Introduction: Make a Circular Tote With Zipper and Lining

Hi, Welcome to my first instructable.  There are a lot of swell tutorials telling you how to sew wonderful things on the internets so I decided to provide you with a combo of skills: ZIPPERS + LINING + CIRCLES.

This tutorial is geared towards people who have a basic to moderate working knowledge of sewing machines and would like to try some trickier feats.  I would suggest looking at this tutorial for beginners. If you're really new at this, check out this tutorial on how to use a sewing machine.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials!


1 yard of fabric, I suggest something sturdy-ish like canvas or broadcloth.  You may use 2 different fabrics as I did for the inside and out.

1 zipper, I chose a standard 6 inch zipper, you can you chose bigger or smaller, as long as it is not longer than half the circumference of your chosen circle template. (we'll calculate that later).

some thread, pick something that matches your fabric.


You need a sewing machine, all it needs to do is a straight stitch.
Dessert plate
Bobbin loaded with thread
(I'm a slacker, but you may find pins useful to keep your layers together.)

Step 2: Trace & Snip

NB: Fabric should always be pre-washed to shrink and ironed or relatively flat.

Fold fabric to accomodate the surface area of you plate. Trace plate and cut 2.
Repeat this step on same or different fabric to produce 4 circles.

Side Panel:
calculate your circumference in order to know the needed length of your side panel:
Measure your diameter (the full width of the circle) and multiply it by 3.14, you know... Pi!

You do not need to subtract the length of the zipper as the extra will serve as a handle,
see what I did there?

You should cut out 2 strips that measure the length of the circumference and the width of the zipper.

Step 3: Sewing - Side Panel

Sew the end of the side panel face to face. Turn outside-right and sew a 1/2 inch over the base of the zipper (face up).

Step 4: Sewing - Sandwich Side 1

Align the edge of the inside circle with the outside circle.  Sandwich the top side of the zipper-strip, facing the outside circle.  Place needle at the top of the zipper head, where the zipper meets the strip. Make sure zipper is zipped.
Use a narrow or zipper foot, if you have one.

Chose an alignment on the plate of your sewing machine and use this measure consistently.  I like working with the 1/4 inch mark.


This is a trickier part: I suggest going slow with curves.   Whenever you stop sewing, finish with your needle in the fabric.  By doing this you'll avoid losing a stich or falling out of your alignment when shifting your fabric around.

Hand placement is important: you want your fingers close to the needle head, almost pointing towards it.  You'll have to focus on slowly tucking fabric an inch or two at a time as you guide your circular matter along your chosen guide line (you may find pins useful at this point).  Sew all the way around, stoping 1.5 inches short of where you started.  This will allow you to turn this part inside out.
Do so gently and patiently for best results!

Step 6: Do It Again!

Flip over your pretty pancake and sandwich the zipper-strip between the other 2 circles as you did the first time.  This time, start at the base of your zipper.  Sew all the way around, leaving yourself 1.5 inches as you did before.

Step 7: Inside Out... Again!

Gingerly turn your bag inside out.
Look it's starting to take shape!

Smooth out the edges and turn fold inside the edges you left undone in order to turn your bag inside out. You can either do a short stitch or follow along the whole edge of the bag to give it more structure.  Repeat on both sides.

Step 8: Strap Time!

For your strap:
1. Sew one side together, inside out. 
2. Turn outside right and stitch along edge
3. Fold inside the unfinished edge of other side and sew along the fold
4. Stay-stitch (forwards/backwards/forward) the end of your strap inside your tote near the edge of the zipper

You're done!!!!!  snip off loose threads and fill your sweet LINED CIRCULAR tote with a ZIPPER with your most cherished possessions.