Meet the Sun Tote pattern!

I have been using the large size of the Sun Tote as our pool bag for years and I’m so excited to release it to you as a pattern with three size options. I’ve fallen for the medium size as the perfect everyday bag and my kids love the small size. I’m sure one of the three sizes will be perfect for you!

Sun Tote in Small, Medium & Large
Fabric Source || Size Small – Ventana Twill in Smoky Pink from Stone Mountain, Size Medium – Pink Railroad Denim from my stash, Size Large – 8.5oz Washed Cotton Canvas in Natural from Blackbird

The Sun Tote pattern is FREE when you subscribe to our newsletter (you’ll get a coupon code) but you can also buy it in our shop!


The Sun Tote pattern is an unlined tote bag finished with flat felled seams. We wanted to make a simple and fast sew that was also beautiful inside. I think you will really enjoy the finishes! It comes in three sizes, each includes an interior and exterior patch pocket and two strap lengths that can be doubled up. The small size is perfect as a project bag or for kids. The medium is larger than your average tote bag and is a great everyday bag. The large size is the perfect size for a family pool or beach day. 

Size Small
Fabric Source || Ventana Twill in Smoky Pink from Stone Mountain

Size Medium
Fabric Source || Pink Railroad Denim from my stash

Size Large
Fabric Source || 8.5oz Washed Cotton Canvas in Natural from Blackbird

The pattern is listed as ADVANCED BEGINNER sewing level. The Sun Tote is a great first sewing project that includes a few skill building steps. The most challenging is the flat felled seams but those are easier than you think or can be substituted for regular seams. There are detailed, step-by-step illustrated instructions to guide you along the way, and if you’d like more help, the Chalk and Notch Patterns Facebook Group is a great place to get support. Many of our testers are members there, so you have great resources if you ever need them.

We will also have a photo sew-along soon. We’ll link to it here once it’s live. Whether this is your first pattern or you’re a seasoned professional, we want to provide you with all the resources you need.

Finished Measurement Chart

All of the tote sizes are generous in size. Reference the finished tote measurements to confirm what size works best for your needs. All pattern pieces are included and include pattern markings. If you prefer not to print the rectangular pattern pieces, cut measurements are included below for the pockets and straps. 


Main Fabric

The Sun Tote is designed for medium weight woven fabric. A heavier fabric will help the tote maintain its shape but will be harder to sew. The minimum fabric required is listed. If you think you will need more for shrinkage, directional print, pattern matching or print repeat, please purchase accordingly. We have a post with recommended fabrics for the Sun Tote available here.

Recommended Main Fabrics

Canvas, Cotton, Denim, Flannel, Linen, or Twill 

Fabric Chart

Optional Notions

  • Make sure to use a needle that corresponds to the weight of your fabric. A 90/14 is suitable for medium weight fabrics and 100/16 or 110/18 is suitable for heavy weight fabrics.
  • 5/8” (16 mm) Metal Snap for the exterior pocket. There are lots of snap kits on amazon.
  • Tailor’s Chalk or Washable Fabric Marker to mark your pocket placements. I love this chalk from Etsy.
  • Point Turner to get your pocket corners square.
  • Safety Pin or tube turner for turning the straps.
  • Bulky Seam Jumper for sewing over bulky seams. We have seen these called The Hump Jumper and Jean-A-Ma-Jigs


We’re so lucky to have worked with a great group of testers for the Sun Tote. Styled photos are never a required part of testing. Seeing a pattern on a variety of people and in different fabrics can be a valuable tool. Check out the tester post here.

I’d love to see what you come up with, so if you share your makes, please tag @chalkandnotch and use the hashtags #cnsuntote and #chalkandnotchpatterns so I can see your creations.

Thanks for learning more about the Sun Tote!

XO, Gabriela