we made a very basic, unlined bag for her to gather her halloween night treasures in. i'm sure some interfacing would have stiffened things up nicely, but we were going for really simple and quick. a lining would have been a bit more professional, too, but again, not absolutely necessary for our purposes.
halfway thru the making process, i remembered there was a pattern for a similar bag that s2 made for his sisters several christmases ago. its in the lovely book "sewing for children" by emma hardy (bn or amazon). that bag was lined (slightly more complicated) and used thick grosgrain ribbons for the handles (easier). if we hadn't already been half done, i would have used that pattern again.
at this point, i remembered to press the fabrics. if we'd wanted a more durable bag, prewashing would have been essential.
hera marker to make a crease. a washable marker or pencil works, too.
and this is where i should have inserted the straps into the seam allowance of the hem, but forgot to. it worked out fine, but it did involve some seamripping later on.
when the body seams are done, turn the bag inside out and press flat.
once the strap is sewn, turn it inside out. i used a combination of the safetypin and pencil method.
our straps were 42" long, a bit more than we needed. i simply draped them across d4"s shoulder to determine where she wanted the bag to fall, and trimmed there (with a bit more for seam allowance). i think we took off about 8".
but i seamripped where i wanted the handle placed, with a few stitches wiggle room on each side, and inserted the strap end, pinning in place.
if i hadn't been letting an 8 yr old do most of the sewing, and had to deal with various other interruptions, it could have easily been completed in under an hour. as it is, it took more than that. but who's counting?
despite the fact that we did this quickly without lots of the nicer finishing touches like interfacing or lining, d4 is very happy with it and declared "this looks like a bag from the store!" i supose compared to the first tote she made all by herself, with no hemming and christmas fabric, this bag did turn out a bit more professionally.
now all we need do is wait out the week until we can fill it with candy.