using a 1/4” seam allowance unless otherwise instructed.

On the 17” X 9.5” pocket fabric, measure 7.5” from the bottom and mark a horizontal line. Measure 4.75” from the side and mark a vertical line. Where the two lines intersect will be the center of the embroidery.

Adhere two layers of OESD Ultra Clean & Tear Stabilizer together with Temporary Spray Adhesive. Spray the top of the stabilizer and adhere to the wrong side of the fabric to be embroidered.

Hoop the three layers as one and attach the hoop to the machine. Select and embroider the design of your choice. The sample has combined two designs - Mitzi the Duck #CC82616 and I never met a mall I didn't like #CC82617.

Remove the hoop from the machine and the fabric from the hoop. Carefully tear away the stabilizer from the back one layer at a time.

Fold the pocket right sides together and stitch the lower edge to the top edge. Press the seam open.

Turn right side out and center the design on the front. The seam allowance will be on the back. Press.

Turn the pocket to the wrong side again and stitch along each side leaving an opening on one side to turn. Turn and press.

With the second pocket fabric, place wrong sides together (forming 9’ x 10.5” rectangle). Stitch the 10.5” edge and press the seam open. Turn to the right side and press. Turn the pocket to the wrong side again and stitch along each side leaving an opening on one side to turn. Turn and press.

Center the first pocket on top of the second pocket and stitch in place on three sides.

Using one of the 12.5” x 14” denim pieces, measure 3” from the top and 1.5” from the sides for the pocket placement and stitch in place on three sides.


Construct the Tote

Create as many inside pockets as you wish customizing the sizes to your particular needs.

To create a zippered pocket:

  • Cut a piece of fabric 9.5” X 16”. Place a 9” zipper right sides together at the top, stitch in place and press seam to back side.
  • Fold the pocket right sides together and stitch the bottom to the other side of the zipper forming a tube.
  • Press the pocket with the zipper ¾” from the top. Unzip the zipper half way. With right sides together, stitch the two side seams.
  • Turn right side out through the zipper. Place the pocket 4” from the top of the lining and stitch on three sides.


With right sides together, stitch the front and back pieces using ½” seam on the two long sides and across the bottom. Press open.

To form a flat bottom, open the side seam and lay flat so the bottom edge forms a triangle point. Measure from the point 1.25” and draw a perpendicular line.

Stitch on this line. Trim the excess. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat the above instructions for the lining, except leave a 4” opening in the bottom seam to turn.

With the bag wrong side out, place the lining inside with right sides facing. Stitch around the top through both layers.

Turn to the right through the opening in the lining. Push the lining into the bag.

Press and top stitch the lining opening closed.

Fold the 2.5” x 18” strap pieces right sides together. Stitch along the long side, turn and press.

Turn 1/4” hem to the inside on each end. Top stitch the strap along each side. Repeat with the second strap. Stitch the straps on the inside of the bag 1.5” from the top and 3” from each side seam.

Fold down a 3/4” cuff at the top of the bag.

Your tote is complete!

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