The finished bag!
You can see another version here.
This is how to put the bag together. It has one or two interesting steps that I hope you’ll find useful.
For how to make the fabric look here.
You will need lining fabric, threads and a sewing machine.
I used a scrap of heavyweight dress fabric (lovely gift!). There was enough to cut 2 pieces of lining and a handle.
1. Cut the lining pieces the same size as the bag fabric except allow about an inch extra on the length so that you can make the top border (see finished bag photo).
2. Note: I have added only one handle. If you plan to carry anything heavy you might want to have two handles. These instructions don’t include that.
Cut the handle about 43 inches long by 3.5 inches wide. That length allows for attaching to the bag by just over an inch.
The length works well for me but if you’re much taller or shorter than 5ft 5ins you’ll want to check whether you need to adjust it.
3. Sew the lining together leaving the top open. Zigag the seams all around to secure.
4. Making a false gusset (optional but looks nice!).
At the corner, place the side seam on top of the bottom seam.
5. Making sure the seams are together, mark a line across the corner, about 1.5 – 2 inches in from the point.
6. Sew along the line.
7. Cut the corner off, about 0.25 inches from the seam. Zigzag to secure the seam.
8. Repeat for the other corner.
9. Turn in about 0.25 inches seam allowance along the length of the handle & sew in place.
10. Fold the handle in half lengthwise & sew – I used zigzag because it’s more secure.
11. Iron the handle well. Sew along the other edge. Zigzag along the length of centre of the handle.
12. Add more rows of zigzags. This strengthens the handle. I don’t usually add interfacing to handles so use stitching both to decorate and reinforce.
13. Make up the jeans fabric into a bag following steps 3 – 8 above.
14. Zigzag along the top of the bag and the lining to stop fraying.
15. Insert the lining bag into the jeans bag, wrong sides together. The top of the lining should be showing by about an inch above the top of the jeans bag.
16. Fold over the top of the lining twice, enclosing the top of the jeans bag. Sew in place – I zigzagged for security.
Finish the ends of the handle with a zigzag stitch and attach securely to the bag on the inside at the sides. Overlap the handle and the bag by at least an inch. I avoided sewing over the side seams because of the bulk of the fabric I would have to have sewn over.
Sew the handle in place around all of the overlap and diagonally across the middle for extra strength.
And that’s it!