Reversible Hobo Beginner Bag Pattern

I have been meaning to make a quick grab and go tote where I can just toss what I need and rush out the door. I thought what better style than a hobo tote! These are so simple to make and having it be reversible is really versatile. This tote measures about 15″ across so its not too big and not too small. I think I can get all my daughter’s sleep over stuff or my gym gear in it. It doesn’t have a closure which goes with my desire to have it be a toss and go kinda bag. The pattern is free and you can scale it up or down based on your needs. I hope you guys enjoy the pattern and tutorial!

The fabric used for this bag is an owl/bird pattern I picked up at Joanns Fabric Store as well as a dark denim.


The pattern is not really meant to go on the shoulders but it can be worn as such. I have found similar patterns online but some of the them have too long of a strap piece or a bit rounded. I really wanted this bag to be somewhat square with a short handle.


I used a denim material for the other side of the bag which ended up matching my owl fabric pretty well. I added some featherlight interfacing to the cotton print fabric to give it some heaviness. Since I used denim on the other side, I really didn’t need to use interfacing on both sides.


The bag has a standard box shape which is super easy to sew. This bag literally took me about 30 mins from start to finish! Gotta love quick sewing projects.


Your Supplies

  • 1 yard each of two contrasting fabrics
  • 1 yard lightweight interfacing
  • Sewing essentials

You can download the FREE pattern HERE. You may need to add 1/2″ seam allowance when you cut the pattern on your fabric. If not, it really doesn’t matter. The bag is big enough to use as is. Again, at 100% scale the bag measures about 15″ across. This download is coming from Google Docs in a pdf format. If you cannot download it, check your browser settings or email me for a personal copy.

If you are using heavy weight home decor fabric for the bag on both sides then I don’t think you need to add interfacing. If you are using regular cotton, you may need to based on how sturdy you want the bag to be. I only added interfacing to one side of my bag. I left my denim side as is.

Cut out two pieces of each side, so that you have a total of 4 bag pieces. If you are using interfacing, cut out as many as you plan on using.

Iron on the interfacing to the wrong sides of the pieces you are attaching it to.

Let’s start!

Sewing the outer bag pieces right sides together on the sides and the bottom, leaving the top and the handle untouched for now. Repeat for the inner bag pieces.


Take your inner and outer bag box off the bottoms. Form a triangle on the bottom corners and sew about an inch from the end. Cut.

IMG_2800 IMG_2801


Now that you have two bags, fit one in the other right sides together.


Now, you will sew the U shaped  and the side right sides together of each inner and outer piece. So, one inner piece( right side) together with one outer piece (right side). Sew it all the way around, leaving about 6″ open on the top straps. You may need to leave more open if you use a lot of interfacing so it is not too hard to turn inside out.


Now, for the hardest part… turn the bag inside out through your openings.


Next, take the straps that are adjacent to each other and sew matching colors right sides together.


Iron your work and top stitch all the way around!


That’s it!

hobo collage

Thanks for visiting and happy sewing!




  1. I like the size and that its reversible. It would be easy enough to add a zipperpocket should you want one. Thank you for the free tutorial, Remona!

  2. Lovely post by you. I really liked it and want some more design ideas by you. Thanks

  3. Looks easy for beginners. I teach a sewing class and this would be perfect for the ladies that
    are in it. Thanks. And you could add Velcro to the opening if you wanted a little closure.

  4. Gill Forrester says:

    Hi Ramona,
    What a lovely bag!
    I can't seem to be able to open up the pattern – can you email it to me instead?
    I can't wait to get started…I have a stash of material at the ready.
    With kind regards,x

  5. Thanks for this tutorial – three questions…first, is there any reason you can't fully sew three of the handles before turning inside out? Second, should I top-stitch all the way around? It seems like this will be tricky because of my boxy corners. Third, did you do anything special when sewing the handles together (to strengthen)? My first bag is taking me much longer than 30 minutes, but maybe I'll get faster :)

    • Remona Gopaul says:

      Jill, you don’t topstitch the bottom, just the handle and the u in the center. Sewing three of the handles before turning it out will make the bag really hard to turn inside out through just one handle. You can probably add extra interfacing on the handles to make them stronger but they should be fine with just one layer of interfacing.

  6. Hi I am a little bit confused if there are 4 pieces to this bag should there be a seam to connect the halves of the bag? Or should I be cutting on the fold and getting two large pieces?

    • Pieceful1 says:

      Hi Angela! You will cut on the fold. You will have 4 pieces altogether two for the outside and two for the inside.

      • Hi Pieceful1!

        Thank you for replying back so fast. I am going to work this out; so you will probably see another question from me.


  7. I am not able to download the pattern, could you email to me? It is a cute pattern, can't wait to try it. Thanks

  8. Pieceful1 says:

    I understood that I need to place the pattern on the fold of the fabric but for beginners I think you should have included that information with a picture just to clarify it for a beginner. other than that, AWESOME tote!

  9. Hi
    Not printing download properly, could youplease email me a copy. Bag looks awesome. Thanks

  10. Do you have a printable version of this bag? Or do you have a downloadable copy of this pattern that can be printed. This would make a really nice project for me and my 11 yr. old daughter. Thanks in advance.

  11. I am in the process of making this bag, but I like watching things been made on you-tube. thanks

  12. I am confused about the handles you joined the outer straps , what about the denim ones how do you join them to the outer straps also I cannot download the pattern would you be kind to email me Thank you very much I am trying to make a shopping bag with nylon like fabric so I can fold it do I use interfacing ?

  13. Just what I was looking for!!!!! I will be making it in a solid on one side as I have a premade applique,,, an owl that has been begging to be used Your designs show a very exclusive talent and your kindness in sharing them is greatly appreciated Thanks so much SMILE Heleni

  14. natalie says:

    hi. i have a question. For when you say to put the bags you made one inside the other ( i am using 2 patterned pieces. do i turn one right side in and have one right side ou or both need to be right side out. This is my first time sewing, i am a bit confused

  15. Hi can you email me a pattern please my email is 305 dixie@
    Thank you

  16. Taylor rodriguez says:

    I’m having problems turning it inside out …. :”( can you help?

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  18. I loved this pattern. I just made one and plan on using it as a knitting project bag. I will be making more for sure!

  19. Great bag! I would appreciate a copy of this Hobo Bag pattern. Greatly apprecited. Thanks!

  20. Hi Remona,
    First, I love your patterns! I am formerly a Nuclear Med Tech, and also appreciate the systematic ‘flavor’ to your patterns/instructions. I was thinking about the coregarding closure ideas for this bag, and I think that a thin fabric tube shaped into a loop and combined with a really interesting button to hook the loop over may be something to try. I am also thinking of a horn toggle, a funky lampwork bead/button, or a Czech glass button. Thank you again for your patterns/tutorials!

  21. Jessica says:

    Today I tried this for my first sewing project and after a few idiotic blunders, it turned out pretty well! I'm excited!
    Thanks for the easy-to-follow tutorial and pattern. :)

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