I sewed a tote bag awhile back as a gift for my goddaughter. Not sure if I shared it here, so at the risk of repeating myself...
But firstly, I'd like to note that this is not a tutorial. This is just a show and tell. If you want to have some good step-by-steps, take a gander at this lovely lesson, or click to this one with french seams.
For mine I took a pair of old blue jeans from my scraps pile. These jeans had seen better days. They were patched already by the time they were handed down to one of my kids from an older, cooler cousin. (Thank goodness mending is still cool in some circles. Yes, it is. Really. There's even a book* coming out about it.) Then my son wore the heck out of them. It may have been too bad for my son's wardrobe, but I was not willing to mend them any more. Upcycling was more appealing to me at that point.
Because this bag was going to be the wrapping for a few books I was gifting, I used the books to determine the size. As you can see, the flap came from a back pocket.
To get the length of the strap, I measured a kid I had handy. The red webbing came from the "crafty stuff" table at a rummage sale.
The lining used to be a set of cafe-style curtains. I bought them at my neighbor's yard sale for something like 25 cents. Seriously. It's a rather busy print, but as a lining I thought it would be fun.
The outside needed a little something to pretty it up, so I found a flowery button in my stash to do the trick. The loop is made from a hair elastic sewn between the layers.
This was a really fun project. Because the materials for the bag were nearly free, I could spend more on the books that went inside**. And in a way those jeans are still being worn.
*Guess what? I have a project in it!
**One of which was The 13 Clocks. You should read it.