5 Little Monsters: Extra Large Cuddle Suede Tote Bag

Extra Large Cuddle Suede Tote Bag

With 5 kids to take places like the library or trips to the park, sometimes it is nice to have a really big sturdy bag. One that can be stuffed full of library books or hold a picnic blanket and lunches for everybody. This summer I bought a cheap large tote bag to take to the park and after just a couple of uses the handle broke. I thought I would just try making one of my own, that way I could make it nice and sturdy.

Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to work with Fairfield World as one of their Master Makers and in addition to using their products, in this case their interfacing, it has also given me the chance to work with other companies. When I was given the opportunity to try out some Cuddle Suede fabric from Shannon Fabrics I thought it would be perfect for a nice big bag for fall. I picked out a couple of colors, paired them with some Interfacing from Fairfield World, some hardware from Dritz, and a little bit of quilting cotton from the fabric store and I had everything I needed to make my big bag.

I used 2 colors of Cuddle Suede Fabric for a sort of colorblocked look. I picked navy and gold because I thought they would be good for fall. I wanted to use a print fabric for the lining just because I think it is fun to have that little pop of color on the inside that no one really sees but you, so I just used some cotton fabric that matched my cuddle suede colors. I used Structure from Fairfield World to give it some extra sturdiness and Smooth Fusible Fleece in the handles to give them some extra padding. To add the little finishing touches I used a magnetic snap for the closure and added a little clip on the inside that I can hook my keys to so they don't get lost in the bottom of the bag. Both of those pieces were from Dritz.

How to Make Extra Large Cuddle Suede Tote Bag

Finished Size 11"wide x 17"tall  x 7" deep

1/2" seam allowances used throughout

You will need:

  • 3/4 yard main color Cuddle Suede (navy)
  • 1/2 yard contrast color Cuddle Suede (gold)
  • 1/2 yard cotton fabric for lining
  • 2 1/2 yards Structure Interfacing
  • 1/4 yard Smooth Fusible Fleece
  • Small scrap of Stiffen Heavyweight Interfacing
  • Magnetic Snap
  • Fashion Swivel Hook
  • coordinating thread
  • rotary cutter, ruler, mat, scissors
  • sewing machine


From Main color:
  • 2- 19" x 16 1/2" (main bag)
  • 2- 4" x 40" (straps)
From Contrasting color:
  • 2- 19" x 11" (top band)
  • 2- 8" x 11" (pockets)
  • 1- 3" x 4" (key strap)
From Lining:
  • 2- 19" x 16 1/2" (lining)
From Interfacing:
  • 4- 19" x 16 1/2" (main bag and lining)
  • 2- 19" x 11" (top band)
  • 2- 8" x 5 1/2" (pockets)
From Fusible Fleece:
  • 2- 3" x 40" (straps)


First iron all of your interfacing to the matching fabric pieces, for the pocket pieces just iron the interfacing onto half of the fabric piece, fusible fleece should be centered on strap to leave a seam allowance of 1/2" on either side. 

Begin sewing by first sewing the two main bag pieces wrong sides together around three sides, the 2- 16 1/2" sides and one 19" side, one long side will be left open. Repeat with lining piece but leave an opening a few inches long in the bottom or side for turning. Box the corners by folding the corner so that the bottom and side seams line up, measure the point where it is 7" across the corner (not 7" up from the corner but the line should be 7" long), draw a line, sew on the line, trim. Do this to both corners on the main bag and the lining. 

Next sew the top band together by placing the two pieces wrong sides together and sewing the short ends together to create a tube. You need to attach the magnetic snap at this point, before sewing the bag together. The band will be folded in half to make the finished bag so you need to place the snap on what will be the inside half of the band. To figure out placement fold the tube in half wrong sides together and flatten along side seams. Find the center on each side about an inch from the top, mark. Follow package directions to attach using a small square of heavyweight interfacing to add sturdiness. (in the picture I had forgotten to add the metal circle piece and had to go back and add it, there should be a metal circle on top of the interfacing and then the prongs are bent down)

Prepare the pockets by folding in half to make a piece 8" x 5 1/2". sew along the three sides leaving an opening in the bottom for turning. Clip corners, turn right side out. Sew one pocket on each side of the lining, centered between the seams 2-3" down from the top edge.

Make the straps by folding in half and sewing, turn right side out, topstitch down each side. Turn right side out.

Next, make the the strap for the keyring by folding the key strap in half (so that is measures 1 1/2" x 4 ") and sew down one side, turn right side out, set aside.

Sew the outside edge of the top band to the top edge of the main bag, sandwiching the straps in about 4 1/2" from the side seam. There should be about 7" between the straps.

Put the key strap through the clip and pin to the top edge of the lining. Sew the inside edge of the top band to the top edge of the lining. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining.

Sew the straps down against the top band, sewing along the topstitching lines. Sew the opening in the lining closed.

Enjoy your nice big tote bag. 

1 comment :

  1. I loved your tutorial so much that I have included it into my 8 tips for sewing faux suede! If you like to check it out: http://www.diy-crush.com/blog/8-tips-for-sewing-faux-suede/