Bags, Wallets, and Zips, tutorial

Trail Tote featuring Doe by Carolyn Friedlander



Happy fall! I paired up with Robert Kaufman again for another free pattern – the Trail Tote! Just like the Cargo Duffle and Manicure wallet, you can jump on over to the Robert Kaufman website and download the pattern for free! I’m honored that this project features Carolyn‘s newest collection – Doe! (it’ll be debuting at Quilt Market this week)





I was especially happy designing this tote. I had the sketch just waiting to come to life. I love that part of sewing. And this tote is such a great sew! Sorry if that sounds weird, but I’m already cutting out more for me. I’m making myself an exact copy of the large tote. It’s kind of how I work actually, I design a lot to try to figure out a bag that I would love. That sounds pretty self righteous, but I design to help solve my own issues that I encounter.


Doe is such an amazing collection, and even though I haven’t seen all the prints in person, the colors and designs just make my heart swell. I feel like I say that with each of Carolyn‘s new fabrics, but it’s true. Can’t help it!




Anyway, I  hope you give the tote a try. I had fun doing the illustrations and writing things up, of course making the bags and the photo shoot were the cherry on top!

Pattern: Trail Tote (designed by me for Robert Kaufman)
Fabric: Doe by Carolyn Friedlander
Zippers: 8″ zipper here, 6″ zipper here, zipper pulls here and here
Magnetic snap HERE


52 thoughts on “Trail Tote featuring Doe by Carolyn Friedlander

  1. Mara Julia says:

    This is such an adorable tote! I have to add this pattern to my never ending list of patterns I yet have to try. But I’m sure it won’t stay there for long – your Poolside Tote, the Super Tote and the Runaround Bag didn’t stay on that list for more than a week. Thank you so much for designing such fabulous patterns! And now I’m off to go figure out what fabric I’m going to use for this one. Love from Germany!

  2. Darci says:

    That mini is so cute! I must make one!

  3. Jessica says:

    You’ve done it again. I love it Anna!

  4. kim says:

    This the bag I’ve been dreaming of and just didn’t know it! I’ve been on the hunt in stores for an oversized cross body. Now I can just make one!

  5. Nadeen says:

    Thank you for being so generous, Anna! I cannot wait to make the larger tote size!

  6. Norma says:

    Love the Totes on both sizes. The shape is beautiful! The fabric collection is so cool. I’ll be waiting for it.

  7. Amy P says:

    I think I should make the little one for when I don’t need my big tote/diaper bag with me! I love the shape.

  8. those prints are awesome. and i always love your designs. this is a great shape, Anna. and I’m in the market for a fresh bag. i’m trying to figure out if i could add a foldover top to this somehow… thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Sharon says:

    You have the cutest ideas…that are practical to boot!! Love this shape!

  10. Teresa Block says:

    Love this new tote! The small version will be perfect for me. It’s now on the top of my list for this coming weekend. It looks so simple, I may get a couple sewn up before I head to the east coast for vacation!!
    (ps. I like that a couple of your pictures actually have you smiling at us. You remind me of an old friend of mine who now lives in Iowa!)

  11. helen says:

    Very cute – so is your necklace 🙂 Can you tell us more about it? :))

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks Helen! It’s an old one from American Eagle. 🙂 Might be simple to make though!

  12. Eva says:

    Looks great! Like the fabric!

  13. Patti McGarry says:

    I’ve been looking for a tote like this for my daughter. You’ve come through, as always Anna! I guess I have to wait for Doe to be released because it’s perfect for this bag! Thanks again.

  14. elsabean says:

    Just my kind of bag ~ I love them both! I’ve got some fun fabric that I think will be perfect for them ~ thanks so much for the pattern!

  15. Laurie BB says:

    Can’t wait to make this! I just started graduate school while working full time and my sewing time has been dramatically cut down to almost nothing. Maybe I can fit this bag in on a weekend as a relaxation project. Thanks, Anna!

  16. Shannon says:

    Wowsa! Hot mama! I love the tote but you look amazing!!! What jeans are those? So cute!!!!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks Shannon! They’re actually the mid-rise rockstar jeans by Old Navy. 🙂

  17. ninasimona says:

    thank you, anna! love this tote! ♥ nice fabrics, too!

  18. Donna says:

    I love this bag! I’m off to download this pattern now. And the fabrics on both bags are gorgeous! Perfect for this kind of project.

  19. kislanykim says:

    those bags are gorgeous, SO cool, and your photo shoot is fab!! that bag and those fabrics were made for each other! congratulations.

  20. Not sure why but all of your comments are showing as separate blog posts on Bloglovin’.

  21. These bags both look super cool. I would love to own them, myself 🙂

  22. you are AMAZING!!! did you know that??? I am anxious to give this pattern a try. your photos….perfect, as always!!! you did it again!

  23. Teddi says:

    I am going to try this soon, but I was wondering about the pocket instructions. Is the zipper unfinished on the inside? I have seen 2 ways to do these zipper pockets, and I like the inside finished look best.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      The zipper is unfinished (although you’d have to be looking from the inside of the pocket to see the zipper tape). Feel free to use whatever method you like best though. 🙂

  24. Beth says:

    This is beautiful! I’m with everyone else, I really love both sizes and I hope you will be kind enough to share the smaller size, too. It really does make me appreciate a line of fabric more when I see it made up into things I might use. Truthfully, I’m not sure I would have bought the fabric you used with the big tote if I just saw it in a store. Now, I’m ready to sharpen my elbows and fight to be first in line so that I can make a purse out of it! The second fabric would be one I would love anyway 🙂 thanks for your entry! Glad the weird comment thing is fixed now, haha!


  25. ninasimona says:

    hi anna, I must make one, so I made one! thank you so much! 🙂

  26. Emily M says:

    Another beautiful bag Anna! I’m so in love with your large version that I may have to make an exact copy for myself too. I love your taste in fabric combinations so much!

  27. thimblenest says:

    Absolutely perfect! Can’t wait to make one!

  28. Super cute! Love the small and large sizes and the fabric is awesome

  29. P. Vajda says:

    Wow, thank you for the link to the Robert Kaufman site, I found so many beautiful free patterns.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Of course. 🙂 They work with so many great pattern designers.

  30. I just finished making this bag. The big one. It is one of the best patterns I’ve ever used. AND it turned out beautiful. I will be making this again. Thanks so much for sharing the pattern.

    1. Kathleen M Gormley says:

      I am pretty new to sewing and have sewn a few smaller bags. I was wondering if there is a video to help with making this bag?

      1. Anna Graham says:

        Hi Kathleen, I’m sorry I don’t have a video on this pattern. You could try searching YouTube.

  31. Stephanie says:

    Super easy to make and such a nice tote for spring and summer. I made it a little easier by using some flat cording as the strap instead of making my own. I am going to make more for sure!

  32. Jaye says:

    I design the way you do ! I am always looking for the perfect bag and tweaking patterns. Normally, I don’t design my own bags, but adjust others. However, you never know. Thanks for posting the hardware and zipper sites. Always helpful!

  33. Super Bag, I just wished it had zipper instead of a button to close up. Is there anyway to change it. I just don’t like the idea of loosing my belongings.

  34. Yas says:

    I can’t wait to try this out! I’ve never sewn with zippers before – I either ignore the zipper in the pattern or just skip over the pattern full on…but I’ve decided to tackle it because this is too cute to pass up. I have a question though, your pattern says 8″ zipper; is that 8 inches from stop to stop (?) or from end to end of fabric? Thanks to anyone that can help!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks Yas! I’m glad you’re excited to give it a try. Here’s a post I wrote about zippers you’ll want to read:
      Zippers are measured end stop to end stop. The post will show you pictures and give you a bit more info. 🙂

  35. vanilda says:

    Linda bolsa. Despojada, juvenil, versátil. Parabéns!!!

  36. Jess Taylor says:

    Hi there, fabulous pattern! Am I allowed to sell bags I make using it? If the pattern is credited? Or is there a licence of some kind I can buy? Thanks!!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Jess. Thanks for your comment. The free patterns I’ve designed for Robert Kaufman fabrics – cargo duffle, trail tote, manicure wallet, gatherer crossbody bag, tiny treasures basket/tray are for personal use only (not to be used for selling finished items). However, you can sell finished items using any of my other tutorials/patterns/and book projects. Giving design credit to me or referring to my website would be great, but is not required.

  37. Eva Rebernig says:

    Hi Anna, I completely fell in love with this bag pattern and I already made a small and a large version. On the large version I did some patchwork on the outer bag. And it becomes the most often pinned picture on my very new pinterest account. I am very excited about it and would like to say thank you.
    Would love if you stop by and leave a comment.
    Thanks a lot and creative greetings from Austria 🙂

  38. Kira Holladay says:

    I absolutely love this bag, both sizes. People are asking me to make them in the community. I couldn’t find a policy in using your pattern commercially. What is it? Is it possible?

  39. Alice G Munoz says:

    Just browsing through, found all this great info, STUFF available, things to do; have cousin who just sewed me a tote, her work looks like a pro, sews many totes. Will pass on your info for her to enjoy. Somehow will try to do more sewing. I am an accomplished seamstress, for myself only. Many years ago made lined drapes, in a pro class did tailored coat which I gave to neighbor gal, always have tons of material on hand. Now know what else I can do. Have a very old (Kenmore-60 yrs old) machine who I rely on for many projects. Thank you for your presence on computer this morning.

  40. KayT says:

    Thank you for the pattern. Love my bag!

  41. Kayleen says:

    Hi! I’m in the middle of making this pattern and love it so far! One question though please: the instructions don’t say how to get the piping right side out when you see the front and back exterior pieces together. I’ve never done piping before, and for some reason I can’t wrap my head around how to do it…any tips?

    1. Kayleen says:

      Never mind! Figured out why I was struggling – basted the piping to the wrong side of the back exterior. Lol

      1. Anna Graham says:

        Glad you got it Kayleen! 🙂

  42. Taine says:

    Working on this pattern right now and loving it so far! I did have a bit of errata to contribute about the square of interfacing we cut for the interior pocket: the pattern instructions don’t explicitly tell you when you attach it (or which way that side should face when attaching it to the bag).

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