Part 1: Minnie Mouse Grab and Go Tote

January 19, 2018By Joanne BankoDIY, Sewing, Tutorial 60 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

You can never have too many totes, especially when sewing is the theme for the design and decoration. This tote features Minnie at a sewing machine; it’s a design built into the Brother NS1750D. Cute, cute, cute!

The 1750D is a versatile sewing and embroidery combination machine that proves that you can make magic with a four by four inch hoop. Perfect for those who are new to the world of embroidery, its portability makes it a great second machine for travel and sewing retreats. Are you ready? Let’s go sew!

Materials and Supplies:

Minnie Mouse Tote Bag

Fabric for tote:

  • Fabric #1: Two pieces of firm cotton measuring 13″ wide X 13″ long for outside of tote
  • Fabric #2: Two pieces of novelty cotton print measuring 13″ wide X 13″ long for lining tote
  • Fabric #2: Two strips of matching fabric measuring 4″ Wide by 18″ long for straps
  • Fabric #2 or another coordinating fabric: Two strips of fabric measuring 3 ½” Wide by 14″ long for trimming top of bag front and back
Note: Bag measures approximately 10 ½-inches tall from top to bottom, and X 11 ½-inches wide along top edge when finished.

Steps to Create Embroidered Tote

  1. Begin by making a simple pattern to use for cutting fabrics for your tote. Draw the pattern using the image below as a guide.
Tip: It’s a good idea to make this out of durable paper to keep and re-use. Consider printing the project instructions and storing them with the pattern in a zipper bag. Next time you need a new tote or a gift for a sewing friend you’ll be good to go and ready to sew!

Minnie Mouse Tote Bag

  1. Use the pattern to cut two outside bag pieces from fabric #1 and two lining pieces from fabric #2.
  2. Embroider your desired design with or without lettering in the approximate center of the bag front piece. Realize the fact that trim covers 3-inches of the top edge, and 2-inches of the bottom edge is taken up with the boxed corners. Align your design accordingly. Be sure to add a layer of tear away stabilizer on the wrong side when you stitch.
  3. Turn and press under ½” on one long edge of each of the strips cut for trim. Place a 3½” Wide by 14″ long strip at the top edge of bag front and bag back, having raw edges even at the top and excess extending at the sides. Topstitch along the pressed edge to attach to bag front and bag back. Trim excess fabric at sides.
  4. To form straps, begin by pressing the strip lengthwise with wrong sides together, forming a crease at the center. Next, fold each long edge toward center, fold a second time to form strap, and then topstitch along each long edge. Press. To prepare for constructing the bag, gather together all pieces, including straps, bag front and back, and lining.

Minnie Mouse Tote

Minnie Mouse Tote

  1. Select lining pieces and sew side seams with right sides together. Sew bottom seam leaving an unstitched space in the center.

Minnie Mouse Tote

Tip: As a general rule it’s good to leave a space measuring the width of your hand as an opening for turning. Anything smaller will likely produce a struggle when it’s time to turn right sides out. For heavy fabrics you may need a larger opening.
  1. Press side and bottom seams of lining open.
  2. Next, sew side and bottom seams for front and back bag pieces, having right sides together. No opening is needed here. Press seams open.
  3. To form boxed corners on lining and on outer bag fold each corner matching the side and bottom seams with right sides together and raw edges even. Sew each seam using a ½” seam allowance. See example below:

Minnie Mouse Tote

  1. Pin short ends of straps to top raw edge of outer bag, having midpoint of each strap positioned 3″ from side seams.

Minnie Mouse Tote

  1. Machine baste to hold straps in place.

Minnie Mouse Tote

  1. Turn bag lining right side out. Insert lining into outer bag and pin so right sides of outer bag and lining are together, with top raw edges are even. Sew all around the top using a ½” seam allowance and catching the straps in the process.

Minnie Mouse Tote

  1. Stitch across strap area a second time to reinforce.
  2. Begin to turn bag right side out through opening in lining.

Minnie Mouse Tote

  1. Continue to pull a small amount at a time until lining and bag are separate.

Minnie Mouse Tote

  1. Close opening in lining with machine or hand stitches. Remove strap basting. Tuck lining inside bag and smooth bag layers in place. Press. Working from the right side of the bag, topstitch close to upper edge.
Tip: Use the free arm for this step.

Options and Ideas:

There are lots of ways to use your finished bag. For starters it would make a great decorative addition to your sewing room. Besides that, it’s the perfect size for toting notions to a class. How about filling it with sewing goodies to use as a gift bag for a special sewing friend. Be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you plan to use your new sewing tote. Enjoy!

Minnie Mouse Tote

Note: See the coordinating tutorial – Part 2 – for embroidering longer lettering on this great tote bag on Stitching Sewcial! You’ll learn linking lettering to stitch a group of letters longer than the 4-inch hoop.


  • What a delightful, fun project. Every sexist would love this. With your great instructions anyone could make this. Another great post by Joanne.

    • Hi Mary Ellen,
      Thanks for writing! I Here’s the scoop on the fabric: It is a Henry Glass & Co., Inc. brand fabric from a previous line called Cute As A Button. I’ve had it in my stash for a bit so I can’t say if it is still available. I will tell you that the same manufacturer creates sewing themed fabric on a consistent basis. I would visit your local quilt shop to see if they have something similar. (Note that Cute As A Button is a product of Henry Glass & Co. Inc., and Brother International Corporation makes no representations or warranties regarding such products. )

  • This is too cute! Love the fabrics, fun and bright! You can never have enough totes, they do make a great gift!
    Thank you for the pattern & directions!

  • Love the tote. Really annoying that this design is not available for purchase. I own the Dream Machine 2 with built in Disney designs.

    • Thank you for writing Sandra!

      I hear you!!! I would love to see a whole collection of Minnie sewing available on the Brother iBroidery site. We will make sure your comment along with your request is passed along to the folks at Brother.

      • Making this design available for purchase would be great!!!
        I hope you can convince the distributor to sell it on ibroidery. I’d definitely buy it.

      • I, too, own a Dream Machine 2 and have a grand-daughter just learning to sew (in a 4-H group). Please pass along another comment (to the folks at Brother) that it would be more considerate of Brother’s customers if all projects presented would have options for purchasing the promoted embroidery design(s) in case they did not own the exact machine with the featured/built-in design(s).

        • Thanks for writing Mrs D!
          We appreciate your thoughts and your request of the ability to purchase this design. Here is the back story behind the bag . . . A bag almost identical to this one was featured as a sample in a magazine ad for the NS1750D. There were customer requests for directions to make that particular bag and this was an effort to provide the “how to” for the Minnie Sewing tote. Your comments will be noted and forwarded to the folks at Brother.

  • Adorable project but we are not able to recreate this without access to the Minnie design. Is it possible to release this to iBroidery?

    • Hello LeAnn!

      Glad you liked this and yes, yes, let’s hope we see this design become available on iBroidery. In the meantime I have a feeling you just might have something cute you can use 😉

  • Looks like a great project. Is the ‘Sewing Minnie’ available to those of us Brother owners who don’t have the NS1750D?

    • Hi Karen!

      I appreciate your note. It is an easy tote to make and of course you can substitute another design but let’s hope Minnie sewing will make its way to iBroidery in the future 😉

  • This bag is so cute! Would love to make it, but don’t have the design. Hope it comes to iBroidery soon. Thank you for the great pattern.

    • Hi Cindy!
      Thanks so much for writing! We are definitely passing along your request. In the meantime you (and others) may want to consider using the Rework Sewing Lady design located in the Free Design archives for a sewing themed bag. It is located in the Hobbies and Home Decor Free Design section. I have used that particular design and over again as it shows a lady stitching away in her “Happy Sewing Place!”

    • Your voice has been heard LeAnn 😉
      I’m passing along your request. In the mean time – dig into your stash of cuteness and make a sample bag. In all seriousness, If you made this with a baby design and baby print fabric this would make a cute tote filled with baby items don’t you think????

  • I too own a Brother embroidery machine and would love,love,love Minnie sewing if they would make it available. Begging lol !

      • I thought you had done this on your 1250D. You must have the NS1750D, I was at a class tonight with a woman who has the NS1750D and she needs to be my new best friend so that I can stitch this out on her machine, LOL! Any response from iBroidery regarding making this a design for all machines? I can imagine an entire cute Disney sewing series!

        • You are correct Speattle! This particular project was designed to highlight features on the NS1750D. Your experience in class sounds like the beginning of a beautiful friendship 😉

  • I would also love the ability to purchase this design. It’s a little cruel to tease us with this great design, yet not provide access to it! ( – ;

    I have a PE780D, purchased specifically for the Disney designs. I feel a little cheated!

  • I too would love this motif!!! I have a Quilting Group and our mascot is Minnie Mouse!!
    This would be absolutely perfect for our shirts!!!! I have a Quartro and a 650 with Disney designs

  • I’m in love with the fabrics on this bag & the Minnie on the sewing machine!! So perfect!!!!
    I’m always teaching people how to sew & a lined bag is usually the first thing I show them how to do because it fast & something they can use & show off. I hope they put the MInnie on the sewing machine design on Ibroidery soon because I can’t wait to use it!

  • This is a “MUST HAVE” design. Please keep needling iBroidery to make it and more Minnie Mouse sewing designs. They are a must for my collection.

  • I agree I would like to purchase this design, I have the newest Dream Machine that was just purchased last September, I even have the updates for it and this design is not on it. I too feel cheated.

  • Echo other comments. I own a brother 990D and would like to buy this design. Really irritated. Buy a Brother to get Disney option and then can’t even if it fits my small format 4/4.

    • Hi JoAnn,

      In regards to your comment, we have passed along your request for designs with a Minnie sewing theme.

      Note that this specific design is currently part of the built-in menu of the NS1750D. Once this blog was posted, it prompted many requests for the Minnie design, and we here at Stitching Sewcial have submitted those requests. We appreciate hearing from you, and we’ll be sure to share any and all updates that come along.

      Thanks again.

      The Brother Sews Team

  • I also have the Dream and would love to be able to have this Minnie sewing design. She is sew cute! Hope more Disney designs will be available with sewing ideas.
    Thank you Joanne for a precious idea,

  • I’m very happy to report and share that this design is included in the built in designs on the new Stellaire series machines. I just got a Stellaire XE1 last month and am so excited to be able to stitch a sewing Minnie onto something soon. Now to find cute material to make my own tote.

  • I just discovered that this Minnie Mouse design is built in my machine! I have the Brother Stellaire. Now I just need to find the button fabric.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *