I'm thrilled for you to make as many bags as you want for personal, noncommercial use, but please respect my copyright and don't distribute copies of the pattern or sell bags you've made from it. I'd also appreciate a link back to me if you use the pattern. Thanks!
2/16/08 Edited to add: Several readers have listed some great tips in the comments for alternate construction techniques and I encourage you to read them. I deliberately chose the methods demonstrated here to provide a very finished, professional interior of the bag, with the lining and outer bag attached so that the lining doesn't creep up when the bag is in use. I've never liked turning linings and bags right side out through small openings and then having to close the opening, so I chose the construction techniques shown here. The method of attaching the band and handles reinforces where the handles are attached for a sturdier finished product. However, if you make it - it's your bag! Take what works for you, have fun, and run with it! I look forward to seeing your creations.
10/22/11 Edited to Add: If you've made a bag from the pattern I'd *love* to see a picture. Thanks!
Esther’s Tote ©2008 Diane R. Doran
1 yard Shirtailor Interfacing
½ yard outer fabric
½ yard lining fabric
¼ yard fabric for band
1/4 yard fabric for handles
(Note: if you use heavy decorator weight fabric you can skip the interfacing.)
Cut Shirtailor in the following order:
2 - 3”x22” strips for handles (from one short end of the yard)
1 - 6”x30” strip for band
1 - 15”x30” rectangle for outer bag
Interface all fabric pieces except lining and bias. Tip: Apply interfacing to fabric, then cut out fabric pieces. (The band and handles won’t be completely interfaced.) The extra ½” on the band makes it easy to turn the raw edge up to finish that edge.
Cut Fabric as follows:
Outer bag – 15”x30”
Lining - 15”x30”
Band - 6½”x30” (leave ½” on a long side without interfacing)
Handles – 5”x22” (apply interfacing to center of fabric strip)
Fold handles in half lengthwise wrong sides together, iron folded edge. Open, then fold raw edges in to center. Fold together so that raw edges are enclosed. Press. Top stitch close to long edges.
Press up ½” on one long edge of band. Open out this pressed edge. Fold band into a rectangle 6.5”x15” right sides together. Sew along raw 6½” edge. Press seam open. Note: the seam allowance for the bag band, lining side seam, and outer bag side seam needs to be consistent, but you can make it whatever you want.
For both Outer fabric and Lining Fabric:
Fold in half right sides together to make a 15”x15” rectangle. Sew raw edge that is opposite the fold. Press seam flat, then open. Sew one other raw edge with right sides still together. Press. Cut a 2” square of fabric out of the corner where the two seams meet. Use it as a guide to cut a square out of the opposite corner. Tip: use the same guide square for both the outer bag and the lining. Be sure to cut from the seam line in.
Now for the fun part! You will now join the lining and outer bag, and miter the bottom corners of the bag at the same time. Open up bottom corner of outer bag, and bring bottom seam allowance up to meet the side seam allowance.
Pin. Do the same with the lining bottom. Pin the lining and outer bag together with the bottom seams together.
The lining and outer bag should be “bottom to bottom”. Both the lining and outer bag are still wrong sides out. Sew from one end of your pinned miter to the other.
Repeat this step with the other lining and outer bag corner.
The lining and outer bag are now attached at both bottom corners, still inside out. Pull the outer bag up over the lining so that the outer bag is right side out.
Baste upper edge. Center handles on front and back of bag with 4.5” space between handles and machine baste.
(I switched bags here to show better contrast between the bag and handles)
Place outer band over outer bag, right sides together, matching raw edges of unfolded edge to raw edges of bag and lining.
Stitch all layers together with a 3/8” seam. Press seam and band up towards top of bag.
Pull up outer band and bring down folded edge to interior to cover seam and all raw edges. If necessary trim raw edges.
Top stitch on outside of bag in the ditch, catching the folded edge of the band (inside the bag) in the seam to cover interior raw edges.