Tasseled Tote

Sarah Boughner
Tasseled Tote

Make a hip designer bag using a gathering foot for easy embellishing.

Download and print the instructions.

Download and print the pattern.


  • 1/2 yard of cotton print fabric (fabric A)
  • 3/4 yard of canvas for interlining (fabric B)
  • 3/4 yard of coordinating cotton print fabric (fabric C)
  • 1/4 yard of coordinating cotton print fabric (fabric D)
  • 60" length of 1/8"-diameter cotton cording (piping)
  • Two 25" lengths of 1/2"-wide cording (handles)
  • 2" strip of double-sided fusible web
  • Size 90/14 needle
  • 22" coordinating zipper
  • Piping trimming tool (See "Sources.")
  • 4 size-4 metal grommets
  • Removable fabric marker
  • All-purpose thread
  • Machine feet: piping & ruffling
  • Matching rayon tassel (optional)


Download the Bag Inset pattern; cut out. Cut two inset pieces from fabric C and four inset pieces from fabric B.

Cut one 12 3/4"x42" rectangle each from fabric A and B. From fabric C, cut two 3"x24" facing strips, two 7"x22 1/2" pocket rectangles and two 2"x22 1/2" zipper casing strips. From fabric D, cut one 2"x60" piping strip.

Position fabric C on a flat work surface with the wrong side facing up. Using a removable fabric marker, draw a 24"-diameter circle on the fabric wrong side. Cut out the circle and then cut in half to create semicircles.


Align the fabric A and B rectangles with wrong sides together for the bag. Baste the perimeter using a 1/2" seam allowance.

Position one fabric C inset right side up over two fabric B insets. Baste the perimeter using a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat to baste the remaining fabric C and B insets.

Install the ruffling attachment on the machine and set the ruffles to one ruffle per stitch. Ruffle each bag long edge.

With right sides together, fold one fabric C pocket in half widthwise, creating a 7"x11 1/4" rectangle. Stitch the raw edges using a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave a 2" opening for turning; press open the seams.

Clip the corners, and then turn the pocket right side out. Slipstitch the opening closed; press. Repeat to create the second pocket.

Position one fabric C semicircle right side up on a flat work surface with the straight edge as the upper edge. Align one pocket with the lining center, positioning the pocket upper edge 2" below the lining upper edge. Topstitch the pocket sides and lower edge (1).

Install the piping foot on the machine. Fold the fabric D strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Insert the cotton cording into the fabric fold. Position the covered piping beneath the foot so that the piping follows the groove beneath the foot. Stitch close to the cording.

Using the piping trimming tool, trim the piping strip long edge 1/2", following the manufacturer's instructions.

Using the piping foot, stitch the piping to one inset curved edge with wrong sides together. Clip the piping seam allowance so it easily curves as you sew, being careful not to clip the stitching or piping (2). Repeat to stitch piping to the remaining inset. Set aside the remaining piping.

Pin-mark the center of one bag long ruffled edge. Fold one inset piece in half, aligning the straight edges; finger-press to mark the center.

With right sides together, match the ruffled center and inset center; pin. Beginning from one ruffled corner, pin the ruffled edge to the inset curve, easing the ruffled fabric (3). Stitch, following the piping stitching line.

Repeat to attach the remaining ruffled edge to the remaining inset.

To create the zipper casing, fold the casing strip short edges 1/4" to the wrong side; topstitch.

With right sides together, fold each casing strip in half lengthwise. Unzip the zipper and insert one zipper long edge inside one folded casing strip, positioning the teeth toward the fold. Align the casing strip raw edges with the zipper wrong side; pin (4).

Stitch close to the zipper teeth between all layers. Turn the tube right side out; press. Repeat to stitch the remaining zipper half to the remaining casing strip.

Position one lining semicircle right side up on a flat work surface. Position one casing tube right side up, aligning the fabric edge with the lining straight edge. With the wrong side facing up, position one fabric C facing strip lengthwise over the casing tube.

Align each fabric edge; pin, and then stitch through all layers using a 1/4" seam allowance (5). Repeat to stitch the remaining lining, zipper and facing strip.

With right sides together, pin the lining semicircle perimeters. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, stitch the curved edge.

Position the piping along the lining upper-edge right side, aligning the piping and lining raw edges; pin.

Using the piping foot, position the needle closer to the piping than the original seamline. Stitch the piping to the lining.

With right sides together, insert the bag into the lining, aligning all edges; pin. Stitch the bag upper edge, following the piping seamline. Leave a 2" opening for turning. Fold the opening edges toward the wrong side; press.

Turn the bag right side out. Insert a fusible web strip into the opening; fuse the opening closed, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Topstitch the bag upper edge just below the piping, using coordinating thread in the needle and bobbin (6).

Using a removable fabric marker, mark the handle positions 1 1/4" inside and 1/2" below the inset edges (7). Repeat to mark the remaining inset. Install one metal grommet at each mark, following the manufacturer's instructions.

To install the handles, insert one handle cording end through one grommet; stitch the end to the cording. Insert the opposite handle cording end through the adjacent grommet; stitch the end to the cording. Tie the tassel to one cording end above the grommet.

Haute Handle: Use wide ribbon, rayon braiding or ready-made wooden handles to instantly change the bag style.


Clover carries size 4 metal grommets: (800) 233-1703, clover-usa.com.

Erica's carries the Inspira Universal 90/14 needle: (888) 837-4227, ericas.com.

Pfaff provided the ruffling attachment and piping feet: pfaffusa.com.

Pieces Be With You carries the Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool: piecesbewithyou.com.


Appeared in:

Post a comment
To comment on this article you must be logged in. Not a member?


I highlighted the artical and controlled "c" it and then went into my word document (or go to where ever you go to type a letter) then in a new document I controll "V" it and save it and print it out and there is the whole instructions all together without any ads to cover the info. You can print out the pattern seperately.
tasseled tote
I'm still waiting for the pdf of this tote since the 3 page would not print.
What's going on? Print is so small will need a magnifying glass to read. This is a waste of my time if I have to fuss with getting instructions I can't read!
Hi, When I try to print this the ad in the left side-bar prints over the instructions! Tried emailing it to myself and the same thing happened. Tried highlighting only what I wanted printed: same thing HELP!
tasseled tote
I look forward to trying to make this. I hope the emailed pdf included the text instructions along with the template. Trudy, Everett, Ma.
Tasseled Tote
Unable to print complete instructions. What did print is so small I'll need a magnifying glass to see it. Your website is not user friendly!
Tasseled Tote
The third page of the instructions did not print. Plus I don't like printing all the advertising and other info when printing the pattern and instructions.
RE: Printing
Please see my earlier comment below if you are having trouble printing the instructions.
Page 3 does not print
Page 3 does not print.
RE: Printing
You can email sewnews@sewnews.com and I will email you the copy in a PDF document.
page 3 does not print
The pattern should print to scale directly from the PDF document without any enlargement necessary. However, here are the measurements: Length= 5 3/4", Width=6" and Curve=10".
pattern pieces need dimensions
You need to have on the pattern piece the percentage to blow it up to and also what the correct measurement (inches) on all sides. This would be very helpful! Thanks!
© F+W All rights reserved.