Now, to Part 2 of the bag making from yesterday. First, a correction. Ever the careful reader, Jude noticed I said wrong sides together when I meant right sides together. It's a general rule that we put right sides together when we sew. So go by the picture, not my instructions.
Now that I've said that, I'm going to tell you just the opposite in a few minutes, because the bag is going to be made with FRENCH seams.
First, however, hem both 18" ends of the large piece of material. Do this by turning under about 1/4" and sewing straight across.
Now, fold the piece in half with WRONG sides together. This is where the French Seam part comes in. See below:
Stitch up both sides about 1/4" from the edge.
Starting to look like a bag, isn't it? Now, turn your bag so that you have RIGHT sides together, and stich both sides again - a little bit more than 1/4" in.
OK, now for the fun part, and the trick that will make your bag better than ordinary. Keeping the bag wrong side out, put your hand in one corner and spread it until you have a triangle shape that looks like the picture below. Make sure the seam is in the middle of the triangle. Draw a line across the bottom of the triangle about an inch and a half from the corner. Try to make it even, but don't worry about perfection (which is much overrated). Now pin it so it doesn't move, and stitch straight across the line.
Do the same on the other corner of your bag, making it the same size, of course.
Turn the bag so that the RIGHT side is on the OUTSIDE and your nice neat french seams and beautiful triangle corners are on the inside. Now you're ready to hem the top and attach the handles.
Turn under the top about an inch and pin it in a few places. Place the handles where you want them (I like 2 or 3 inches from each side) and pin them on.
Stitch around the top of your bag 2 times, and stitch the handles as you go around, like this:
And that's it! Your bag is done! Does it look something like this?
Once you've made one of these bags, you know what they say. Well, I hope you know, 'cause I'm trying to remember. I guess, "It's like riding a bicycle; you never forget."
Of course, in my case, I never learned how to ride a bicycle in the first place. Guess I'll talk about that another day....