How to Sew A Retro Zippered Tote Bag by Sewspire

How to sew a retro zippered tote bag with removable purse organizer

Hey y’all and welcome to Sewspire!

Today I am here to show you how to sew this fabulous retro zippered tote bag with removable organizer. For this project you will need to precut the following fabric pieces:

Tote Bag:

Top Panel, cut two 18″ x 9″ rectangles

Base Panel, cut two 18″ x 10″ rectangles

Interior, cut two 18″ x 18″ squares

Handles, cut two 30″ x 6″ strips

Zipper Casing, cut two 20″ x 6″ strips

Fusible Fleece, cut two 18″ x 18″ squares and two 3″ x 30″ strips

Plus, one 18″ heavy duty separating zipper to match

Removable Organizer:

Body, cut one 18″ x 30″ rectangle

Pocket Panel, cut one 16″ x 30″ rectangle

Heavyweight Pellon Sew In Interfacing / Stabilizer, cut one 16.5″ x 28″ rectangle

I hope you enjoyed this project and will share pictures of your finished retro totes with our creative community. You can post your photos directly to the Sewspire Facebook page using @sewspire or tag #sewspire on Instagram.

I will be back soon with another inspired project. Until then, please know the creative genius in me salutes the creative genius in you!



P.S. For your reference, the finished tote should measure approximately 11″ across the base, 6″ deep and 13″ tall.


8 Replies to “How to sew a retro zippered tote bag with removable purse organizer”

    1. Hello Debbie! I found that fun print at Walmart. I am sure you could order it online too.

  1. sent you a message on Facebook. I still have a question that I need clarification on.

  2. I was just about to cut fabric and was listening to the video again. I am still confused. I will PM you on F B ok ?

  3. Thank you for these videos. I am going to make this tote for a swap I am in. I do have a question though… the written measurements say the top panel is 18 x 9 and the base is 18 x 10… BUT in your video you stated that the base is the smaller of the two pieces… so I am a tad confused and I only have enough fabric to get this right the first time LOL. Which is which ?

    1. Good catch Deborah! The written instructions are correct…I am sorry I misspoke in the video and didn’t catch that. Happy sewing!

Comments are closed.