Make a Shopping tote with some fancy webbing handles!

bag making basics handles Make Something

The super quick shopping tote with Hong Kong seam finish and some very fancy webbing handles. Thanks to the Deadly Mojo Sewing Tools Zipper Mate. Available through





(what are we cutting)

How much is needed

What to cut

Where does this go

Main Fabric

(non- directional fabric)

46cm (18”) x WOF

Cut 1

46cm (18”) x full width of fabric 112cm (44”)

Body of the bag

Cotton (Twill) Tape / bias tape (optional you can also use French seams)

25mm x 2.1mts

(1” x 2.1/4yd)

Cut 2

25mm x 102cm (40.1/2”)

Hong Kong Seam Finish – tape length needs to be 10cm shorter than the full width of fabric – adjust as required

Leather / Vinyl / Cork

Non Woven fabric

20cm x 20cm (8”x8”)


Cut 2

32mm x 20cm (1.1/4” x 8”)


Cut 4

38mm x 14cm

(1.1/2” x 5.1/2”)

Will be used for handle wrap and attachment tabs

Cotton/Nylon Webbing

25mm x 130cm

(1” x 52”)

Cut 2

25mm x 65cm

(1” x 26”)

Shoulder handles  /straps

(For Grab handles shorten the length to 45cm/18”)





Double Sided Tape (DST) or fabric glue



Wonderclips and pins



Zipper foot for your machine (no zippers but we’re getting close to edges and it’s easier to manage)



Marking pens/pencil



Your fabulous Deadly Mojo Sewing Tools Zipper Mate



Garment makers look away now, this is not how a Hong Kong seam finish is normally done (it’s normally created with bias tape and after the seam is sewn). However as we have straight seams and no base panel on our shopping bag we can absolutely do our Hong Kong Seam finish before we sew the bag!!

You will notice your 25mm (1”) cotton tape has four grosgrain patterns all at ¼” (6mm) similar to a zipper. This is perfect for following when sewing and also for folding sections.

Please note: if you’re not comfortable with cotton tape, use a French seam instead (you can skip steps 1-4 as these relate to Hong Kong Seam).

Create the body of the bag.

Step 1



With right sides together.



Pin cotton tape in place along one long edge of your bag starting 5cm (2”) down from the short edge.



The tape will finish 5cm (2”) from the opposite short edge. This is to reduce bulk later when the top is folded. Stitch in place using a ¼” (6mm) seam allowance



Stitch in place using a ¼” (6mm) seam allowance



Step 2



Fold the cotton tape back over the raw edge of the fabric and wrap the remaining 12mm / ½” around the edge to the underside, encasing the raw edge. Press and pin into place.



Step 3

With the right side of the fabric facing you. Stitch in the ditch to secure the cotton tape and close the raw edge.

Step 4

Repeat on the opposite long edge of the fabric.

Now the seams are encased time to create the body.


Step 5



With right sides together, fold the length of fabric in half, matching up the short ends (soon to be our top edge).



Pin the side seams into place and sew using a 1.2cm / 1/2” seam allowance down each side to create your bag body. If bulk is a problem for your machine, use your zipper foot.



Press the seam allowances open.



Step 6



Fold the top edge over 2.5cm / 1”, press and fold again the same amount, press. Pin into place and stitch 3mm / 1/8” up from the bottom edge of the fold. Finish the top by stitching 3mm / 1/8” down from the top edge.



Making your fancy handles with the Deadly Mojo Sewing Tools Zipper Mate

Handle Wrap

When you have 25mm (1”) Webbing and you wish to create a wrap, it needs to be a little wider than the webbing as it travels around the outside of the fold which equates to a further distance (like running around a circle track)

The perfect wrap width for 25mm (1”) Webbing is 32mm (1.1/4” / 3.2cm)

Using your non-woven handle wrap panels 3.2cm x 20cm (1.1/4” x 8”)

Fold in half, touching short ends together, to locate the centre, mark on the wrong side.



On the wrong side, run a line of DST/Glue down the full middle length of your handle wrap panels.



Mark the middle point of your handle webbing.



With the handle wrap right side up (glue/DST facing down towards the webbing)



Align the middle of your wrap with the middle of your handle webbing and finger press into place activating your glue/DST. You will have equal amounts of handle wrap panel on either side of the webbing (approximately 2mm (1/16”)



Fold the webbing and attached handle wrap panel in half length ways and align the side edges together. Wonderclip into place.



Edge stitch along the leather panel to secure the folded edges in place.



Note:  If you’re not a confident sewer, or you don’t have wonderclips, you can DST/Glue the two halves together and then sew once the glue is dry.



Strap/Handle Attachment tab

These are the perfect way to hide strap attachment, when sewing an unlined bag.

As our webbing is 25mm (1”) our strap attachment tab needs to be wider so that it can be easily sewn onto the body of the bag, with your zipper foot.  For this purpose we’re using a 3.8cm (1.1/2”) wide x 14cm (5.1/2”) – you will need four of these.

Using your Deadly Mojo Sewing Tools Zipper Mate choose your decorative end template, we’re going with the arrow.

On the wrong side of your handle tabs, mark the long centre and draw the template ends onto the wrong side. Once you have your templates drawn onto the wrong side of each end of your tabs, trim to create your design.


Fold a tab in half, right sides together, matching your decorative ends together and mark where the centre fold point is. Repeat for all four tabs.



On the marked fold point, draw a line across the centre that is 25mm (1”) wide (you will have 6.5mm either side of the line). This will be the cut line used to create the opening for your webbing to go through. Repeat on all four tabs.



Using a sharp blade or sharp scissors, cut along the 25mm (1”) centre line on all four tabs.



Insert your webbing through the opening with the attachment tab decorative ends facing down towards the end of your webbing. Repeat for all four tabs so each end of your handle/strap has an attachment tab in place.



Slide the attachment tabs up closer to the handle wrap so they are out of the way when the webbing is sewn onto the bag body.



Attach the webbing to your bag body

 Centre your handles on the top edge of your bag body at approximately 16cm (6.1/4”) apart with 3.2cm (1.1/4”) of the webbing length against the outside of the bag body.

Pin and Stitch into place using as many lines of stitching onto the webbing as you’d like as we will be covering it all up with the attachment tabs!



Repeat on all four attachment points.



Bring your attachment tabs down the webbing and over the attachment point, using DST/glue to position. Check that both sides of the tabs are in alignment so that when you sew them on the stitching will connect the panels together.



Using your zipper foot edge stitch 2mm (1/16”) around the attachment tab to secure in place.

Repeat on all remaining attachment points.

Congratulations, you’re done!! x




Deadly Mojo Sewing Tools:

The cork I’ve used was from Aussie Cork – facebook buying group:


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