La Conner Tote Bag Tutorial

Hello! I have been so excited to share this La Conner tote bag tutorial with you all! This bag is easier to make than it looks! If you’re like me, bag patterns can leave me feeling a bit overwhelmed. My goal for this video tutorial was to to show you that tote bags are actually quite simple and fun to make!

Heads up…the La Conner tote bag video tutorial can be found at the bottom of this post. I had the wonderful opportunity to film this tutorial, among a handful of other wonderful projects (including a quilt as-you-go tutorial!), at Fat Quarter Shop’s studio back in June.  I was super-duper nervous during the filming process. However, it was so worth it as filming this tutorial really makes this project crystal clear…something that a photo tutorial couldn’t quite capture without feeling overwhelming.

Per usual, I like to share a zillion pictures before I get to it. 🙂

The fabrics used are from my 2nd fabric collection called La Conner for Lecien Fabrics. You can find my fabric, lace and thread at Fat Quarter Shop, inlcuding a list of other shops HERE.

I’ve been using this tote bag all Summer long – it’s the perfect on-the-go tote. It has seriously become the black hole of kid snacks, sun block and a change of diapers and wipeys, all hidden and neatly toted around in this cute and dainty bag. ;-p

I did simple, straight-line quilting which always seems to be my go-to quilting style.


If you want to make a quicker version of this bag, just ditch the patchwork and use a full panel of fabric instead as shown below. Here I went out of my comfort zone and did some free-motion stippling. 🙂

In the video tutorial I also go over how to make sturdy, fabric-covered straps.


I truly hope you enjoy the tutorial and that you’re able to make a tote bag for yourself! 🙂 A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for inviting me out to film some tutorials for them. My intentions for this blog have always been to inspire you to create beautiful things, and this beautifully put together video tutorial completely enables that!

Really quick – I got a good question from a comment below so I thought i’d clarify it here. The type of bag strapping I used in this tutorial (before I covered it with fabric), is polypro bag strapping which you can usually find per the yard at your crafts store. You can also find it here. You could probably also use the soft and stable batting for the straps as well, though I’ve never tried it. Easily customize the width of your strap, as explained in the tutorial. Thanks!

As always, thanks for popping by!


41 Responses to La Conner Tote Bag Tutorial

  1. Marilyn Podoll August 28, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

    I have made many bags like this and I wish I would have had your tutorial when I first started. You explained everything perfectly and I like seeing what you are doing. Thanks. Love that fabric.

    • Quiltingintherain August 28, 2017 at 10:55 pm #

      Awe thank you so much for your kind comment! I was quite nervous during the filming process but am relieved to see that everything came through clearly 🙂

    • Susan November 25, 2019 at 3:50 am #

      I loved making your La Conner bag in Christmas print taffeta. Wish I could post a photo of how nice it turned out. Thanks so much!

      • Susan November 25, 2019 at 3:53 am #

        Someone asked about whether soft and stable batting would work for the straps. I used it and it worked very well.

  2. Joan M August 28, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    Your tote bags are so pretty and thank you for sharing your great tutorial.

    • Quiltingintherain August 28, 2017 at 10:55 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  3. Pattsyd August 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    Excellent tutorial. Very easy to follow. Thank you.

    • Quiltingintherain August 28, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

      Thank you so much! <3

  4. Pat August 28, 2017 at 4:18 pm #

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! Finally I understand how to attach a lining. I can’t wait to make my own bag!

  5. Quiltingintherain August 28, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

    That’s a relief to hear, considering I was a ball of nerves being in front of the camera ;-p Thank you!

  6. margiestitcher August 29, 2017 at 5:57 am #

    many thanks will be making one of these after watching your video

  7. Lynn Boelk August 30, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

    I loved the derails in your video, now I feel confident to make my first tote bag. I love your La Conner fabric lone so pretty. I’m fairly new to quilting and your quilt as you go book was the first book I bought…I airways refer to the binding instruction whenever I bind a quilt. Thank you so much for sharing your quilting tips and knowledge.

    • Quiltingintherain September 3, 2017 at 4:09 am #

      Yay! I love hearing this. For me i’ve done my job then! 🙂

  8. mimi'sdarlins September 2, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

    Pretty bag, it’s darling in your LaConner line! Nice job on the video too. I’ve made many kinds of bags and purses through the years, and this is very detailed for those who are new to this kind of project. Well done!

    • Quiltingintherain September 3, 2017 at 4:10 am #

      You are too kind – thank you!! 🙂

  9. Em September 3, 2017 at 2:35 am #

    Love your tutorial. Question: do you use the Soft and Stable for your straps or another product? You showed a wider strap in a package so I wondered what that was. Thanks.

    • Quiltingintherain September 3, 2017 at 4:07 am #

      Hi there! the type of strapping I used in polypro strapping which you can usually buy by the yard at your crafts store. You can find it here as well:
      I think the soft and stable batting could work as well!

    • Em September 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

      Thank you! I will check out the strap. I’ve made many quilts but am new to bags.

  10. Rosa Charlesworth September 3, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    I’ve made quite a lot of bags but am new to patchwork and you made it look so simple and effective. I’ll definitely be having a go at this one! Thank you.

  11. Deborah Stevens September 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Hello Jerra, thank you for making this tutorial so easy to follow. I appreciate the detailed instructions as I’m new at doing patchwork, so need all the help I can get !. Also, I found out that your fabric is available in the UK ….yay ! I can’t wait to have a go at making this bag.

  12. Jan Robinson September 6, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

    Is there a pdf for this bag

  13. Barbara September 17, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

    I enjoyed watching your tutorial on the patchwork bag . . . you demonstrate and explain instructions understandably well. Thank you!

  14. Debbie Virgin January 28, 2018 at 5:23 am #

    Can you make more than one bag with the charm pack and the batting? I just ordered both 🙂 thank you for showing us how! You did a great job!

  15. Barbara January 29, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

    You really do explain the way to make this tote bag so well. Thank you for this.

  16. Laura April 11, 2018 at 1:20 am #

    I am learning to sew and I just finished the Le Conner Tote and it turned out beautiful. I have a couple flaws but I don’t think anyone but myself will notice. Your video tutorial was really clear and easy to follow! I also got your book Quilt As You Go Made Modern for Christmas so I am on my way!

    • Quiltingintherain April 17, 2018 at 5:29 am #

      Thank you sew much for your kind words 🙂 Happy quilting!

  17. Elizabeth H Schmidt April 18, 2018 at 12:04 am #

    Do you have the written instructions on how to make this tote. I would love to have a copy of it so I can make it as a gift.

    • Quiltingintherain April 19, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

      no written instructions. but there’s a youTube video 🙂

  18. Venise Hundley June 27, 2018 at 8:26 pm #

    Thank you so much for your tutorial. I’m new to sewing and my first bag was awful but I’m looking forward to trying again.

  19. Pat S August 16, 2018 at 10:53 am #

    What a great video! Every step is crystal clear. I’ve made tote bags in the past but have always had problems with the straps; now I know what I was doing wrong. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Terri Connell November 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm #

    I think you nailed it with this video! Nice and clear with ALL the directions right there. Also love your Quilt As You Go book. Thank you!

  21. Debbie November 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

    I have made many totes, and I love this one! Is there a way to easily add a zipper?

  22. Connie Quintana October 2, 2019 at 7:44 pm #

    Without going into detail, I haven’t sewn in many years. I recently retired and due to medical issues I haven’t done much of anything. In July I decided I needed a new bag. I am a follower of yours and decided that your bag was the one I needed. I couldn’t believe how easy the project was due to your video. I used prequilted fabric that I had and it turned out perfect. Gave me confidence to sew more. I love your quiet pastel romantic fabrics. Also love your boys. Thank you

  23. MJ Fredrick October 23, 2019 at 12:23 pm #

    Thank you so much! I made one this weekend in Christmas fabric, but it’s enormous! If I want to make it smaller, would I still cut the squares the same size?

  24. Christine sherwood April 7, 2020 at 2:18 pm #

    Is there a written tutorial or pdf on this I can save for later?

  25. Mary Ann Yedinak July 31, 2020 at 7:12 pm #

    Do you or could you please supply a page written out with directions that could be printed out for those of us who need that to check off as we go?

  26. Cindy December 31, 2020 at 1:37 am #

    I made the bag and it turned out wonderful. Thank you. I do agree with the above comments ….it would have been a lot easier if additionally the directions were written out. I had to stop the recording or rewind many many time to understand the assembly. Thanks again for sharing the “how to”

  27. Gayla October 11, 2021 at 11:49 pm #

    I hope to make this tote bag using an adorable Christmas Mouse tapestry piece of fabric and border it to be the dimension of the tote bag. I am using velveteen to border the tapestry, for the back, and the straps. Would I use Soft and Stable or do you have another suggestion to give the tote bag body?

  28. Ellen June 4, 2022 at 11:55 pm #

    Thank you for sharing both the pattern and tutorial. This was my first bag and I am so pleased with how it turned out. Your tutorial was reassuring and made the project much easier to do. I can’t wait to fill it with books and give it to my mom as a gift.

  29. Manuela Christen March 14, 2023 at 4:03 pm #

    Ich kann das Muster nicht finden

  30. Cynthia S May 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm #

    What is the size square did you use?

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