BDU Tote Tutorial

I will attempt my first tutorial, I made a tote using one of my brothers old BDU’s for his wife. I hope the steps are clear enough for a novice to follow.

1.Cut the shirt apart along all of the seams you will now have 4 usable pieces a front, a back and two sleeves. For this bag I only used the top of the front and back, for a larger tote or diaper bag you could add in part of the sleeves and use more from the front and back of the shirt.

2. Remove the buttons from the shirt front and pockets, this will allow everything to lay flatter and the pocket buttons are a bear to open and close.

3. Trim the front of the shirt to a rectangle 16 1/2 x 12 1/2 leaving the top two pockets. This will be the front of you bag. Cut another rectangle of the same size from the shirt back.

4. Sew the front button flap closed.

5. Sew sides and bottom together ,right sides facing inside using a 1/2 ” seam. This will place your seams on the inside of the completed bag.

6. Cut a 1″ square from the two bottom corners.

7. pin and sew bottom corners matching seams.

8. Turn bag right side out. You have now completed the outside of your bag.

9. Cut lining Two 16 1/2″ x 12 1/2″

Cut Pockets Two 16 1/2 x 18″

reinforce the pocket with a 16 1/2″ x 9″ pieces of medium weight interfacing.

10. Fold pocket piece over the interfacing and you will have a two 9″ x 16 1/2″ pieces.

11.Sew the pocket pieced across the bottom 1 1/2″ up from the bottom of each lining piece.

12. Mark off 5″ from the right and left of each pocket, make a vertical seam on this line. This will divide your pockets into 3 parts.

13 Repeat steps 5,6 and 7. You have now completed the inside lining with pockets.

14. Cut two 36″ long piece of nylon webbing ( these will be your handles).

15. Pin the handles in 2″ from each side.

15. Pin inside and outside together and sew leaving a 6″ opening for tuning the bag.

16. Turn the bag right side out and stitch the opening closed. You have now completed your bag. You can add a zipper or velcro across the top to close if desired.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Nikki said,

    Wonderful tutorial Kim! I can’t wait to try it . . . without the BDU’s of course, since we don’t have any. But I love your bags, so if I can duplicate them, I’ll be a very happy camper.

    Thanks as always for the wonderful inspiration.

  2. 2

    Sarah said,

    YAY! thank you so much! this is going to be my weekend project! and will be the most intricate project i’ve tried thusfar. wish me luck!

  3. 3

    Pops said,

    I got to see this bag Sunday when Karen was at our house, she seemed to be quite pleased with it


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