Embroidery Library

Market Tote with Leather Straps

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.


If you've been in search for the perfect tote, look no further than this DIY beauty! Sturdy fabric and timeless leather straps offer a fashionable and utilitarian style that can be used as a purse, or for trips to the grocery store. Simply choose your favorite machine embroidery design to create a beautiful embellishment, then stitch together as you follow along with our step-by-step project instructions.


Project Needs & Notes:

- 1 yard of sturdy fabric
- 1 yard of lining
- 1/2 yard of contrasting fabric
- 1/8 yard thin fabric (for strap and wristlet)
- Rivets
- Embroidery thread
- Temporary spray adhesive (such as Gunold KK100)
- Embroidery thread
- Scissors
- Air erase pen
- Masking tape or painter's tape
- Medium weight cutaway stabilizer

Designs featured in this tutorial include:
- M30116, Spring Tulip Market Sign

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Cut out two pieces of the exterior fabric and two pieces of medium weight cut away stabilizer that measure 19" wide by 17" tall.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Spray one side of a piece of cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive. Smooth the stabilizer onto the wrong side of the front fabric piece.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

A template (or printout) of a design is an excellent tool to help with placement. Print a template of the design using an embroidery software. If you do not have embroidery software, Wilcom TrueSizer is a free program to use.

With the aid of the template's alignment marks, mark all four vertical and horizontal axes.


Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Extend the axis lines using a ruler and air-erase pen to make it easier to hoop accurately. Then hoop the fabric and stabilizer together tightly, lining up the drawn axis lines with the marks on the hoop.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Load the embroidery file onto the machine and secure the hoop in place. Then move the needle directly over the marked center point on the fabric. Follow the color change sheet and embroider the design.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Once the embroidery has finished sewing, unhoop the design, but do not trim away the excess stabilizer. The stabilizer on the back of the fabric will be used to support the sides of the tote. Follow the manufacturer�s directions to remove the air-erase pen markings.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

For the back piece, spray one side of the second piece of cutaway stabilizer with temporary spray adhesive. Smooth this onto the wrong side of the back fabric piece.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

To make the contrasting top bands, cut out two pieces of contrasting fabric so that they measure 20.5" wide by 3" tall.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Fold one long edge over by a 1/2" with wrong sides together. Press the fold. This folded edge will be the bottom edge the band.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat to press one long edge over by a 1/2" on the second top band. 

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Next, take one top band piece and the front fabric piece. Match up and pin the unfolded top edge of the band to the top edge of the front fabric piece. Repeat to pin the second top band to the back piece. Make sure the wrong side of the band is against the right side of the fabric so that the sewn seam is hidden.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

With a 1/2" seam allowance, sew along the top edge of the band and front piece. This edge will remain raw until the lining is added. 

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat to sew a 1/2" seam along the top edge of the band and the back piece.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Once this is done, topstitch along the bottom, folded edge of the front band with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat the previous step for the back piece and topstitch a 1/4" seam across the bottom, folded edge of the back band.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Next, with right sides together, match up the front piece and the back piece. Make sure the top bands are matched up as well. Pin the pieces together along the bottom edge.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Sew across the pinned, bottom edge with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

After the bottom is sewn, pin up both the left and right sides.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Sew along both pinned sides with a 1/2" seam allowance. Make sure to leave the top edge of the bag open and unsewn.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

With a ruler, measure 2 1/2" up from the bottom seam (not the edge of the fabric). Draw a line here with an air-erase pen on the stabilizer side of the front piece. Make sure to draw all the way from the right side to the left.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat to draw the same line on the stabilizer of the back piece as well. Again draw 2 1/2" up from the seam and not the edge of the fabric.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Now fold the bag so one of the side seams matches up with the bottom seam starting at the corner where they meet. Make sure the fabric is all flat. Use pins to hold the seams in place once they match up.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

When the tote is folded like this, the two lines that were drawn earlier should match up and be 5" across.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Pin the corner securely along the drawn line.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Then sew directly on top of that marked line.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat to fold the tote over and match the other side seam up with the bottom seam. Make sure the drawn lines match up again and sew across the marked lines.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Trim off both corners along the seams, leaving at least 1/4" of fabric.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Now it is time to make the lining. Cut two pieces out of the lining fabric that measure 19 inches wide by 17 inches tall. These pieces will not have any stabilizer backing them.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

With the right sides together, pin the bottom edges of the liner.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Sew along the pinned bottom edge with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

After the bottom is sewn, pin and sew the side seams with a 1/2" seam allowance. Once again, leave the top edge open and unsewn.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

We will be making the corner seams just as we did earlier.

From the bottom seam (not the fabric edge), measure up 2 1/2" and draw a line on the wrong side of both the front and back pieces.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat the same process as earlier to match up the side seams with the bottom seam and sew along the drawn line to create the corners. Then trim the corners back to the seam, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Turn the outer piece right side out so the front of the design is visible.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Slide the outer piece into the lining so the top edges match up and the right sides are together. Then line up the side seams of the outer piece and lining. Pin the seams together, so they stay aligned.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Next, pin the outer piece to the lining around the top edge of the tote.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

At the back side of the tote leave a 6" gap between pins. This is left open so the tote can be turned right side out after sewing.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Leaving the 6" gap open and unsewn, sew a 1/2" seam around the top edge of the tote.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Turn the tote right side out through the 6" opening. Push the lining inside the outer piece so that the lining fits perfectly inside the tote.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Along the 6" opening, fold the raw edges in by 1/2". Then pin them together.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Pin the lining to the outer piece all along the top edge, making sure the seam stays right on the top edge. Then topstitch a 1/4" seam around the top edge of the tote to sew the two layers together and close the opening.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

To make the straps, cut two pieces of leather so that they measure 1 1/2" wide by 16" long. Round the ends if desired.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

With a ruler, measure 3/4" in from either side. Mark two dots - one that is 1" up from the bottom edge, and the other 2" up from the bottom edge. This is where the holes for the rivets will go.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Using an awl or hole punch, make two holes where marked.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat the previous step to measure, mark, and punch the holes on the opposite end of the same strap.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat the previous step again to measure, mark, and punch the holes on both ends of the second strap.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Now it's time to mark where the holes will go on the tote.

Starting on the front, left side, measure in 6" from the seam. Make the first mark 1/2" up from the bottom edge of the top band. Make the second mark 1 1/2" up from the same bottom edge.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat this process to mark the front, right side. Measure in 6" from the right-side seam, and mark 1/2" and 1 1/2" up from the bottom edge of the top band.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

With the same measurements as the front, mark the placement for the four holes on the back side of the tote as well.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Use an awl to punch a hole through all four marks on the front of the tote.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat to make the four holes on the back of the tote.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Line up the holes on one end of the first strap with the left holes on the front of the tote. Follow the manufacturer�s instructions to set the rivets through both the strap and the front, left side of the tote.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Bend the first strap over to line up the holes on the other end with the holes on the front, right side of the tote. Make sure the strap is not twisted. The right side of your leather strap should be facing out. Set the rivets through the strap and fabric.

Free project instructions for create a market tote with leather straps.

Repeat this process to add the strap onto the back side of the tote. Make sure to match up the holes and ensure that sure the strap isn't twisted.

Market Tote with Leather Straps



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Products used in this Project:

Spring Tulip Market Sign $3.99 - $4.99

Available in 3 Sizes:

6.67" x 7.80" | 5.85" x 6.84" | 4.85" x 5.67"