Hey guys! Over on Instastories I showed you the new open-weave burlap / hessian material I found, and most of you said yes to seeing how to make this easy burlap tote bag tutorial! I love finding out that others are into something just as much as I am! So if you’d like to see my other burlap projects, go right ahead 🙂
Firstly, a few quick tips on working with burlap – the less you handle it, the better. Especially with this open weave, it unravels very easily and before you know it your piece of material is shrinking. As the material is very loosely woven, it also warps easily, BUT it is just as easy to straighten out. To make sure all my pieces were straight and that they lined up, I cut my pieces in-between two threads, and stuck to cutting between the same threads, even if it seems wonky. Once its cut, it may not seem like a straight line, but you can easily press it out and it will make a much more orderly result. I also always use a zigzag stitch on any burlap to stop it unraveling.
Make this Easy Burlap Tote
You will need:
Burlap/hessian material (max. one metre)
Scrap material such as calico
Firstly, let’s measure and cut out the base of our tote. I wanted my base to be around 10 x 30cm, so add in a cm or so of hem on each side. You should end up with a rectangle about 12 x 32 cm. I found it easiest to cut the first rectangle out of the interfacing (as it’s the most rigid fabric we’re using) and then trace this onto the calico and burlap. Cut out these two rectangles.
The interfacing is used to give a bit more structure to the base of the bag, and also helps give the bag some depth.
Lay these rectangles so that you have calico on top, interfacing in the middle and burlap on the bottom. Pin and sew around all four edges.
Next, we want to measure out our two sides to the tote. Lay the burlap out flat. Our sides need to be the length of our rectangle base, PLUS an extra 10cm to allow for the sides to wrap around the base.
Cut two burlap rectangles around 40 + 2cm hem (for the width of our bag), and around 40cm for the height of our bag.
Pin one of these rectangles to the long edge of the base, so that the burlap of the base is on top of the burlap side piece. When you pin it, make sure the base sits in exactly the middle of the burlap side piece. You should have extra burlap on either side.
Sew this piece together, and then pin and sew the extra burlap along the shorter sides of the base. The burlap side should reach just over halfway across the short side of the base. It might look funny because this is the first step in making the bag ‘3D’.
Repeat these steps with the other burlap side.
You should now have the two burlap pieces sewn to the whole perimeter of the base. You can now pin the two burlap sides that meet together, and sew these to hem up the side of your bag.
Fold over the top edge of the bag, pin and sew to hem it.
Now you can turn the bag right-way-in, and iron the edges and seams flat. I also ironed the corner edges to give the bag a bit more shape.
For the handles, cut two pieces of burlap around 70 x 6 cm. Fold these in half lengthways, pin and sew. You can turn them inside-out to hide the seam, but I liked the raw edge for the handle, so I left it out this way.
Place the ends of the handles where you would like them to sit along the top of your bag, pin and sew them in place.
Now your burlap tote is complete!
This is such an easy tote to use from day-to-day, or for special trips to the markets or beach. I hope you found this post inspiring! If so feel free to Pin it for later or follow Dossier Blog on Bloglovin‘ to stay up to date with the latest easy DIYs!