I found an incredibly simple tutorial to make a Pleated Tote on The Long Thread website. I've actually had it sitting in my Evernote folder for quite a while and never got around to making it. So glad I finally made one last weekend. I was camping with my mom and I wanted something easy that didn't require pattern pieces and that I could use some fabric I bought at Joann's that had a larger design. I was so excited that I found this gorgeous purple, brown and turquoise floral print on clearance for $2.50 a yard. What a steal.
This bag is a nice size and so easy to make. I used some plain purple fabric for the interior and added a long simple pocket to one of the lining pieces.
I made a few adjustments based on my preferences for making bags. Instead of fusible fleece I used Drill Cloth, which is similar to Duck Canvas. I like the sturdiness it gives the bags I make yet allows them to be flexible and there is no fusing with an iron. I just sew the Drill Cloth as an extra layer with the lining. I used medium weight fusible interfacing for the outside bag pieces. I used fusible fleece for the handles. For the first bag I made I followed the measurements she used.
On my second bag I used double the width of fusible fleece for the handles to make it sturdier and I sewed several lines on the handle to also make it sturdier. I finished that one up today. I found this gorgeous grungy looking White and Black Paisley fabric at Hobby Lobby. I did the same as with the first bag, using white Duck Canvas cloth in place of the drill and added a pocket in side.
I think the next one I make will be smaller. The tutorial is a great guide to use for any size tote. You could make a small bag for a child or really large bag to tote around stuff on vacation.