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cartoon cats embroidered onto Demin bag

Cute cat tote bag

You can never too many bags, or cats! We’ve combined the two in this paw-some denim and cork tote bag.


Download and stitch out this free embroidery pattern and then follow the instructions below to make your own tote bag.

If you want to complete the set, head over to our Cute Cats Book Cover and Pencil Case post for two more free downloads and projects.

Meow! Now you’ll be the envy of all you friends!

cork and denim bag with three cartoon cats embroidered on

Embroidery data

Cute cats embroidery design
Finished size: 206 x 307mm
Stitches: 18067
Colours: 9

Please note:

This design is only for machines that can take a 360 x 240mm or larger hoop.
The design is in PEN format and can only be read by Brother embroidery machines. This design is not editable.

Tote bag materials

cork and denim bag with three cartoon cats embroidered on
  • Pattern – download here
  • Printer
  • Tape or glue (for sticking your printed pattern together)
  • Denim fabric: 70cm (150cm wide) – use a denim that has no stretch and isn’t too lightweight
  • Cork fabric: 2 pieces of 46 x 12cm
  • Lining fabric: 1m of quilting cotton in a pattern or colour to suit your embroidery.
  • Heavy weight fusible interfacing: 1m (115cm wide)
  • 2 x triangle bag rings – we used 1 ½” (4cm) pieces
  • 2 x swivel bag rings – we used 1 ½” (4cm) pieces
  • Strapping for handles: 1.5m. We used 1 ½” (4cm) wide strapping (make sure your strapping and hardware match in size)
  • Scissors – for paper and for fabric
  • Pins
  • Sewing thread
  • Embroidery thread
  • Sewing and embroidery machine
  • Denim needle
  • Embroidery needle
  • Sewing needle
  • Machine embroidery foot
  • Tailor’s chalk or erasable chalk pen
  • Pins

Finished size: 46cm (w) x 38cm (h) with 21cm gusset


Tote bag how to

Step 1

Download and print your pattern. Stick the pattern pieces together and cut out on the outside lines.

Step 2

Cut the denim into two pieces of 60 x 74cm. Put one aside and prep the other for embroidery.

sewing pattern for tote bag

Mark a line with an erasable chalk pen 15cm from the bottom edge. This is the bottom of your embroidery. Mark another line 12cm above the first line – that is the horizontal centre line of your embroidery. Mark the vertical centre by drawing a north to south line 37cm from the left edge of the fabric.

Hoop your fabric and embroider. Remove from the hoop and press.

Step 3

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of all pieces.

Lay the front pattern piece over the embroidered denim, overlapping the embroidery (turquoise rectangle on diagram). Mark the position of the cork (green rectangle on diagram above) and all fold lines. Cut out. Cut the back of the bag as well, marking all fold lines.

Diagram for tote bag

Step 4

Fold the paper pattern on the dotted line marked ‘lining folding line’. Lay the pattern on your lining fabric and cut two pieces, marking all fold lines.

Step 5

Cut the cork to size and place on top of the denim. You can use a glue stick to keep it in place. Top stitch all around.

Step 6

Mark the back handle (see diagram above for handle placement):
Cut one piece of webbing 67cm. Pin it in place and tack across to keep it in place.

Mark the front handles with hardware:
Cut one piece of webbing 47cm. Sew a swivel hook to each end. Now cut two pieces of webbing 12cm each. Fold double, insert a triangle ring and pin in place. Tack across to keep in place.

Step 7

You can watch the video above to help you with Steps 7 – 12.
Place front and back of bag with right sides facing and edges aligned. Sew sides and bottom, but leave the gusset pieces unsewn. Press the seams open.


Step 8

Fold the gusset pieces so seams align and edges match. Pin and sew both sides. Press seams towards the bottom of the bag.


Step 9

Repeat with lining pieces, but leave a gap as indicated in the one side. You will now have two pieces – the outer bag and the lining.


Step 10

Turn the bag inside out and the lining with right side out. Place the lining in the bag and align the top ends. The bag and lining should have the right sides facing each other now. Make sure side seams match. Pin and sew all around.


Step 11

Turn out through the gap in the side of the lining. Sew the gap in the lining by hand.


Step 12

Push the lining into the bag until the bottom seams match. Push the gusset points of the lining into the corners formed by the bag.


Step 13

Fold, pin and sew along the top of the bag, sewing over the straps to secure them in place.


Step 14

Pin along the fold lines between the gusset and the side of the bag. Top stitch along these lines, through all layers, 12-15cm down. Do this on all four corners.


Step 15

Connect the swivel rings to the triangle rings. Your bag is complete!


Optional extras!

  1. You can add cork fabric to the base of the bag for extra structure: cut to size and sew in place at the same time as adding the cork at the top of the bag.
  2. Add a fold in the handles: lay the strap flat on your workbench, mark the centre and 8cm to each side of the centre. Flip the one end over to create a twist. Manoeuvre the twist to start at the one 4cm mark and end at the next. Flatten and pin. You will have a diagonal fold. Top stitch in place. This creates a more comfortable handle. Watch our video below to see how this looks.
We can’t wait to see what you make! Remember to tag in Brother on Instagram and Facebook so we can share your makes and inspire others.
cats embroidered onto Demin book cover, bag, pencil case

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