Tiki Tote

One of the items on my YOP list was to make a new work tote.

Recently I wrote how I found a free pattern on Craftsy for the Tiki Tote.

I thought this would be a great way to stash bust.



This week, I had time to complete the bag!

I finished sewing my panels (eight in total).

Unfortunately, one of my panels was off a little in size so instead of my panels cutting to 5.5″ wide, mine are 4.5″.

I started with cutting the bottom as indicated in the pattern:


Then I lined this up to the top of the cutting mat and cut one side:


Then I decided which portions I wanted in my 15″ length and for each panel I ended up cutting one inch off the bottom.


Then I measured 15″ and cut the top of the panel:


Then I cut the remaining side:


Seems a bit labor intensive I know, but it was the only way I could wrap my brain around making the panels all the same size.

It is a shame that one panel was wonky, as losing an inch on each panel made for a more narrow bag.

If I had extra of all the material, I would have made additional panels, but I completely used all of two of the colors.

For my handles, I remembered a trick for turning them inside out-a simple stitch holding a piece of scrap fabric inside the handle made pulling it through and turning the handle right side out very easy.


I asked my daughter to pick which fabric she recommended for the top border and she chose “the crazy one Mama”.

I also added a border to the bottom to extend the length of the bag.

I then used those same materials to make the handles.

Items not shown are the fusible fleece used for both the bag and the handles, my much loved 1/4″ foot and my iron (very much needed to make it look neat).

I also used stash fabric for the lining (purchased at a “fill a bag for $8.00” at my sewing studio spring clean out).

Here is my Tiki Tote!





(Where else will you use Cow Fabric??)


(Forgive the threads, I swear I don’t see them until I look at the pictures)

Things I wish I did:

  • Made extra panels to make it wider.
  • Paid more attention sewing my panels-I just sewed from the pile of panels and I wish I didn’t have some of the same pattern touching side by side.
  • MEASURED my lining before sewing the outer bag. Duh, I forgot that my panels were smaller and I didn’t initially adjust the size of the lining-I got VERY lucky when  doing the math and recutting the lining.
  • Remembered my handle trick for the first handle-remembered it when sewing the second handle (insert eye roll here).
  • Top stitched my handles before completing the bag (I suppose I could still do that).

All in all, I am very pleased with how it turned out!

This was a fun project and I recommend it (well written pattern and there is a video tutorial at Midnight Quilter).

Have a great week!




11 thoughts on “Tiki Tote

  1. Sandra Licher says:

    It turned out so cute! Don’t feel bad…I’ve done some eye-rolling at myself..in fact twice today!
    It amazes me how the fabrics always look so nice together. I love patchwork of all kinds but I wrestle over the fabrics and why? It always looks nice in the end….yours especially!


  2. Stefanie says:

    Good tips in this post. What a lot of sewing to get the pieces together. What a fun tote in the end. I’ll have to try this after I get all of my bought-for projects done. With all of the stash I have in the bin this kind of project would be fun to do. I’ve been wanting to sew some simple quilting items.


  3. Ruth says:

    Your bag turned out great and what great tips, love the one for the handle and must remember it for when I make another tote. I’m sure you’ll get lots of use out of your bag.


  4. Becki says:

    Your Tiki Tote is terrific! I love all the detailed shots and you showing us how the strips were made and cut. FWIW, I had to go back and look at the finished bag to understand what you meant by some of the same fabrics touching. I see what you’re talking about, but I don’t think it detracts from it at all. I honestly wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it, but even now, understanding what you’re referring to, it’s simply not a negative at all. Great job, Ali!


  5. Ella says:

    Wow, that’s one gorgeous tote. I love all the details, and the fabrics you chose work great together. Thanks for sharing that handle turning trick, I’ll have to try that for my next tote.


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