I love the detail of the pleated insert. This is a good sized bag, fully lined and a terrific first sewing project. So after my shopping trip, I have some advice as you head out to choose your fabric. You will choose two fabrics. The lining is the same as the pleat section. I used a lighter weight quilted cotton but I would suggest you find a heavier weight so your tote has a bit more "body" and I will be using a heavier (ok that is a tough word to describe when you can't feel the fabric I am talking about!) fabric...like denim, corduroy or a thicker weave. We can add fusible stiffeners (eek ... what???!) but no we are not doing that for our first project. So to make sure you are happy with your bag, choose a heavier weight than quilt cotton. You do not want a stretchy one. Here are some options I found at Fabric.com that would work nicely here. The pattern designer tells us :
Color 1- 1 yard of 44” wide fabric
Color 2- 1 yard of 44” wide fabric
(most fabric is 44-45" wide although some of the decorator fabrics may be wider) I would still get a yard of each color so you are sure you have the right length even if your fabric is a little wider.
You can make TWO and you will also need a small piece of iron-on interfacing. Are you getting excited?