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Easy D.I.Y. Free People Tote Knockoff

Years ago, a friend lent me a bag she had gotten from Free People instead of a paper or plastic bag with her purchase. It had soft blue patterns, a light, airy texture, and was perfect for carrying produce or clothing without being bulky. I was mesmirized.

I've looked for fabric for some time now that I thought might be suitable for making something similar, and after using this crinkle rayon silky fabric for my buttoned ruffle top recently, I realized it would be the perfect fabric to use to give this bag a try. For the video tutorial where I used the rayon silky fabric, check out my "Easy D.I.Y.s" Instagram story highlight here. For the sake of clean pictures for this tutorial, though, I used a cotton blend fabric, which you'll see throughout this post.


  • Two fabric sheets cut to 14x24 inches – any lightweight fabric should work, particularly cotton and cotton blends

  • Scissors

  • Straight pins

  • Matching thread

  • Hand sewing needle or sewing machine

Step 1:

Cut a "scoop neck" in your rectangle 3 inches in from either edge of the rectangle, ending the "scoop" halfway down the length of the rectangle.

Step 2:

At the end opposite the scoop, cut one 2"x2" square in each corner of the fabric.

Step 3:

Facing the "right" sides of the fabric towards each other so that the bag is inside out, sew up three sides of the rectangle on the "wrong" side: both edges from the base of the scoop to the top of the squares you just cut, as well as the bottom edge of the rectangle sandwiched between the cut squares.

Step 4:

At the top of the rectangle, connect the straps (the 3 inches on either side of the top of the scoop) to each other, matching each strap end with the one across from it on the same panel of fabric. Sew the ends of the connected straps together, being sure to continue sewing on the "wrong" side of the fabric.

Step 5:

Focusing on a square at the bottom of the bag, open it up from the corners, one on each piece of fabric, and pull the corners until the cut sides of the squares meet each other in a straight line. Pin this straight line, closing up the base of the bag so that there are no gaps. Repeat on the other square and sew them up along where you pinned. This will create a base for the bag to stand on.

Step 6:

Fold the raw edges of the straps twice, 1/4" each, to create a hem, hiding the edges. Pin this hem down and sew a straight seam to secure the hem in place.


I'm so happy with how this tote turned out, and I hope you are too! This is perfect for carrying produce, clothing, or anything else that isn't too heavy and doesn't have sharp corners. If you use this tutorial to make your own tote, don't forget to tag us on Instagram and Facebook!

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