Ethel Tote

(30 customer reviews)


A roomy, sturdy and stylish open tote bag. With a teardrop shape, Ethel veers away from the usual boxy tote. It’s a “stuff it in and run out the door” kind of bag, designed to comfortably sling over your shoulder. There are a few slip pockets for the small things.

Currently only available as a downloadable pattern.



  • 9.5″ wide at top
  • 13″ wide at bottom
  • 5″ deep
  • 10″ tall


  • 2/3 yard 44” wide quilting weight exterior fabric
  • 3/4 yard 44” wide quilting weight lining fabric
  • 1 yard fusible (or sew-in) foam interfacing (Pellon Flex-Foam FF78F1)
  • 3 yards 20” wide fusible woven interfacing (Pellon Shapeflex SF101)
  • 1/4 yard fusible stabilizer (Pellon Peltex 71F)
  • Coordinating thread

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 1/4 You should already be somewhat familiar with sewing patterns and common sewing terms.
You MAY sell bags you make with this pattern.

30 reviews for Ethel Tote

  1. Danielle Gojan (verified owner)

    So cute!! I’m a beginner and this was a great project!

  2. Nikki Dail (verified owner)

    I love it! So easy to make, lots of room and just overall a beautiful bag!

    Ethel Tote
    Ethel Tote
  3. Janet (verified owner)

    This is one of my all time favourite bags to make. The instruction are easy to follow and the bags came together beautifully. I have made this a few times now but used a magnetic closure to prevent hands dipping in.

  4. Kim LaBiosa

    While this is a cute bag it really needs some type of closure at the top. If you make it, be sure to add closures before it’s all sewn up. Directions were pretty easy to follow though I did have a couple huh? moments. Good for an advanced beginner.

  5. Sanne Green

    Just wanted to thank for this super lovely bag pattern. I sewed it yesterday and I have never sewn a bag before, but it worked perfectly. So a sincere thank you to the maker of this pattern. 🙂

  6. ML Lopez

    Finished this bag last night and today at work I was bombarded with compliments. Instructions were easy to follow and pattern is the perfect size. I will make more, experimenting with closures and different strap lengths.
    thank you!

  7. Aledi

    Just perfect. Love it! Thank you.

  8. Lindsey Papakirk (verified owner)

    Love the Ethel! I made it using some fabrics from the vintage quilting collection at Joann’s. It’s the perfect size to hold all my stuff! I did add 4″ to the handles because I like a bit longer handle. I will definitely be making more as gifts! One thing, I wasn’t crazy about working with the foam interfacing. It was a bit thick & got caught up in my machine some. I’ll probably replace it with fleece interfacing. Overall a great bag! Can’t wait to make more! Love Swoon Patterns!

  9. Abby (verified owner)

    Very nicely sized pattern. Very well written and easy to follow directions.
    I have made several. Some for sale, others for gifts.
    Using different fabrics changes the “Purse-onality” of the bag entirely. It is a great “basic” pattern that can be easily personalized with various trims, closures, key leashes, or other additions.
    The picture is of one that is my EDC (every day carry). The outer is of Denim, handles of Cotton Webbing, and the lining of a quilting cotton. I put pockets on front, back, and interior. It easily packs everything (I think) I need {and stuff I haven’t needed. I’m going to be leaving some stuff out of my re-pack.}

    Highly recommend. Very easy to make, very handy, and easily personalized.

    Ethel Tote
  10. gill14chesterman (verified owner)

    Great bag, easy instructions.

  11. penny corrigan (verified owner)

    I finished my second swoon bag. Brooklyn bag was a course i took from Cherished Pieces in Tillsonburg. Then i made the Ethel bag on my own at home and i love the bag and plan to make 2 more as gifts. Good instructions, and there was also a video on you tube for the Ethel bag. Since i am a visual person i loved having the video as well. The bag addiction begins!

    Ethel Tote
  12. SHEENA Baxter (verified owner)

    Great pattern easy to do .

  13. Sharon (verified owner)

    Great pattern & instructions, easy to follow for a beginner 🙂 lovely bag when made up.

  14. Larraine

    Pattern was the size and purse but will never work with foam again..don’t get the crisp ironed line around the top of the bag to top stitch..don’t know what I will use instead, however, probably fusible fleece..

  15. Chris Marlow (verified owner)

    Excellent pattern and so easy to adapt.
    Love it

  16. dana.rosova (verified owner)

    Jednoduchý, praktický, perfektní střih, velikost tak akorát, dobře zpracovaný návod, jsem velmi spokojená. Dana Rosová, Česká republika
    Simple, practical, perfect cut, size just right, well-handled instructions, I’m very happy. Dana Rosová, Czech Republic

  17. Helen

    I loved making the Ethel! The instructions are easy to follow and the end result is exactly what I was after. I chose to leave out the interfacing as I wanted a softer less structured bag. I use this bag every day and it’s fantastic!

    Ethel Tote
  18. Ros (verified owner)

    I’m a beginner bag maker and this pattern is so easy to make. I’ve adapted it to include an adjustable strap so that it can be worn as a cross-body bag. Thoroughly recommend it.

    Ethel Tote
  19. Mary sweetman Dwyer

    Ethel is a very easy bag to make. I really like the shape of it. What I love most however is how easy it is to customize and to show off your favorite Fabrics!

    Ethel Tote
  20. Jade Powers (verified owner)

    Such a great and easy pattern to follow. I love how this bag turns out and I get nothing but compliments on it. A really nice pattern for a beginner and even an experienced sewer. <3

    Ethel Tote
  21. Gail

    Love this bag. Just the right size for me. It’s a quick sew with great instructions. Made a few already. Highly recommend it!

  22. Mommadavidson00 (verified owner)

    I downloaded this and can not print from my phonHelp Me!

  23. Jo (verified owner)

    Love the bag, but would love it more if it was a bit bigger. The actual size is more purse than bag.

  24. Alison (verified owner)

    This is such a fun bag to make, not complicated at all yet the result is a really great bag !

  25. Amy

    I’ve made several of these now. A really great, easy pattern.

  26. Jeannè Garland (verified owner)

    This pattern started a love affair with Swoon. and now Im ready to tackle the more complicated looking swoon bags.

    I made 2 to of these to specs. Then I change up a few of the measurements and did quilted pieces that I used for this pattern and made half a dozen black and white quilted Ethel bags that I am so proud of.

    I love the shape of this bag and it is so straight forward you can put your own icing on it easily. Adding more inside pockets or key clips etc.

    Just a great basic patten!

  27. Sharry Neumann

    This was also my first bag and the pattern made it so easy. I have now made three and added a inside zip to the last one. Now I want to try a recessed zip. Great pattern.

  28. Hailey Muhler (verified owner)

    This pattern was so simple and easy to understand! I’ve only been sewing for 3 months now (zero experience prior to that) and I was able to make a lovely bag with this pattern. Now I’m addicted and cant wait to begin my next Swoon pattern! Thank you!

  29. Gabrielle (verified owner)

    This was my FIRST bag I’ve ever sewn and it was so easy! The instructions were so very clear and now I’m inspired to make more and different bags. It’s a great introduction to making bags as I can see how I could possibly alter things or expand on the knowledge I’ve gained creating this one!

  30. Kelsey Keeney

    I love this bag. It is nice and spacious. The pattern is very well written and easy to follow. A wonderful sew.

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