Introduction: How to Sew an Insulated Tote Bag

About: I am a full-time craft blogger who blogs all things creative to satisfy your creative cravings.

Insulated tote bag is of big help when it comes to grocery shopping during the summers. I thought I needed one with zippers so I can carry it around for our picinics. We usually carry food as much as we can whenever we plan a outing or a weekend trip. I decided to sew an insulated tote bag with leftover fabrics from Floor lamp makeover and How to sew oven mitt. Let's see how.

Step 1: ​Materials Used

  • Printed cotton for outer - approx 3/4 yard
  • Interfacing - approx 3/4 yard
  • Nylon (I used sports nylon breathable fabric from JoAnn fabrics) -approx 3/4 yard
  • Insul-bright - approx 3/4 yard
  • Cotton webbing for handle - 4 yards
  • Zipper(Two-way) - 22"
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Iron

Step 2:

Measure and cut the fabrics according to the desired size. I cut the fabrics (Outer printed cotton, interfacing, nylon, and insul-bright) about 20" X 21". Iron the interfacing onto the outer fabric.

Step 3:

Attach the insul-bright to the inner nylon fabric. To so this, just make random stitches both horizontally and vertically to secure the insul-bright layer to the inner nylon fabric. You can also measure and make perfect quilt-like fabric but I just went with the random look.

Step 4:

Cut the handles for each side and sew them onto the each of the outer panels by centering them. Stitch around 12" to 14" inches from the bottom and make a 1" square with a cross on the top for stronghold. I also added a zig-zag stitch for added strength at the top of each side of the handle. Repeat the same on the other side.

Also, make sure the handle is aligned properly without the twist so that when you lift the bag it is perfect and not twisted handles.

Step 5:

Attach the zipper, with right sides facing each other and the zipper is sandwiched in between make a stitch. Repeat the same on the other side. Once it is done, do a top stitch to secure. For the detailed picture of this, you can refer to Step 5, here.

Step 6:

Now, combine the outer panel together and the inner panel together so that each of the right sides are facing together and the zipper is facing towards the inner panel. Stitch along the corner with 1/2" seam allowance starting at the inner panel and ending at the inner panel with around 5" of the gap. Refer step 5, here for the pictures. Make sure the zipper is open before you do this step.

Step 7:

Square the bottom bag around 4" on both the sides of the outer and inner panel. Cut the excess and turn the whole thing inside out. Sew the gap using the ladder stitch with hand sewing needle. And then the bag is complete.

Step 8:

What do you think? This is so simple and easy to sew and it is perfect for trips like grocery shopping, picnics and Instant pot parties. You can see how well this big bag holds the rice cooker perfectly. I do not have an Instant pot so for your reference I have shown a 12 cup Aroma rice cooker for the size reference. As I have used two-way it is so easy to close the bag with the rice cooker inside. And also it is easy to carry a lot of grocery items inside so the loading/unloading the groceries from car to home is much easier.

I have been using this bag for 3 years now and it has traveled many many trips with us. I highly encourage you to try this multi-purpose tote bag.

Visit my blog vikalpah to find out how you can add a small pocket to this bag for storing keys or other small knickknacks.Share what you think in the comments and vote for me in the sew fast challenge if you like this tutorial, as always I will be happy to hear from you.

Sew Fast Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Sew Fast Speed Challenge