Click to Print

Baby Tote Bag

Milinda Lawless sews a fun dinosaur baby tote bag.

Materials and Tools:

standard sewing machine
leather sewing needle
cotton thread
upholstery thread
rotary cutter
dinosaur stencils
cutting board
handcrafted stencils
snaps and tools for application


1. Use corresponding stencils to cut out the front, back, pockets and strap to make the bag. This includes the outer vinyl layer and the interior lining.


  • Two 16" x19" pieces for the front and back
  • 12" x 19" large outer pocket
  • 17" x 9" large inside pocket
  • 4-1/2" x 3-1/2" mini interior pocket
  • 7-1/2" x 8" medium interior pocket
  • 2-3/4" x 38" strap

  • Two 16" x 19" large pieces for the front and back
  • 2-3/4" x 38 strap "

2. Begin with the piece of vinyl for the front of the bag.

Figure A

3. Position the momma and baby dinosaur stencils on the vinyl and outline the images with a pen (figure A).

Figure B

By hand, draw the remainder of design, the stars and moon (figure B). Keep in mind, the shapes are drawn as blocks designated by color to create the entire image.

Reduction process

4. It is best to work with one color at a time. Beginning with the largest shapes (dinosaurs) and cut them out.

Figure C

5. Place a contrasting vinyl piece underneath the cutout dinosaur shape and pin it in place (figure C). Topstitch around the shape (figure D).

6. After each shape is sewn together, turn the vinyl over and trim away any excess vinyl. This will keep the canvas from looking chaotic and lumpy.

Figure D

7. Follow the same reduction and topstitch technique until the design on the front of the bag is completed.

  • Cut out the teeth for the dinosaurs and use white vinyl for the background.

Figure E

  • Cut out the feet of the dinosaurs and use orange for the background (figure E).

  • Stitch yellow vinyl behind the cutout for the moon and light blue background for the stars.

  • Figure F

    8. Move onto the strap and cut star shapes using light blue for the background (figure F).

    Figure G

    Cut the star shapes for the pockets on the back using the same process (figure G).

    Figure H

    9. Add interior pockets to the lining by turning over a 1/2-inch hem on the top of the two vinyl pockets and stitching them to the right side of one of the lining panels (figure H).

    Put it all together

    10. Place the front and back with right sides together and pin. Do the same with lining. Sew around the sides and bottom of the bag using upholstery thread leaving the top open. Stitch around the sides and bottom of the lining.

    Figure I

    11. For the flat bottom shape cut out a square at each bottom corner (figure I).

    Figure J

    Pinch the edges together lining up the seams to create a diagonal edge (figure J).

    Figure K

    Then stitch together (figure K).

    Figure L

    12. Attach the strap to the vinyl exterior by pinning one end with right sides together to each top edge at the seam. Topstitch the strap at the mouth of the bag (figure L).

    13. Turn the vinyl bag inside out. Place the lining inside with right sides together. Align the fabric so that sides seams match up and then pin it all in place.

    14. Topstitch all the way around leaving an opening 9 to 10 inches wide to turn the bag right side out.

    15. Turn the bag right side out.

    16. Pin the top lip of bag and topstitch all the way around.

    Figure M

    17. Attach snaps (figure M) using the snap application tools and hand sew the name into bag.

    Advertisement will not be printed