The Sunset Beach Tote: A Big, Beautiful Workhorse

Lisa Stewart beach bag beginner basics large tote no pattern pieces rotary cutter testers' makes tote bag

The Sunset Beach Tote is the first in the Beginner Basics Collection. The pattern calls for outdoor canvas for both the exterior and interior, along with Peltex fusible stabilizer and fusible fleece.

As always, we encourage the testers to get creative with the pattern. It's important to show versatility in how it's used. So while my intent is for a sturdy bag made from cotton fabrics and very little hardware for beginning bagmakers, the testers have used a variety of materials. They generously shared all the details to inspire you to make your own Sunset Beach Tote.

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Sue Reed of Dreamscape Studio used a waterproof canvas (Cordura) for the bottom of her bag. The main exterior is a vinyl weave from her stash that she loves to use on beach-type bags. The Cordura is backed with fleece and was used to back the facing as well. She used Wovenfuse interfacing on the lining fabric. 

Additional hardware are rivets. The straps are premade and have been stitched at the top in a "faux-roll" style. Sue chose the flat pocket, rather than the "billowed" option. 

A very classy, upscale tote with a surprise fun print on the exterior pockets. 


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Linda Rizzardi used a lightweight print canvas for the exterior of her bag. She embellished with rivets and made faux-rolled strap tops also. She also chose the flat exterior pocket.

Her interior is home dec woven coated with OdiCoat, and she interfaced it with BouncyFirm 160.

Another classy look for this tote. 

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Joleelee Creations' Leslie Anthony's first round as a tester. Her super beachy bag is made from outdoor canvas, both inside and out. The exterior is interfaced with fusible fleece and both the exterior and interior bottoms are stabilized with Decovil heavy. Leslie chose the "billow" pocket, and also added rivets to her straps.

Follow Leslie on Instagram and tiktok @joleeleecreations and on Facebook.
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Our "always up for a test" Becca Olson of Turtle Trax Too got super-creative with her bag, adding screen mesh from Home Depot to her exterior pockets. Her vinyl is from Bo Dee Oh, canvas fabric from Threaded Candy Customs, and the interior is PUL from Joann Fabrics. She sourced her hardware and fusible fleece from Amazon. The margarita machine is from her personal stash.
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Rebecca Hansen of TwoLeos Design had this to say about her details and the pattern:
"Okay here is my Sunset Beach Tote that has been thoroughly tested (daily) and has passed the pool test with flying colors! I made mine with outdoor palm leaf fabric that I got from Amazon and I lined and did my base with black waterproof canvas from FWD. Instead of making my straps from fabric I had this webbing from Hobby Lobby that I thought would be comfortable - especially since it’s wide and soft and I’m glad I went this route because it doesn’t hurt my shoulders when I am carrying a TON in this bag! I did not use any interfacing or stabilizer except for one piece of Decovil heavy which is attached to my exterior base. This is such a great pattern - I love my new “beach” (pool) bag!!
Follow Rebecca on Facebook.
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Our second "first time" tester is Nikilyn Prate. She showed us that the tote is so much more than a beach bag and styled it as a picnic bag. 
Nikilyn used the recommended materials of outdoor canvas for both the exterior and lining, along with the fusible Peltex and fleece. Her design choice of quilting cotton for the interior pockets add a surprise to the interior. We love the classic color combination. 
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This group of testers really came through for us on short notice. As always, we appreciate their time and efforts in both the testing phase and the promotion phase of our patterns. We could not get a quality product to you without their invaluable help. A huge thank you to them, and for the ladies who have links listed, I hope you'll take the time to check out their creations.

Want more information on techniques used in our patterns? Check out our Learning Library of articles and a complete listing of videos for all of our patterns. 

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced bag maker, we'd love to have you join our Facebook Pattern Group. Ask questions, give guidance and encouragement, and be sure to share your makes.

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