Today’s finished project is made with beautiful fabric courtesy of Art Gallery Fabrics.  The line is designed by Bonnie Christine and is called Cultivate. See more about Bonnie and her creative life on her blog, Going Home to Roost, and follow her on Instagram, @goinghometoroost


I love books and am often hauling armfuls of them back and forth to the library and taking piles of them on trips with me. I definitely needed a big, square-ish tote bag to make this easier. Enter a gorgeous stack of Art Gallery Fabric and not only would I have a useful tote, but a stylish one too!!


cultivated tote bag


The bag measures 15 1/2″ wide (including the binding), 14 1/2″ high and 5″ deep.  I didn’t use a pattern, just decided on the measurements and started cutting. The fabrics are so pretty that I didn’t want to cut them into small squares or pieces.  Basic square patchwork seemed the ideal choice, and I cut them 4.5″ and I used a 3/8″ seam allowance.


cultivated tote bag


Natural cotton canvas and a layer of quilt batting provided the stability the bag needed.  I also used the canvas for the straps, bottom and facings.  The blue roses print is my favorite and is featured on the sides of the bag.

The side seams are sewn with wrong sides together and then bound with fabric.  The reason for this design decision was to not only add an interesting detail, but because it actually helps the bag maintain its shape.


cultivated tote bag detail


A good tote bag needs some sort of closure so nothing falls out.  I added a zipper with side tabs – the easiest zipper installation ever!  Extending the end beyond the bag and adding another tab to the end allows it to open up to the full width of the bag (and those zipper tabs look so cute!)


cultivated tote bag zipper


cultivated tote bag zipper


More pretty fabric for the lining and an inside pocket with one of my Spoonflower printed labels.





If you like this bag, I will be making a pattern for it. I don’t want to be that girl that keeps promising patterns and not delivering, (where is that Austin Bag??) but this one is fairly straightforward and within my capabilities. It will be done.


My lovely model here gives you the perspective of the bag’s size. It fits nicely on the shoulder with about a 12″ drop. And isn’t she cute?


cultivated tote bag and sophie


Thank you so much to Art Gallery Fabrics for making the Cultivated Tote Bag possible. To celebrate National Sewing Month (you knew that right?), they are featuring lots of inspiration on their blog and on Instagram (@ArtGalleryFabrics) where they encourage you to share your projects and tag them #AGFsewingmonth.


Thank you for visiting today and have a great weekend!!