A few months ago I saw a really cute tote with appliqued books online somewhere and I thought it was adorable. Ever since, I’ve wanted to make a canvas tote but I wanted to embroider it rather than applique.
I looked for a while for a pattern I liked but had no luck. I wanted a simple canvas tote, not something lined, with snaps, zippers, etc., and that was pretty much all I could find.
So, last month, in November, I needed a quick project so I decided to just draft a pattern myself, which was much easier than I expected. I already have a great canvas tote that I got from my department at the university when I went to the prospective student weekend for the PhD students who had been accepted to the program and I took some measurements from that tote, but ultimately decided to go with slightly different proportions and construction.
The only part that needed drafting, really, was the body of tote itself, the rest, that is the straps and the facing for the top of the bag, are just strips of fabric cut to particular lengths and widths.
The embroidery design is from Urban Threads.
I thought about making the pattern for this tote a PDF pattern and offering it as a free pattern here but I thought that before I went through all that trouble I’d gauge whether there is even demand for it. So, if you’d like to see this as a free PDF pattern (including facings and straps), let me know in the comments, email, Facebook, or Instagram.
I am really happy with this tote, and I got multiple compliments when I carried to school a few days ago. It’s a really quick project, especially without the embroidery.
It is also pretty great to carry lots of books.