I actually made my tote bag out of a curtain. You can buy really nice fabric really cheaply from curtain shops, they pop the ex display curtains in a bargain bin. It took me about two hours to make.
First of all you'll need your fabric. I'm not going to tell you how much because size doesn't matter, it's just shape. You can have up to three different types of fabric, well five or six if you want to push the boat out, but I chose two because I'm quite dull.
Ok, now you need to cut the shapes out. The shapes on the left show you what they're supposed to look like. They're not in proportion. You can choose whatever sizes you like for the rectangle with horns thing, and the straps, but the smaller rectangle has to be the length of the space inbetween the horns on the bigger rectangle. I hope this makes sense!
I made my bag big enough to fit some school books in, only because it was going to be pleated I made it bigger than that too.
Now take your rectangles with horns and pleat inbetween the horns along the top lines on each. To get an even pleat, find the middle by folding in half, marking with a pin, and then deciding on a measurement like an inch, and do a pleat from there to the edge on both sides, every inch. Pin these pleats in place, then run a stitching line across the top of them on your machine to hold them in place.
Now put the wrong sides together and sew along all three sides without horns. I zigzagged mine because I like to zigzag and I hope it means it's less likely to fray, although I expect this is something I dreamt.
Then turn it out and you should have something that looks a bit like my picture. Or at least baggish.
Now, take your smaller rectangles and attach them inbetween the horns to cover the pleats. Turn the ugly edges up into everything so they're hidden. Pin in place then sew on.
Now hem your straps! I did this by turning an edge up, zig zagging, then putting a running stitch alongside it too, down each edge of the strap. Then attach to your bag however way you prefer straps.
Decorate if you wish, I put a yoyo on mine (There's a tutorial on here for yoyos, go search, they're very cute!)
and then finito! You can add a lining if you're talented. I am not.
If you make one please post it on the board or something, I'd love to see them.