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Pretty Floral Divided Tote {free pattern & tutorial}

2015 April 15

I’m happy to be able to give you another tutorial today! This is one of my many Creativ Festival projects. I’ve been working with my sponsor Sylvia from Country Clothesline to create this tutorial and she will be selling kits for it at her booth next week. She has provided the fabric for this tote – isn’t it amazing? It just screams warm spring and summer days! The perfect bag for adding a little floral accent to add to your daily life. It’s right on trend too!

The inspiration for this bag came from thoughts of trips to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Trips to the cottage, or the beach! For that you need some way to divide your towels from your sunscreen, or cucumbers from your fresh strawberry jam!

With that in mind, I decided to make this a divided tote – and then I had to figure out how to do it! Thankfully a few mini-mockups sorted it out quickly enough and I’m so happy with the result. Anything you put into your tote will look 100 times better next to that lovely yellow lining. And your life is a little bit more organized too!

This tote is generously sized at 14″ wide, 5″ deep and is 13″ tall. It only uses 1 yard each of outer and lining fabric! And, despite my convincing speech about the divider, you can make this tote without it. I’ve included a section in the directions below to tell you how to do that.

The lovely pink bouquet fabric is Olivia in Pink. And the yellow (and fast becoming my favorite!) is Olivia Floral in Yellow. I’m loving the pop of the blue on yellow!

As usual, please feel free to use my patterns/tutorials for your personal projects and gifts and for charitable fundraising events. Please do not sell anything made with this pattern. If you are interested in making this item for sale, please contact me and I will set up a license for it in the shop. Thank you!

Seam allowance 3/8″ OR 1/4″ as noted throughout the tutorial.


Printing the Pattern:

  • Download the Pattern Pieces using the link in the Materials listing. Print out all 4 pages of the pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  • Cut the pages on the outer gray lines and tape/glue the pages together, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.
  • Cut out both pattern pieces – now you are ready to cut!
Make the Tote without the Divider:
  • Do not cut the divider as noted in the cutting layouts & measurements.
  • Follow Steps 4 and 5 for sewing the outer tote to stitch the lining.
  • You will need very marginally less interfacing, all other yardage stays the same.


  • Pre-wash your fabric if desired and press well.
  • See below & pattern pieces for fabric cutting layouts and measurements for cutting fabric that does not have a pattern piece.
  • Lining - Divider: CUT 2 – 15″ wide x 10 3/4″ high, Strap: CUT 1 – 2.5″ x 42″, Pocket: CUT 1 on fold, Body: CUT 2 on fold
  • Outer - Strap: CUT 1 – 2.5″ x 42″, Pocket: CUT 1 on fold, Body: CUT 2 on fold
  • Interfacing - Divider: Cut 1 – 15″ wide x 10 3/4″ high, Outer Pocket: CUT 1 on fold, Lining Body: CUT 2 on fold
  • Fusible Fleece - Strap: CUT 2 – 1″ x 21″, Divider: CUT 1 – 15″ wide x 10 3/4″ high, Outer Body: CUT 2 on fold

Prepare your Fabric:

  • Fuse Interfacing to: 1 Divider, 1 Outer Pocket, 2 Lining Body
  • Fuse Fusible Fleece to: 1 Divider, 2 Outer Body – NOTE: DO NOT fuse fleece to strap yet. We will do this later.

Here we sew!


  1. Pin & stitch the two strap pieces together lengthwise with a 1/4″ seam. Press seam allowance open.
  2. Fold each side lengthwise to the centre seam. Fold again at the centre seam to make a 1″ wide strap.
  3. Cut the strap into 2 pieces 21″ long. Now you have two straps.
  4. Open the folds on each strap, place fusible fleece on outer strap fabric within the folds next to the centre seam.
  5. Re-fold each strap, press well fuse the fleece.
  6. Top stitch about 1/8″ away from the edge of each strap and once in the centre.
  1. Place pocket outer and lining Right Sides Together (RST). Stitch pocket with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 3″ opening at the bottom.
  2. Trim the corners. Press the seam allowance up along the opening.
  3. Turn the pocket right side out through the opening. Press well. Top stitch the top curved edge of the pocket.
  4. Centre the pocket on the Outer Front, 3 1/2″ up from the bottom. Pin & stitch the sides and bottom close to the edge. This will also close the bottom opening.
  1. Place divider pieces RST. Mark the left and right bottom corners 1″ from each corner. Draw a diagonal line to connect the marks.
  2. Pin and stitch along the marked lines and along the top edge with a 1/4″ seam.
  3. Trim corner seam allowances to 1/4″.
  4. Turn the divider right side out. Press all 3 seams well. Top stitch the top edge of the divider.


  1. Layer Lining/Divider/Lining, with the divider centred on the bottom edge of the lining pieces. Lining will be RST.
  2. Pin and stitch the bottom edge with a 3/8″ seam.
  3. Fold the lining back, away from the divider on both sides. Pin, this allows the sides to be sewn without accidentally sewing over the bottom edge.
  4. Match the bottom lining side with the side of the divider. The lining will extend 1″ below the divider on the bottom edge.
  5. Match the other lining side. Pin, stitch with a 3/8″ seam. Un-pin the bottom pulled back fabric from step 3.
  6. Press seam allowances away from the divider on the sides and bottom edges.
  7. Open and align the corner raw edges of each side so the side seams align with the bottom seam. This creates a boxed corner. Pin with seam allowances open.
  8. Stitch the two pinned edges with a  3/8″ seam.
Check out your awesome divided lining. Almost done now!
  1. Align the outer edge of each strap with the outer edge of each front pocket. Place the outer side of the strap RST with the outer tote. Pin.
  2. The inside edge of the end of the strap will be at the top edge of the bag and the outer edge will be parallel to the outer edge of the bag.
  3. Use the outer front of the tote to find the placement for the outer back strap. Pin. Baste the ends of the front and back straps to the bag with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  4. Place outer front and back RST. Stitch the sides and bottom with a 3/8″ seam. Press seam allowances open as much as possible. Note: It helps to turn the bag right side out to press, then turn inside out again to continue.
  5. Open and align the bottom raw un-sewn corners so the side seams align with the bottom seam. This creates a boxed corner. Pin with seam allowances open. Stitch with a 3/8″ seam.
Finish the Tote:
  1. Turn outer right side out. Place outer inside  lining with RST. Align top edges and pin.
  2. Find the relatively straight area at the top edge of the tote – next to the side seam. Mark a 4″ opening.
  3. Stitch around the top of the bag with a 3/8″ seam, leave the opening un-sewn.
  4. Clip and notch the top curve. Press the seam allowance open along the opening.
  5. Turn your tote through the opening. Press and pin the top edge with the outer turned slightly toward the lining. This helps the lining not to show on the outside of the bag.
  6. Top stitch about 1/8″ away from the top edge of the bag. This will also close the opening.
  7. Note: If desired, use matching thread to hand stitch the lining to the outer bottom edge at each end of the side seam/divider. This will keep the lining in place. Feel through the fabric and stitch the lining to the outer side seam allowance – do not stitch through the bag to the outside.
Give it a good press and you’re done!

I’d love to see your project! You can share your tote on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links below) using the  hashtags #alongforthreadride and/or #threadridinghood. Thank you!

Disclaimer: The fabric used in this post was given to me by my sponsor, Country Clothesline, for use in this post. I always share my honest opinion about sponsored products. Thanks for reading!

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58 Responses leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    April 16, 2015

    That is gorgeous! Love the colors and the mix…and the flowers and…the design and….enough said. Beautiful job!

    • April 16, 2015

      Thanks Mom! I’m super happy with how it turned out :) And such pretty fabric!

  2. Lori M. permalink
    April 16, 2015

    Hello,,,another great tutorial….love this tote…I am not a tote person, but I will make this as whenever I pull out my Sunnies glasses case people ask me,,,where did you get that…I always say…Sherri from ThreadRidingHood … I will make some new sunnies to go with this tote and find some new places to go and put things into the tote…..

    • April 16, 2015

      Thank you SO much Lori! Your comment has made my day :) I was thinking I should make a Sunny Glasses Case to match this tote – that would be perfect :) I’m so glad you use it all the time – and thank you for the promotion! I’d love to see it if you make one.

  3. Kathleen permalink
    April 16, 2015

    Love this tote, and the fabrics are beautiful! Florals are my weakness. Thank you for sharing the tutorial.

    • April 16, 2015

      Thanks Kathleen! The florals are so my favorite. Sylvia has so many gorgeous ones on her site! I’m so glad you like the tutorial :)

  4. April 16, 2015

    Looks lovely, another great pattern of yours for patchwork :) . You did call it a pillow, however.

    • April 16, 2015

      Thanks Lisa! It would look amazing in patchwork! Leave off the pocket and you could put in an amazing fancy one-of “left over” block. I think there’s a name for those but I forget what it is now! I’m sure you know :) And yes – argh, with the copy and paste I forgot to change the pillow – fixed now – thank you! I suppose you could sleep on it, with 4 layers of fusible fleece it’s kinda cushy? ;)

  5. April 17, 2015

    Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I have also blogged about it on

  6. April 17, 2015

    This is such an awesome bag!! I’m loving the curved top and of course the divided interior. I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your tutorial:

  7. Cynthia permalink
    April 19, 2015

    Such a nice bag. Thank you for sharing. I have the PERFECT fabric for this one!

    • April 20, 2015

      I’m so glad you like it Cynthia! I’d love to see it if you make one :)

  8. Janette permalink
    April 22, 2015

    Wow! What great fabrics! It looks so nice for summer. Also, I must admit, I loved your cat photo! :)

    • April 24, 2015

      Hee Hee. It’s even prettier in person! I thought you’d like the cat photo! :)

  9. Mara permalink
    April 29, 2015

    Beautiful bag! Great tutorial!

  10. May 3, 2015

    Great tutorial…….love the fabric too! Such a good idea to have the divider in the middle and the shape of the outside pocket is better than a straight top one – will definitely be making one (or two) of these.

    Love your cat too but please be careful – the alstroemeria flowers are not good for cats, not as bad as lilies but they can cause irritation/tummy upsets

    • May 4, 2015

      Thanks for the info about the cat Caz! We didn’t know until later that night when I looked it up out of curiosity. We’re not going to have alstroemeria in the house any more! Poor kitty. Thankfully she was fine! I’m so glad you like the tutorial. I’d love to see it if you make one!

  11. May 12, 2015

    I am new to sewing and am stuck on the lining picture 3. I’m confused as to what I’m pinning and what needs to be sewn. Is there an email address I can send my questions to?

    • May 15, 2015

      I hope the email I sent helped Megan! Let me know if you have any more questions.

      • Kristina permalink
        July 9, 2016

        I love this tote and am working on it now, but just like Megan, I am stumped at pictures #3 and #4 as well. Folding/pinning the divider and liner are really boggling my mind! Help please?? I can’t wait to finish this!

        • July 10, 2016

          Hi Kristina! Thanks so much for asking :) Here is the information I sent to Megan before: For step 3:
          • Lay the 3 layers flat on a table – from bottom to top you will have: Lining (right side up)/divider/Lining (right side down)
          • Leave the divider where it is and pull the lining pieces away from the left side of the divider as far as they will go – the diagonal sewn bottom corners of the divider will show.
          • The pin in the instructions is tiny and yellow and blends in so I likely should have highlighted it! It’s in the bottom left hand corner and holds the two bottom lining edges away from the divider while you line up the sides.
          • There is no sewing in step 3.
          Step 4:
          • Unfold the lining so you can match the lining sides with the divider sides (right sides together) using the text/photo in the directions to make sure the bottom corner is aligned properly.

          I hope it helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

          • Jennye Keefer permalink
            March 7, 2019

            I’ve been studying steps 3, 4 and 5 over and over again. I now have a headache and I still don’t understand it…sigh…

            Why do you have to pin the sides away when you are just sewing the 3 pieces together on the sides?


          • March 8, 2019

            Hi Jennye, Good questions! I hope your headache wasn’t too bad. Pulling the sides back before sewing them together, prevents you from sewing over the bottom edge. Because the tote has “boxed” corners, there is extra fabric there that you do not want to sew over in this step. Hope that helps!

  12. Kelly permalink
    May 25, 2015

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I’ve been puzzling over how to make a divided interior for a while now. This tutorial was crystal clear!

    • May 25, 2015

      Hooray! I’m glad you like it Kelly. I am also glad I figured it out! I love being able to divide a bag – makes it more organized. :)

    • Jennye Keefer permalink
      March 8, 2019

      Thank you for your help. My headache is indeed better..haha

      I think the confusion lies in my understanding what is meant by sewing the “sides”. I have made many boxed corners before, so I automatically stop before sewing the little cut out section. I assumed that of course you stop before you get to the cutout, but perhaps that isn’t automatically what people do? If that is so, then I understand your wonderful tutorial and appreciate the free .pdf. Keep up the good work!

  13. Barbara permalink
    May 25, 2015

    I’ve used two different browsers at least a half-dozen times each, and Windows keeps informing me that the PDF can’t be downloaded. Is there a chance that you’ve used too much bandwidth and your provider has cut off downloads? I really love this bag – bags are truly MY THING – and I’d love to make it with a laminated cotton I have. Could you please email the file to me? I’d SO appreciate it! Thank you for offering this beautiful project! My Florida life begs for bags like this for the beach and shopping!

    • May 25, 2015

      I’m glad the emails we sent back and forth helped Barbara! And I’d love to see a photo of your bag once you are finished if you have one! :)

  14. Nazii permalink
    August 2, 2015

    It was very nice your learning

  15. Sharon permalink
    August 27, 2015

    I cannot wait to make this! So beautifully done & love the instructions for the divider. Thanks!

  16. Francoise permalink
    April 21, 2016

    very very beautiful , i like it very much i will do it later

    is it possible to have the PDF tutorial


    have a great friday

    • April 26, 2016

      Hi Francoise. I’m so glad you like it! I don’t have a pdf for this one yet, but it is the next one on my list :) Soon!

  17. October 5, 2016

    lindo!! amei.
    vou tentar fazer uma igual para mim.


    • October 12, 2016

      Muito obrigado Dinny! Estou feliz que você gosta. Divirta-costura! :)

  18. February 11, 2017

    This bag is so very pretty! I just love the fabrics. Was wondering if they are still available? Thank you for providing the pattern and tutorial for this. Once again beautiful tote!

  19. Doloris permalink
    May 31, 2017


    I made your pattern, but made a zippered divider. Very nice. Good size. A graduation gift for my daughter’s friend.
    Thank you for sharing.


    • June 1, 2017

      Hi Doloris – what a great idea! Putting a zipper in the divider is a great addition. I may have to try that myself :)

  20. Charlene McGinn permalink
    August 26, 2018

    I am making a tote that has a 7″ gusset. How much of the bottom corners of the center divider do I cut off?
    Thank you so much

  21. September 12, 2018

    This is lovely. I think for a tutorial it would have been better to have the divider in a different coloured fabric, so I can see how it goes. Still will give it a try

    • September 12, 2018

      Great idea Jenny! That would have shown the construction in a much simpler way. I’ll keep it in mind for future tutorials. If you try one I’d love to hear how it goes!

  22. December 24, 2019

    Should the divider width but cut to 15″ as stated in the instructions or 10″ wide? When I Look at the pictures for the Lining part… it looks like the divider doesn’t extend into the square 2.5″ cutout area… I’m having a hard time grasping how the 15″ wide divider works, but it could be because I’m a fairly inexperienced sewer. (My first attempt at this bag with the divider didn’t work, but I want to try and perfect this pattern!) Thanks so much!

    • January 7, 2020

      Hi Pamela, So so sorry for the late reply. It’s been a busy holiday here. Do not worry – the 15″ divider will work! We’ve had lots of testers. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask. I can help explain the construction in a different way for you.

  23. Wanda permalink
    March 3, 2020

    I just came across this tote pattern and I want to make a tote about this size(14h-16w-7d)
    but with 2 dividers. I want 3 sections inside this tote and I have no idea where to start. Is there a way to adapt your instructions to include 2 dividers?

    • March 4, 2020

      Hi Wanda. There are two ways I think of to easily make this tote have 3 sections – 1) Instead of sewing the divider together and top-stitching, install a zipper (and add a lining) at the top edge. 2) Cut and sew two dividers. Baste them together on the side and bottom edges and then stitch them into the bag together (like they are one piece). This would give you a thin third section in the centre. If you want three equally-sized sections you would need to reconstruct the entire bag design. I hope that helps!

  24. June 13, 2020

    It’s a beautiful bag, nice detailed instructions too. Love the color and fabrics.

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