sierra bin(s)

i’ve spent a lot of time during quarantine cleaning my room – going through my closets, the space beneath my bed, and my bookshelves. i took everything out and sorted through it with the ruthlessness of marie kondo (though this was not inspired by her… deep cleaning my room during breaks has been my tradition ever since grade 1!), making donation, recycle and keep piles. this was such a good activity to clear the anxiety in my mind from everything happening in the world right now and get organized before i leave for college next year. along the way, i realized i could use some more storage bins to hold my stuff more neatly. i’ve been rotating one canvas bin between holding my cold weather running accessories, my hats and gloves, and old projects i’ve made, and shoving the rest in a drawer when the bin wasn’t available.

to remedy this lack of storage, i decided to make more bins using neutral canvas already in my stash. half the bags are made from a heavier weight canvas i had lying around; the rest is a 7oz canvas i got on sale for a really good price at an art store that was closing. there’s definitely a difference in sturdiness, but the lighter bin still manages to hold it’s shape.

i simplified a sierra tote/bin pattern from indigobird designs, emitting the outer and inner pockets and using canvas throughout. i love this handle design because it allows me to fold over the top of the bin, making it more like a box. i’ve also found that these bins are really great for organizing clothes when traveling, especially with the way that i fold my clothes.

this pattern is so versatile and quick to sew, just speeding through plenty of straight lines. i plan on making many more (update: i’ve made two more), and you can see down below the handwritten notes i’ve made on the pattern. i’m going to record them down below in case anything happens to that notebook and i end up making these bins again. sewing for a purpose can be so rewarding, and my bag making roots (i only recently started sewing clothing) love projects like these.


  • two rows of topstitching at 3.0 mm
  • handle is 9″, 3/4″ down from top
  • 3/8″ seam allowance; 1/4″ when attaching inner facing to inner body; 1/2″ on bottoms
  • measure from stitch line – cut out a 2.25″ x 2.25″ square to box corners, and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance
  • check for puckers when doing the second row of topstitching near the handles!

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