This one is SO easy, you'll love it! I made this bag, including taking all the *excellent quality photographs*, while my dear OH cooked tea.
I got two placemats and two napkins for a grand total of $5, and had all the other materials on hand waiting around for something to be done with them, so I couldn't resist!
What you'll need:
* 1 placemat for the main bag
* 1 coordinating napkin (or scrap fabric) for a pocket
* A couple of small coordinating scrap fabric pieces to secure the handle ends
* Two handles - I used florist's wire and wooden beads to make mine!
* Sewing machine, thread, scissors and all that jazz...!
What to do:
First off, iron your placemat and napkin/scrap fabric.
Make Your Handles
I made mine with wooden beads and florists wire. Another alternative is to take a long strip of coordinating fabric, fold it in half, sew up one side and turn it right side out and top stitch up both sides. This alternative is probably much sturdier than mine, but I fancied using beads ;)
First, make a loop in one end of your wire.
Thread on half of your beads.
Make a loop at the other end of your wire, to hold the beads in place.
Repeat to make two handles.
Set these aside for now.
Make Your Pocket
Cut out a large rectangle from your napkin/scrap fabric.
If you're using a napkin and some of the edges are hemmed, fold under the remaining edges and iron them into place. If you're using scrap fabric, fold and iron all the edges :)
Fold your placemat in half and pin your pocket to the middle of one side of the placemat. I want my pocket to be on the front of the bag, so I'm pinning it to the side of my placemat that will eventually be on the outside.
Sew around the three sides of your pocket, leaving the top open ;)
Time to add the handles!
Sew On Your Handles
To work out where the handles should go, I folded my placemat in half (same as when we pinned on the pocket) and then in half again. I used air erasable pen to mark across all four edges, so now when I unfold my placemat I can line up the handle edges evenly.
Using the pen mark as a guide, sandwich a loop from your handle between the inside of the placemat and a rectangle of your scrap fabric. I used calico, folded in half for extra strength. Pin it in place.
Carefully sew around all four edges of the scrap fabric, securing the looped end of your handle inside the fabric rectangle. I say carefully because you don't want to hit the needle of your sewing machine on the florist's wire! It will bend at the very least, and could break. You might want to hand stitch the top part. I manually wound my sewing machine to do it, because I'm a loser like that :P
Repeat for the other side of this handle, and then attach the other handle to the other end of your placemat. Tie off and trim all of your threads.
We're nearly there..!
Sew Up The Bag
Fold your placemat right sides together so that the handles are at the same side and pin it in place.
Carefully sew down both sides of the placemat. Here I say carefully, because my sewing machine definitely did not appreciate it when I tried to get it to sew through the existing seam of the placemat - it was just too heavy duty for my needle! I found it best to sew just along the outside edge of the existing seam.
It looks pretty decent even before turning it the right way around, don't you think?
And when we do turn it the right way around, we get this:
Ta-da! Cheap and cheerful, quick and easy! Just my sort of project!