Polka Dot Tote

Polka Dot Upholstery Fabric Tote

Polka Dot Upholstery Fabric Tote

I saw this fabric in the upholstery section at my local mill end store and thought it would either be a bag of some sort. It is a stiff canvas-like fabric and I didn’t think it would wash well or soften up much so I thought it would be best as a tote. I did not interface it or pad it at all. I also omitted the decoration on the front (shown on the pattern envelope). I could have added a pocket to the outside, but I wanted the print left alone and all contents to be on the inside. One of my Sit and Sew ladies made the same tote bag and knew it was the size bag I wanted. It is from this McCalls pattern.

McCall's Pattern 6716 Tote and Messenger Bag

McCall’s Pattern 6716 Tote and Messenger Bag

The dimensions are 20″W x 16″L x 6″D and it is perfect for carrying a ton of patterns! Just kidding. I have a few of those laying around thanks to pattern sales. The dimensions are perfect because it is big enough to carry a beach towel, laptop, reader, or use it like a purse.

Five Inside Pockets

Five Inside Pockets

I made a few changes to the pattern. I reduced the shape of the pockets from two large pockets to five smaller pockets. One one side, there are three pockets to hold pens, phone, and keys. The other side can hold small tissue pack, lipsticks, hand sanitizer, etc.

I wanted to add some closure and I happened to have a purse magnet in my stash. If you have never installed one of these magnets, they have to be put on the lining before the bag is assembled because the back of the magnets are not pretty and need to be covered. It takes a little planning and measuring to get the placement just right.

Magnets added

Magnets added

I also added the brad feet to keep it off the ground and help give the base some weight.

Silver 'feet' added

Silver ‘feet’ added

The scarf is from my extensive square silk scarf collection, now considered outdated except for maybe on tote bag handles…? It is loosely tied and can be switched out or left off completely.
That’s it for now. I’m off to another project. Stay tuned.

Posted in Craft Ideas, DIY Sewing, Inspiration and tagged , , , , , , , , .


  1. Great bag. I definitely have to make one (or more) at one of our sessions.
    I see Monograms all over it!! Thanks for sharing!!

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