Sew It – A Fall Plaid Crossbody Bag

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When fall finally shows up in my area (central Texas seems to be a month behind), there’s a strong urge to not just ease into fall colors and decor, but jump head first into Halloween extra early. So, please be warned that the lines between early fall and Halloween will be blurred for a while (until Halloween takes over completely like a zombie-virus). Today I want to share another simple sewing tutorial on how to make a fall plaid and faux leather crossbody bag. Can you believe it was made from a simple kitchen towel?!

Easy Sewing project for beginners - How to Sew a tote bag - Crossbody bag - Craft - DIY - Gift idea - Fall fashion - DIY Sewing tutorial - how to sew a bag
Easy Sewing project for beginners - How to Sew a tote bag - Crossbody bag - Craft - DIY - Gift idea - Fall fashion - DIY Sewing tutorial - how to sew a bag

Oh yeah! Who knew a simple towel could look so good?! Follow along below for the full tutorial.


The Supplies:

  • This kitchen towel (it comes in 4 colors) or another thick canvas towel
  • 5″ of tan faux leather (optional) for the bottom of the bag
  • A brown crossbody strap from my etsy shop
  • 5″ of 1/4″ thick elastic or small piece of folded faux leather
  • Sewing machine, thread, scissors, teflon foot, and pins
Easy Sewing project for beginners - How to Sew a tote bag - Crossbody bag - Craft - DIY - Gift idea - Fall fashion - DIY Sewing tutorial - how to sew a bag

Start by cutting your faux leather into a 5″ strip that covers one side of the kitchen towel all the way up.

Using a teflon foot, stitch across the top of the faux leather (on the edge) to attach it to the kitchen towel. Fold the towel over with right sides together and pin. About 3″ down from the top of the bag on each side (the end opposite where you stitched the faux leather), pin in a loop of elastic or folded over faux leather with the loop facing in. This will be where you add your crossbody strap once the bag is sewn.

Now it is time to stitch around the sides and bottom of the bag. Make sure to give at least a 1/2″ or larger seam allowance so you avoid sewing over the hemmed parts of the towel. 

Cut off the excess fabric around the seams and turn the bag right side out.

The last step is to fold in the top portion of the fabric so that the top opening of the bag is slightly above the two pieces of elastic.  Top stitch the top of the bag to hold the fabric in place, then clip on the crossbody strap.

Easy Sewing project for beginners - How to Sew a tote bag - Crossbody bag - Craft - DIY - Gift idea - Fall fashion - DIY Sewing tutorial - how to sew a bag

Feel free to add a snap or velcro closure if you want, but it works totally fine with out one (or ‘totelly’ because it’s a tote? No? Let’s just pretend that didn’t happen).

Easy Sewing project for beginners - How to Sew a tote bag - Crossbody bag - Craft - DIY - Gift idea - Fall fashion - DIY Sewing tutorial - how to sew a bag

Pretty simple, huh?! I love when I can make a bag from unexpected things like a kitchen towel. And the $3.5 price tag doesn’t hurt either. I really love this yellow plaid, but I think the gray would look awesome too! Be sure to share your fall totes with me by tagging your projects #mykailochic on social media. Now go get to sewing!

Easy Sewing project for beginners - How to Sew a tote bag - Crossbody bag - Craft - DIY - Gift idea - Fall fashion - DIY Sewing tutorial - how to sew a bag

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  1. Amy W

    September 28th, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    You can do it all! LOVE this purse!!

  2. kailochic@hotmail.com

    September 28th, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks Amy! I have been sewing since forever, but it's difficult for me to make sewing tutorials. I hope I did alright explaining!

  3. veggievixen

    October 3rd, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I'm just learning how to sew and am really excited to try and make this! Looks simple enough, and you did great on the explanations. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. kailochic@hotmail.com

    October 3rd, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Awesome! Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Alice Fellenger

    October 19th, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I have never heard of a teflon foot. Do I have to have one to sew faux leather? What other types of fabric to you suggest instead of the faux leather?

  6. kailochic@hotmail.com

    October 19th, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    It is also called a non stick foot. It helps the faux leather (also work on regular leather and vinyl fabric) glide through the machine. A regular sewing machine foot will cause the faux leather to bunch up and not glide through. You can also use a roller foot. But Teflon feet aren't that expensive. Here is one for $2 on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/Non-stick-Sewing-Machine-Presser-Snap/dp/B004Q78C0I

    If you want to go a different route, then a thick solid corduroy, bottom weight, or canvas would work to and give you that contrasting look.

  7. Stylish DIY Cross-Body Bags

    June 18th, 2018 at 6:56 am

    […] A Kailo Chic Life […]

  8. Deborah Williams

    June 19th, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Simple but cute

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