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How-to

Sew an Easy Tyvek Tote (Includes Free Pattern Guide)

Apr 23, 2014
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Use Linda Lee's two-piece pattern to make your own recyclable tote bag.

In Threads #173 (June/July 2014), Linda Lee, owner of The Sewing Workshop Pattern Collection, offers innovative ways for sewing the unconventional material, Tyvek. Although Tyvek is more commonly known for its use in the homebuilding industry, it’s easy to sew, comes in multiple forms, and can be embellished in a variety of ways. Below are instructions and a free pattern for making the lightweight tote featured in Linda’s article “Tyvek in Fashion.”

To get started, gather the following materials:

  • 1/2 yard of “hard” Tyvek from MioCulture.com
  • Size 75/11 universal sewing machine needle
  • Polyester thread
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Tyvek bag

1. Cut the bag pattern, using the measurements below:

Bag body: 18 inches wide by 36 inches long (Cut 1)
Straps: 1-1/2 inches wide by 17 inches long (Cut 2)

2. Decide which side of the material you want to use as the right side. Then, fold 1/2 inch to the right side along the short edges. These become the bag’s opening edge.

Fold back edge

3. Fold the bag body widthwise 14-1/2 inches from one of the top edges. Measure 6 inches from this fold and make another fold parallel to the first. Set the bag body aside.

 Fold widthwise

4. With wrong sides together, fold the strap pieces in half lengthwise and turn in the raw edges about 1/8 inch on both sides. The straps should now be approximately 1/2 inch wide.

Fold the strap

5. Edgestitch along the folded edges through all four layers. Repeat with the second strap.

Stitch along the edge

6. Place one strap end 5 3/4 inches in from the bag’s side and 3 1/2 inches down from the top edge.

Strap placement

7. Sew the strap in place as shown. Then, attach the other strap end to the bag’s same side in the same way. Repeat for the remaining strap on the bag’s opposite side.

 Attach the strap

8. With wrong sides together, align the bag’s top and side edges. Sew down the sides for approximately 11-1/2 inches with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Sew the side seams

9. Create a structured bottom by flattening the remaining unstitched section. The end of the side seam should align with the midpoint of the two folded bottom ends.

Flatten the bottom

10. With wrong sides together, and the bulk of the bag folded toward you, sew through two Tyvek layers up to the midpoint. Turn the bag over and do the same. Repeat on the bag’s other side.

Finish the bottom

Finally, you’re done.

Finished bags

Have you ever sewn Tyvek before? Are you interested in giving it a try? Share your thoughts below.

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  1. camushroomlady May 17th

    The bottom making instructions don't make sense to me.

  2. BettySewsAlot May 14th

    Thank you Clara! I went ahead and clicked on View All and it showed me all the instructions> I guess I was looking for the Pattern itself but their isn't one? Instead they give you measurements to cut to size? Thank you again for trying to help me.

  3. User avater user-933140 May 14th

    HI
    I've had a lot of fun sewing with Tyvek. My grandchildren and I paint it,stamp it, then we make bookmarks using decorative threads and stitches and lunch bags and tote bags with our painted creations. I had a box of Tyvek envelopes from the office supply store and we used it all and I had to go buy another box of envelopes. It's easy to sew and fun to play with. I think I will make a cushion to take to my granddaughter's sports events.
    Try it....it's easy to sew and fun to play with !!

  4. user-2482195 May 14th

    BETTY, HERE ARE THE REMAINING STEPS, NUMBERS 9 & 10, IN CASE THEY DIDN'T GET ON THE FIRST POSTING.

    9. Create a structured bottom by flattening the remaining un-stitched section. The end of the side seam should align with the midpoint of the two folded bottom ends.

    Flatten the bottom

    10. With wrong sides together, and the bulk of the bag folded toward you, sew through two Tyvek layers up to the midpoint. Turn the bag over and do the same. Repeat on the bag's other side.

    Finish the bottom

    FINALLY, YOU'RE DONE!!

  5. user-2482195 May 14th

    To get started, gather the following materials:

    1/2 yard of "hard" Tyvek from MioCulture.com
    Size 75/11 universal sewing machine needle
    Polyester thread
    Scissors
    Ruler


    Tyvek bag

    1. Cut the bag pattern, using the measurements below:

    Bag body: 18 inches wide by 36 inches long (Cut 1)
    Straps: 1-1/2 inches wide by 17 inches long (Cut 2)


    2. Decide which side of the material you want to use as the right side. Then, fold 1/2 inch to the right side along the short edges. These become the bag's opening edge.

    Fold back edge

    3. Fold the bag body widthwise 14-1/2 inches from one of the top edges. Measure 6 inches from this fold and make another fold parallel to the first. Set the bag body aside.

    Fold widthwise

    4. With wrong sides together, fold the strap pieces in half lengthwise and turn in the raw edges about 1/8 inch on both sides. The straps should now be approximately 1/2 inch wide.

    Fold the strap

    5. Edgestitch along the folded edges through all four layers. Repeat with the second strap.

    Stitch along the edge

    6. Place one strap end 5 3/4 inches in from the bag's side and 3 1/2 inches down from the top edge.

    Strap placement

    7. Sew the strap in place as shown. Then, attach the other strap end to the bag's same side in the same way. Repeat for the remaining strap on the bag's opposite side.

    Attach the strap

    8. With wrong sides together, align the bag's top and side edges. Sew down the sides for approximately 11-1/2 inches with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

    Sew the side seams

    9. Create a structured bottom by flattening the remaining unstitched section. The end of the side seam should align with the midpoint of the two folded bottom ends.

    Flatten the bottom

    10. With wrong sides together, and the bulk of the bag folded toward you, sew through two Tyvek layers up to the midpoint. Turn the bag over and do the same. Repeat on the bag's other side.

    Finish the bottom

  6. user-2482195 May 14th

    Betty, look up there in the very dark blue printing, and click on Free Pattern". It will tell you to gather all the materials needed, but there is a "next" button at the bottom of the page somewhere down there, and you keep clicking on those "next buttons". It's shows you how to measure the material, etc. I hope this helps. Clara

  7. BettySewsAlot May 14th

    Is it me? I cant find where to get the free pattern. The measurements given is that the Pattern?
    Can someone help?

  8. dangelodesigns May 13th

    I have never sewn on Tyvek before. Is it difficult, does it slip or stick. Nice light weight tote.

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