Grab & Go Cinched Rope Bag {Tutorial}

Feeling inspired by all of the stripes I've been seeing in the store's Spring clothing and accessories lines, I decided to finally do something with this cute stripe I had lying around.
The following is a tutorial on how you can make this bag with pockets included inside.

Here's what you'll need:
2 yards of fabric (I chose to use one fabric for the whole thing)
48" of rope
Curtain Grommet Kit (8 pack 1" wide)
Disappearing fabric marker
Sewing machine
Fabric scissors
Yard stick/ruler

Start out by cutting the following out of your fabric:
4 pieces for the body (21"x14 1/2")
2 pieces for the straps (13"x4 1/2)
1 piece for the inner pockets (21"x13 1/2")
2 pieces for the bottom (13 1/4x10")

Take the 2 pieces for the straps and iron in the sides 1/2" then fold in half and iron again.

Stitch an 1/8" seam down both edges of the straps.

Taking the piece for the pockets, fold it in half matching the raw edges and iron (make sure you folded it correctly, it should still be 21" long).
Taking one of the pieces for the body and the piece for the pockets, place the folded pocket piece and place in on top of the body piece as shown above. Pin it around all the edges and along the top of the pockets. Stitch desired pocket sizes by sewing down the folded fabric.

Sewing the pockets

It should look like this when your done. Set this aside.

To make the bottom take a bottom piece and fold it in fourths. Use a CD to mark the round edge and cut along the line.

Open up the piece, it should look like this.

To make the liner place the pocket side up and another body piece on top (right sides together). Pin along the sides of the bag and stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides.

Now you will add the bottom. Lay liner body on the table with the right sides still inside. Starting with seam in the middle pin the bottom in place around all edges.

 Stitch a 1/4" seam around all edges.
Repeat same steps (minus the pockets) for creating the outside of the bag.

The outside bag shown is the one with the pockets, the pockets are on the inside. Put the other bag inside of the bag RIGHT SIDES together.

Before pinning the bag in place you'll need to get the straps in place.

Lifting up the top piece of fabric pin the strap in place as shown. I put the straps 7 3/4" from the outer edges. Only pin through the top fabric, the strap, and the one fabric directly below the strap. 
Turn the bag over and repeat with the second strap.

Pin all around the raw edges and stitch a 1/4" seam around the top leaving about a 5" opening. This opening is so that you can pull the bag through.

This is the bag pulled out.

Stuff the pocket side inside the other side.

Iron down the top edge of the bag.

Stitch an 1/8" seam all the way around the top of the bag.

If you don't want to add the grommets you can stop here and enjoy your little tote.
To add the grommets keep going!

Grommet Kit

Following the instructions on the grommet kit mark out where you want your holes to be.

Cut out the hole.

Place the bottom piece in the hole.

Snap on the top piece.

Complete for all 8 holes.
Weave the rope through the holes, tie in a knot, and tie off the bottom of each rope end.

And there you have it!

Please don't hesitate to ask questions!

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I wouldn't want you to miss anything!

Happy Crafting!


  1. I've been wanting a bag like this, and now I can make one for myself! Thanks so much for the tutorial - I can't wait to try it!

  2. Wow. thanks for showing how to add grommets. I really like the way you showed every step of making this bag. Following and peeking into pinterest also. :) Thanks again. Linda

  3. Such a cute bag! The grommets really add a nice touch.

  4. Oh my word, that's such an awesome bag!!

  5. you are amazing. I know I have said it before- but seriously. I am so impressed by your creativity and skills!

  6. Amy- I featured your Cinched Rope bag today on my blog! It was one of the top viewed links at Friday Frolic:) Thanks so much for linking up. Feel free to grab a featured button!

  7. Amazing Amy, you are so crafty! very cute.

  8. Very cute! Love the fabric :) I have rope sitting in my stash bin and may have to whip it out to try on this bag :) Great job.


  9. LOVE THIS! So glad I found your site!

  10. This bag is so simple and cute! Thanks for sharing!

  11. This is the cutest bag EVERRR!! Too bad i dont know how to sew :[

  12. Were did you find the grommets? I looked at Wal-Mart today and could find any

  13. Made it! I have not done the cinch part yet, but probably will once I get my coupons organized :) Thank you so much...the step by step made it fun instead of frustrating. Of course my pockets ended up on the outside (still a But I enjoyed the project! Thanks again!

    1. Laura, I'm so glad you liked my tutorial! I love hearing when people actually make my stuff :) One I'd love a picture if you don't mind ( and the other thing about the pockets on the outside, you should be able to just flip them to the inside...just hold the bag out and push up from the bottom pushing the pockets inside. Let me know if that worked :)

    2. It just occurred to me that you may have use two different fabrics in making the bag and that might complicate the turning it right side out...let me know. We'll figure this out! :)

  14. Hey!
    This looks awesome and I'm super excited to try it out!
    I was just wondering about how big the finished project was?

    1. Hi JacqB, Thanks for stopping by my blog :) Unfortunately I gave this bag away and don't have it on hand to measure but the pre-sewn dimensions are 21"x 14 1/2" so once the sewing is done the 21" is more like 20" and the width about 14" but the width feels smaller because it wraps around on the sides....Oh man I hope this helps.

  15. This is so awesome. Love it. came over from Pinterest.

  16. Where did you find the rope?

    1. Hi Lori, I got my rope at JoAnn's. It's a couple bucks for the few feet you need. I usually search the internet for a 40% off coupon and bring that along to help out since it does add up!

    2. Awesome! I'm headed there tomorrow with coupon on my phone! Is it cotton rope or the shiny kind you find by the curtain stuff? Thanks for the info. I cant wait to start!!

    3. Perfect :) The rope is cotton and I found it close to where the fabric is and it comes wrapped around one of those white plastic things so you can get it cut to whatever length you need. I hope that helps!

  17. Thanks! I went to Joanns and finally found it, along with the grommet kit. I can't wait to start. I'm so nervous that my bag will be backwards when I flip it or something. I need a cute beach tote so I'm determined not to mess this up! But I bought back-up fabric...just in case;-) Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!

    1. If you're using all the same fabric you really can't mess it up. If you have a different inside liner fabric just make sure that you put the pockets onto one of those pieces and not onto the outer fabric pieces. If you have any question throughout the process let me know. It might be faster if you email me at Good luck!

  18. Amy, I made this bag for myself yesterday!(Still have to get my grommets and rope) Tutorial is AMAZING!!!!! I am an experienced sewing diva but don't get much time to do all that comes with following a pattern!!!! My two step daughters were watching me make it and my beginning 13yr old sewing diva thinks that she wants to give it a try!!!! Thank you so, so much!!!! Pics are great!!!!!! Absolutely perfect instructional words under each picture! I know that this blog must take you some time so I just wanted to take the time to tell you that it is so amazing!!!! Congrats!!!! I am looking forward to many more inspirational projects!!! Thanks again!!!

    1. I can't say thank you enough for you thoughtful words! It's responses like yours that remind me why I do this and encourages me to keep on going! I'm so glad that you felt my tutorial was a good one and easy to follow :) Good luck on all your future projects!

  19. Amy, I love this bag but I want to make mine a little smaller. If I cute 4 pieces 13" x 16" for the inner and outer pieces, what should my dimensions be for the bottom piece? I'm a newbie to sewing, and I wasn't sure how you figured out the dimensions for that? Thanks!

    1. Hi there! Ok so here was my trick for making the bottom fit just right...I made the bottom first. Once I cut the bottom piece I was able to measure around the circumference to figure out how wide to make the sides of the bag. Does that make sense? I hope this is helpful! Good luck!

  20. The bag is really good. It uses a two cord strap/string to adjust the opening/closing. Also, its spacious, in reference to my previous experiences with track bags. Overall, I see it as a high quality bag, well worth the cost. i would recommend gemline 4976

  21. What kind of fabric did you use? I"m brand new to sewing and I want to use something that is sturdy. Thanks!


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