Tutorial: DIY Apple Picking Canvas Tote

Apple picking time is here! Crisp fall leaves, fall foliage trips, pumpkin picking.  I think autumn might be my favorite time of the year! I love picking apples and pumpkins and I am so happy to pass this tradition on to my daughter.  It's something kids and adults can do. Apples after being accumulated can get heavy.  So you want to use a tote that is durable.  For this tutorial I am using an organic duck canvas lined with a quilting weight cotton.  This is a beginning intermediate level sewing project.  Good for someone who has learned to sew and wants to do a new project and learning a few new techniques!

Materials clockwise from top: rotary cutter, omni-grid ruler, seam gauge, thread, fabric, webbing


3/4 yard canvas

3/4 yard cotton quilting weight

2 yards cotton webbing 1 1/2" wide

matching thread , 2 yards cotton webbing 1" to 1.5" wide, iron, sewing machine


1.     Cut out your shell and lining pieces, cut out your pocket.  

  • Shell- cut 1 piece 38” x15”
  • Lining -  cut 1 piece 36” x 15”      
  •  Pocket – cut from the lining fabric 9” x 8”   
  • Straps – cut 2 pieces of the webbing 34” each, these straps are long. If you want them shorter, take a few inches off

2.  Make the pocket: if your print is non-directional, choose a longer side of the pocket piece, this will be the top.  Fold over ½” and press, repeat.  Sew an edge stich along this fold. For the remaining 3 sides, fold over each raw edge ½”  to the wrong side of the fabric and press.

3.     Sew the pocket onto the lining piece.  Take one of your lining pieces and measure 4” from the top. Center the pocket with the wrong side of the pocket facing the right side of the lining fabric. See photo. So both “right sides” of the fabric are facing you.


4.     Pin in place and sew with an edge stitch on 3 sides, not the pocket opening.  Be sure to back tack a few times at the top two corners.  These are stress points.

Edge stitch 3 sides of the pocket.

5. Ok now to attach the straps. Measure in 3" from where a side seam will be and place the webbing.  Fold over the top edge of the bag 1/2"  to cover the webbing, fold over again 1". Pin.

6.  Take this webbing and smoothly run it over to the point 3" from the side.  You are on the same side of the bag. Be sure to not twist the handle. Repeat step of pinning. Repeat these steps for the opposite side of the bag and other handle.

7.  Sew down the handles all along the top of the tote.  To hold all those apples you will sew 2 rows of stitching around the tote top edges and sew a reinforcement X where the handles are. 

8.    Now it's time to sew the lining to the shell, French Seam style! Lay the lining to the shell wrong side to wrong side.   Sew ½” seam allowance, trim down to 1/8”, fold over the seam face to face and sew ½” seam allowance.  Your seam on the inside of the bag should be covered.  Repeat on other side.

french seam, cut the seam down to 1/8"

inside view of French Seam

Finished! Ready to go apple picking or take a trip to your local farmer's market!

Enjoy the beautiful autumn!

Tracey Toole |  www traceytoole.com |   www.etsy.com/shop/traceytoole