A crafty catch up with a talented sewer friend last week helped me get things happening again. A few little dresses finished off over the weekend, and a nothing too fancy library bag for school.
Finished size - approx 16" x 12" plus handle.
Basic How To:
Cut 2 rectangles (16.5" x 12.5") from each of the outer fabric and lining fabric.
If you want to embellish the outside with a name or anything else, now is the time to do that before you start to sew things together.
Next, place outer fabric rectangles right side together & stitch around 2 sides and base (leaving top edge open).
Place lining fabric rectangles right sides together & stitch around 2 sides and base (again, leaving top edge open) - making sure to leave a 3" gap in the base (for turning right side out later on).
Then sew boxed corners into each corner of the lining and outer bag pieces - I measured 1.5" in from each corner to make these. This will make sure there is a bit of space for books inside the bag.
At this point I also added velcro to the top edge of the lining of the bag.
Handles - I decided to make two small handles, one for each side of the bag. I only had felt to hand to reinforce the handles, so that is what I used.
Cut 2 felt pieces (1.5" x 15").
Cut fabric to cover the handles 2x (5" x 15")
fold over about 1cm and press a fold along both long edges of the fabric handle pieces. Place the felt along the fabric, roughly one third of the way down and then fold over the fabric (top down and bottom up) to cover the felt. Straight stitch the length of the handle, just near the edge of the fold to hold everything in place. I posisioned the fold so that it was abouth a third of the way down, so that when I then ran another line of straight stitching a third of the way up the spacing looked good.
Here you can see the right side (top) and wrong side (bottom) of the handles:
To assemble the bag:
Turn lining right side out and then slip inside outer bag (that is still inside out) so that the right sides of both fabrics are facing each other. Match the side seams at the top opening and pin together.
Pin each handle in place to the lining fabric, using the velcro as a guide for centre placement. Make sure the right side of the handle is facing the outer fabric (this will mean when you turn the bag right side out you don't see the folded edge on the 'wrong side' of the handle).
Then pin the outer fabric and lining together, matching the top edge as you go. Repeat the process for the other side of the bag, adding the handle and pinning along the top edge.
Then straight stitch along the top of the bag - all the way around. Trim excess handle fabric and then turn bag right side out through the opening you left in the base of the lining. Press the hole in the lining so that the edges are neat and then straight stitch close to the edge to close the hole.
Top stitch along the top edge of the bag - this will keep the lining neatly inside & also reinforces the handles.