Kate Spade Nautical Tote Knockoff

Kate Spade Get Out of Town Knockoff Tote

I’m pretty sure Kate Spade and I are long lost BFF’s.
She makes pretty much everything with me in mind. I mean, it’s all classic style, Polkadots and stripes, bright colors, and fun pops of gold. What’s not to love there?

About a year ago she thoughtfully opened up an outlet store less than a mile from my house. She’s a giver like that. I go in whenever I can and drool a little. My only problem with our friendship is that she often forgets to take into account my budget when pricing her beautiful creations, even at the outlet. So I admire everything, but don’t come home with much.

I still love her anyway. When I came across her Get Out of Town Shopper – I pretty much fell in love. It’s nautical and sassy. Of course I fell in love. But not so much with the price so I decided to make my own version!

Nautical Travel Tote

Um. Yeah. I will be carrying this everywhere this summer!
In true Kate Spade style, I made it like hers with the wide navy and white stripes and the gold lettering – though I used fabric instead of leather. I added a fun bright pink polkadot lining to mine too. I love how that color looks inside.

Stripe and Polkadot Tote bag

It’s a nice roomy tote too so it will hold a ton of stuff. You could take it as a shopping bag, or a travel bag – it would be perfect as a carry-on too.

How to Make a Nautical Tote Bag

Here’s the original. So fun right?

Kate Spade Get Out of Town Shopper

So let’s get started! Here’s how to make your own Kate Spade Knockoff. You’ll need:

  • Navy fabric  – use a nice twill or something equally heavyweight
    – 6 strips 4″ x 19″ (for sides)
    – 2 pieces 6″ x 15″ (for base)
    – 1 piece 3″ x 12″ (for straps)
  • White fabric
    – 4 strips 4″ x 19″ (for sides)
  • Lining fabric
    -2 pieces 16″ x 19″ (sides)
    -1 piece 6″ x 15″ (base)
  • Interfacing – heavyweight fusible- 2 pieces 16″ x 19″ (sides)
    – ultra-firm stabilizer – 1 piece 6″ x 15″ (base)
  • Freezer paper for stencil, gold paint, scissors or cutting machine
  • set of two purse handles
  • optional – decorative button for front

Begin by cutting out all of your fabric. Make a freezer paper stencil that says “Get Out Of Town”. You want to use a blocky font and the lettering should be approx. 1 1/2″ x 10″. (If you need help with freezer paper stencils, there are a lot of great tutorials out there). You could also use purchased stencils to do the lettering if you want. On one of the white strips, stencil the phrase on using gold paint. Remember to use fabric paint or add fabric medium to your paint if you want to be able to wash your bag.

Freezer Paper Stencil

Let your paint dry very well (overnight is best) before assembling your bag. Once you’re all set, sew together the front of the bag, alternating navy and white stripes, like the photo below. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance for the bag unless noted differently.

sewing bag strips together

Repeat for the back of the bag, using the same stripe pattern. Iron your fusible interfacing to the front and back of the bag.
Lay the front and back, right sides together, and sew up the side seams. Make sure you match up the stripes.

bag side seams

Layer together the two navy base pieces, and place the ultra-firm interfacing between them. The right sides of the fabric pieces should be facing out. Baste around all four sides of the base.

base of bag

Match up the centers and sides of the base and sides of the bag and pin in place. Sew the base to the bottom sides of the bag, easing around the corners as needed.

Do not get distracted and sew the base to the TOP of the bag and then go to turn it right side out and realize your lettering is upside down and it now looks like you are making a knockoff of a bag you picked up off a table of terrible knockoffs in New York. Because that would be ridiculous. Ahem.

Clip the corners and turn the bag right side out and press.

sides and base of tote bag

Take the navy strap piece that is 3″ x 12″ and fold it in half long ways. Sew down the raw edge side and turn right side out. Press the seam in the center of the strip, then cut the strip into four 3″ pieces.

strap pieces

Measure 5″ over from each side seam on the front and back and mark with a pin. Slip the strap piece inside the ring on your purchased strap and fold the fabric in half. Line the raw edges up with the top of the bag and the outside edge of each strap piece with your pin. Sew the edges to the top of the bag with a 1/4″ seam allowance, going over the stitching a couple to times to make sure it’s nice and strong. Do this for the front and back straps.

sewing straps to bag

This is optional but I wanted to add a little decorative something on mine like Kate has the spade on hers. I couldn’t find a snazzy gold flamingo button (haha) but I did find this darling little gold rope bow. I thought it was perfect for the nautical look of the bag. Sew this on the center of the top strip, about 1 1/2″ down from the top.

decorative button on bag

Sew the sides of the lining pieces, right sides together. Sew the lining base to the bottom of the lining sides, but leave an opening for turning about 5″ on one side.

lining of bag

Turn the lining wrong side out and tuck the outside of the bag inside the lining. The right sides of the bag and the right sides of the lining should be together. Sew around the top of the bag. Make sure the straps are tucked inside when you sew.

sewing bag to lining

Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Sew the opening in the lining closed by hand, then tuck the lining inside the bag. Press everything really well. Top stitch around the top of the bag, just inside the top seam. Use thread that matches your outside fabric and bobbin thread that matches your lining so you can’t see the stitching.
Unless you take a really close up shot of your top stitching with a macro lens, and then you can see that your stitching looks a little wonky in one part. Then you can be happy you used matching thread and no one else (except all of your blog readers) will know it’s wonky. hmmm.

topstitching top of bag

That finished off your super cute new knockoff bag!

Get Out Of Town Tote

I just love that gold lettering!

Nautical Striped Bag

Kate Spade Knockoff Bag

I hope you give it a try!


  • This is great.. Love it.

  • Reply April 6, 2014

    Virginia Fynes

    This looks AMAZING!! Awesome knock off! LOVE it, great job!!

  • Oh my goodness, how much do I love this bag!? I so agree with you, I think Kate Spade is one of my BFF’s too, and she just doesn’t know it! This bag is amazing, fabulous job!

  • That is so stinkin’ adorable. I’m not the biggest fan of my sewing machine, but I think I could pull this off! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply April 8, 2014


    Love it – I want one! Pinned.

  • Reply April 9, 2014


    wow! i actually like the knock off much better!

  • Reply April 9, 2014


    I love the fabrics you chose! Do you know what they are called?

  • Reply May 7, 2014


    Made me laugh and laugh and laugh. And your bag is effing gorgeous, and your wonky sewing is perfect. I heart nautical bags and Kate Spade and figgering it all out yourself, so good on you.

  • Reply May 7, 2014


    Actually, ilike your bag better than Kate’s. I am so making me one. How generous of you to share…

  • Reply May 16, 2014

    Patricia S

    Love this!!

  • Reply May 18, 2014


    Hello. I adore this bag.. Where did you get the materials from? I would love those same straps and the little bow button. Any information would be much appreciated. :)

    • May 18, 2014


      Hi Lindsay! I’m so glad you like the bag! All the supplies – fabric, straps and button, came from Jo-Ann’s. Hope that helps! :)

    • May 18, 2014


      Perfect.. Thank you so much, I will try looking there tomorrow. So excited!! Thank you for posting this tutorial.

    • May 18, 2014


      Sweet! I hope you have fun with it! I’d love to see a photo when you finish it too!

    • May 18, 2014


      I will make sure to tag you.on my IG account. :) @lindsayw72

    • May 19, 2014


      I just got all the supplies today. I didn’t realize how large this bag was.. will the over all dimensions be about 19×18?

    • May 19, 2014


      Hi Lindsay – the bag dimensions are 15″ x 15″ from side seam to side side seam and top to the bottom seam. If you add in the bottom it adds 2″ to the height – so 17″. Not including straps.

  • Reply May 23, 2014

    cally ross

    I will be watching for flamingo buttons so you can spray paint them gold! Ha!
    lovely job! definitely going to make one.

  • Reply June 12, 2014

    emily | shell chic'd

    This is TOO cute, I’m beyond impressed!! I’ve tried my hand at purse making, and it’s not a pretty sight haha, but you’ve inspired me to at least look for a similar striped bag and add the letters and button myself. Absolutely adore it, well done!

  • Reply June 12, 2014

    sarah goodman

    how about you just sell this on etsy so i can buy one?!!!!

  • Reply June 15, 2014

    nicolette waddington

    love this bag. kate Spade can always make a bag that I fall in love with I have some already striped fabric that I will make a bag closely resembling this one thanks for tuturals

  • Reply July 13, 2014

    Patricia P

    Love your creativity! Just curious why you didn’t use an outdoor striped fabric rather than going to the trouble of piecing the stripes? Maybe Joann’s just didn’t have any when you shopped. Great post.

    • July 14, 2014


      Patricia, Yes, there wasn’t any wide striped fabric in stock at the fabric store and so I decided to make my own! You could definitely use striped fabric to make the bag though! :)

    • July 14, 2014


      Patricia, Yes, there wasn’t any wide striped fabric in stock at the fabric store and so I decided to make my own! You could definitely use striped fabric to make the bag though! :)

  • Reply July 20, 2014

    Nancy F.

    What font did you use for the stencil?

  • Reply July 26, 2014


    Hi, Bev!

    I’m working on my version of this bag right now in a purple and natural stripe pattern. I love how the colors are coming out. I just have a question about the bag construction–the lining (and I KNOW I cut out everything exactly) seems to be too big and baggy for the exterior, and so I am working on tweaking it, especially in regards to attaching the base. That type of base construction in a tote bag is new to me, apparently! :)

    I would appreciate the help! I would love to figure out how to “fix” my problem! :)


    • July 28, 2014


      Hi Krista!
      Sorry the lining is giving you trouble! I would maybe suggest bringing in the seam allowances on the lining a little to see if that helps? I’d be happy to help more if you want to email me too – bev@flamingotoes.com.

  • Reply July 30, 2014


    To be 100% honest, I like your tote better. :)
    I love the straps and also that you used fabric instead of leather, it made the project so much more delicate.
    You rock!

  • Reply September 4, 2014


    I LOVE this bag and I love your version better than the spade bag! The straps add that perfect something and the bow button was just adorably cute. I’m making a couple today. :-)

    I did want to let you know that the mobile version of your website is a bit difficult to navigate. I wanted to take a screen shot of the items needed, but there’s an ad at the bottom of the screen and a giant invitation to join your mailing list at the top which gives me about half a screen of visible space. With my keyboard up to write this comment I’ve got about four lines of text visible between the two. I love your site and your patterns, but I know sometimes we just don’t catch those things on our own blogs. :-)

    • September 4, 2014


      I’m so glad you like the bag Denise! And thank you for the heads up on the Mobile Site. I will definitely be checking into making that more easy to use!

Leave a Reply