Crochet Pattern: The Essential Tote

Image of mannequin wearing The Essential Tote made from Caron Cotton Cakes

Need a reusable grocery bags? Need a beach bag, diaper bag, or gym tote? The Essential Tote is there to hold anything you need. I’ve already made 3 bags from this pattern using different cotton yarns and I will probably make another soon.

Pin It Now, Make It Later

***You can purchase a beautifully formatted, AD-free PDF version of “The Essential Tote” crochet pattern on Etsy HERE.  

I’m excited to finally share this Essential Tote crochet pattern with you! Its beautiful, airy design makes it the perfect bag for every part of your life.

When I designed this bag, I required some very specific details.

Crochet tote displayed on a mannequin
The Essential Tote Crochet Pattern in Caron Cotton Cakes in Nested Blues

The yarn had to be at least 50% cotton so it retains its shape. CHECK!

I wanted to be able to toss it in the washing machine without worry. CHECK!

I didn’t want to deal with a ton of ends. CHECK!

Oh! And it had to be airy because gym shoes. CHECK! CHECK!

Crochet Tote Pattern Customizations

Before I get to the pattern I wanted to talk about how this crochet bag pattern can be customized.

I am a huge fan of crossbody bags. My reasons are numerous: I like having my hands free, my shoulders are narrow so straps are always slipping, I like the way the look. I can sing the virtues of crossbody straps all day. Whatever the why, 90% of the bags in my closet have long, crossbody straps. The 10% that have shorter straps, rarely get used.

While I am a big fan of crossbody bags, I know not everyone feels the same. So I’ve listed alternative strap lengths so you can customize your strap to suit you!

Short Handle20″ (51cm)
Shoulder Bag Length30″ (76cm)
Long Crossbody50″ (127cm)
Extra Long Strap60″ (152cm)
Crochet tote displayed on a mannequin
The Essential Tote Crochet Pattern in Caron Cotton Cakes in Garden Oasis

Gauge

Shhhh…Don’t tell the other crochet pattern designers but I don’t think gauge matters all that much for this pattern. However, sometimes you need some measurements just to make sure you are on the right track.

Bottom of bag (Round of DCs) 2” x 2” (5cm x 5 cm) = 8 DC stitches x 3 Row(Rounds)
Bag (Shells) 2” x 2” (5cm x 5 cm) = 3 Shells x 4 Rows (Rounds)
The end of Round 5 should measure 5” (12.7cm) in diameter

Crochet Stitches Used

Abbreviation US Terminology UK Terminology
CH Chain Chain
SC Single Crochet Single Crochet
DC Double Crochet Treble Crochet
HDC Half Double Crochet Half Treble Crochet

Yarn

For the three bags pictured, I used two different brands of yarn:

Caron Cotton Cakes

  • 2 skeins in Garden Oasis
  • 2 skeins in Nested Blues

Hobby Lobby I Love this Cotton

  • 2.5 skeins in 95 Antique Cream

RELATED: CARON COTTON CAKES YARN REVIEW

Materials

Hook: 4.00mm

Yarn:  7 oz/200g (422 yds/386 m)  Cotton/Acrylic Blend or 100%

Three Crochet Totes displayed on a flat lay.
The Essential Tote Crochet Pattern in Different Yarns

Crochet Tote Pattern

Magic Circle

Round 1: Make 10 DC in circle, join with a slip stitch.  Ch1. Turn. = 10 DC

Round 2: 2DC in each stitch around, join with a slip stitch.  Ch1. Turn. = 20 DC

Round 3: *2DC, DC* Repeat 9 more times, join with a slip stitch.  Ch1. Turn. = 30DC

Round 4: *2DC, DC, DC* Repeat 9 more times, join with a slip stitch.  Ch1. Turn. = 40

Round 5: *2DC, DC in the next 3 stitches,* Repeat 9 more times, join with a slip stitch.  Ch1. Turn. = 50

*** At this point, stop and measure your round against the gauge section above ***

Round 6: *2DC, DC in the next 4 stitches,* Repeat 9 more times, join with a slip stitch.   Ch1. Turn. = 60

Round 7: *2DC, DC in the next 5 stitches,* Repeat 9 more times, join with a slip stitch.  Ch1. Turn. = 70

Round 8: *2DC, DC in the next 6 stitches,* Repeat 9 more times, join with a slip stitch Ch1. Turn. = 80

Round 9: *2DC, DC in the next 7 stitches,* Repeat 9 more times, join with a slip stitch.   Ch1. Turn. = 90

Round 10: Sc into second chain from hook, *ch3, DC into same stitch, skip 2, SC in next chain* Repeat until end. Ch1 Turn

Round 11:  in next Ch3 space [DC, Ch3, SC] , Join with a slip stitch, Ch1 Turn

Round 12: in next Ch 3 space [SC, Ch3, DC] Repeat until end, Join with a slip stitch, Ch1. Turn

Rounds 13 – 43: Repeat Round 11 & Round 12

Round 44: in next Ch 3 space [3DC], Join with a slipstitch, Ch1 Turn

Round 45: SC in each stitch.  Join with a slip stitch, Fasten off, weave in all end.

Crochet Strap Pattern:

CH 14.

Row 1: HDC in 3rd chain from hook. HDC in each stitch accross.

Row 2: Ch 1, Turn. HDC in same stitch,  HDC in each stitch across.

Row 3 -102: Repeat Row 1.  Fasten off, weave in all ends.  Attach strap to bag.

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