Classic Color-Block Tote with Janome

Classic Color-Block Tote with Janome

colorblock tote-300

Just purchased your Janome sewing machine? Put it to good use with this classic color-block tote! An easy sewing project that even the beginner can achieve. Continue to the instructions below to learn more

Materials Needed:

  • Janome Sewing Machine
  • Denim/Jeans
  • Needle
  • 1 yard of main fabric (suggested: medium-weight canvas, target, etc.)
  • 1/2 yard of contrast fabric (suggested: medium-weight canvas, target, etc.)
  • 1 yard of Pellon 808 Craft Fuse
  • 1 yard of lining (suggested: quilting cotton or similar)
  • Double-sided basting tape
  • Quick turn tube turners
  • Matching or contrasting thread (topstitching thread may be used if desired)
  • Cut pieces as Follows (1/2″ Seam Allowance Included): Recommended cutting from the measurements below:
  • Pockets, 5 1/2” x 8” (2 main, 2 interfacing)
  • Short straps (for holding in hand, not wearing over the shoulder) 3 1/2” x 34” (2 contrast)


  • Long straps (for wearing over the shoulder) 3 1/2” x 50” (2 contrast)
  • Bottom, 20” x 10” (1 contrast)
  • Bag, 31” x 20” (1 main, 1 interfacing)
  • Interior facing, 4 1/2” x 20” (2 main, 2 interfacing)
  • Interior lining, 27” x 20” (1 lining)


1.) Fuse the interfacing pieces to the corresponding main pieces as instructed by the manufacturer.

2.) Fold one short edge of each pocket piece down a 1/4” toward the wrong side and press. Fold down another 1/4” toward the wrong side and press again. Sew the hem in place and set aside.

3.) Fold both long edges of the bottom contrast piece down a 1/4” toward the wrong side and press. Fold down another 1/4” toward the wrong side and press again. DO NOT SEW hem at this time. Please set it aside.

4.) Fold each strap in half lengthwise and sew two edges with a 1/4” seam allowance. (Leave one of the short edges open for turning.) Clip the corners, turn out, press and set aside. Quick Turn tube turners are helpful for turning heavier-weight fabrics right side out.

5.) Using double-sided basting tape (or pin and stitch with a wide stitch, if desired) and referring to the PDF pattern for placement, stick the pockets in place on the main section for the bag.

6.) Align the two narrow edges of each strap with the bottom of each pocket and attach with basting tape. Be sure to overlap the edges of the pockets so that they will be secured when the handles are sewn to the bag.

7.) Starting where one of the handles meets with the top of the bag (and 1” away from the top edge to allow for seaming the facing to the main portion of the bag), sew the strap to the bag. Finish with a barn-door configuration to reinforce the stitching. Continue securing the other side of the first strap and both sides of the second strap.

8.) Apply contrast bottom to the bag using basting tape (or pin and stitch using a wide stitch). Sew in place at the top edges, making sure to overlap the bottom of the pocket and strap ends. Stitch baste to the bag main along the side seams.

9.) Fold the bag in half with right sides together and sew the side seams with a 1/2” seam allowance. Press the seams open.

10.) Pinch off a triangle on each bottom corner of the bag to give it a three-dimensional, boxy shape. Sew the triangle in place on each side. Trim away the excess fabric and turn the bag right side out and set aside.

11.) With right sides together, sew each bag facing to the short edges of the bag lining. Press facing up away from the lining and seams open.

12.) Fold the bag lining/facing combo in half, right sides together, so that the short edges come together. Sew the side seams and press them open.

13.) Pinch off the triangles at the bottom corners of the lining as you did for the main bag. Sew and trim.

14.) Place the main bag, right side out, inside of the lining and right side in so that the two right sides are facing each other. Match up the side seams and top edges. Pin together and sew, leaving a 3” opening for turning. Backstitch at the beginning and end of stitching so that the stitches don’t rip during the turning.

15.) Carefully turn the bag right side out and press.

16.) Top stitch along the top edge, making sure to close the turning hole.

17.) Give the bag one final press and voila! You’re done!

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