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Leopard Tote Bag

For this eye-catching and roomy tote bag we used the design Leopard from our Wild Animals collection. The design uses a commercial size hoop, 8" x 10" (200 x 225 mm).

The finished size of the table runner is about 18" (wide) x 14" (high) x 4" (deep).

Leopard Tote Bag image 1

Besides embroidery thread (either polyester or rayon), you will need

  • light-weight cut-away stabilizer,
  • 1 fat quarter of fawn colored wool/polyester felt,
  • 1 yard of wool/polyester felt with a leopard pattern (a piece measuring 20" x 38"),
  • about 1 yard of cotton fabric for the lining,
  • batting (preferably low loft polyester or cotton batting),
  • quilting threads to match the lining, quilting needle size #12.
  • webbing for the handles (we used plaited polyurethane webbing), 2 pieces 18" each, or longer depending on your preference;
  • upholstery sewing thread and a #14 sewing needle size,
  • quilter's ruler and rotary cutter, a graphic and chalk pencils and sharp scissors.


Stabilize the fawn-colored felt and embroider the Leopard design.
Cut away the excess stabilizer around the embroidery. Then cut out the design leaving 1/2" margins around the embroidery.

Leopard Tote Bag image 2


For the outer bag, out of patterned felt, cut a piece measuring 20" x 38".
Out of the fabric for the lining cut a piece measuring 21" x 37" and a piece measuring 8" x 12" for the pocket.

Sewing the Outer Bag:

Fold the felt piece widthwise in half and unfold. On the back, using the ruler and chalk pencil, mark the central/crease line of the bottom.

Leopard Tote

Position the stitch-out on the front panel of the bag 6" from the upper edge and equal distances from the sides. Pin it in place.

On your sewing machine topstitch it in place twice - first close to the embroidery and then close to the outer line.

Leopard Tote

Leopard Tote Bag image 3

Fold the piece widthwise in half, face inwards. Stitch the sides with seam allowance 1/2". Unfold the seams and lightly press them open.

Leopard Tote

Stitch box corners at the bottom of the bag. For this separate the front and back sides at the corners. Center the side seam over the central bottom line. Measure
1 1/2" along the seam from the corner.

Draw a line perpendicular to the seam across the corner and machine-stitch it. Do not trim the seam.

Repeat for the second corner.

Turn the corners to the side seams and hand-stitch them to the seam allowance.

Leopard Tote Bag image 4

Turn the bag right side out.

Making the Lining:

Place the batting on a flat surface (table) and cover with the lining, face up.
Pin both layers together with 1" pins and start quilting. We quilted in a free motion meandering all over the lining.

When you are done, press the work with heavy steam and trim the lining to 20" x 36" rectangle.

To make the pocket, fold the 8" x 12" rectangle in half widthwise, face inside. Stitch 2 sides closed. Turn the piece right side out. Tuck in the raw edges of the fourth side 1/2" inside, press, topstitch close.

Position the pocket on the right side of the quilted lining, 3 1/2" from the upper edge and equal distance from the sides. Topstitch the pocket to the lining.

Leopard Tote

Fold the lining in half widthwise, face inwards. Stitch the sides with seam allowance 1/2".

With the ruler and graphic pencil/marker, draw rectangles measuring 1 1/2" x 2" in the bottom corners. Cut them out.

Leopard Tote Bag image 5

Fold the piece to align the edges of the cut-out rectangles. Stitch 1/2" from the raw edges.

Leopard Tote Bag image 6

Insert the lining into the outer bag. Align the bottoms and the side seams.

Leopard Tote Bag image 7

Fold the upper edge of the outer bag over the lining. Pin or baste in place.
On your sewing machine, stitch in place.

Leopard Tote Bag image 8

Topstitch the handles on the front and back panels .

Leopard Tote Bag image 9

Leopard Tote Bag image 10

The tote bag is ready. Enjoy!

Leopard Tote Bag image 11

Happy Stitching!

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