On a recent jaunt through the thrift store, I took a shortcut down one of the children's aisles, and this little dress caught my eye.
I bought it for $2.90, thinking I could either make something out of it or pass it along to a friend's daughter. Unfortunately for my friend's daughter, the more I looked at it, the more I saw a bag. I already had several sets of handles packed away, so I dug a pair out and started playing around.
First I had to decide which way I liked it best. If you like it better with the wider part on the bottom, shhh, because I made it the other way! I think both ways are cute, though.
Next came the seam ripper, of course. Whenever I do things like this, I think about how much I learn about sewing by tearing things apart.
Then, after much debate, I chose a lining fabric. I was going to trace around the skirt fabric, then I thought, "Why not just pin it down and cut around it?" Worked fine.
After sewing up the sides of the lining, I sewed across the bottom corners of both the lining and the outer fabric to create a flat bottom for the bag. Whenever I do this, I'm really, really careful to make the corners even so the bag won't look all wonky. Well, okay, I'm more careful with the outer fabric. The lining doesn't matter so much!
Next step: turn over a hem at the top of the lining bag to match the hem from the original dress.
Because, see, the lining bag will fit inside the outer bag. Perfect!
Okay, at this point, if you're using bamboo handles, you need to make some sort of tabs. I had plenty of fabric left from the bodice of the dress.
I sewed these right onto the handles to get ready for putting the bag together.
I also made a quick closure, using the bodice scraps. I'd have liked it to be a little longer, but I didn't plan well, and I was out of fabric.
At this point, it's just a matter of pinning it all together, making sure the handles are centered. Then you get to sew it! It's a little awkward to sew, with those handles banging around, but it's not hard.
After one run around, I looked at the handles and thought maybe I should go around the top one more time.
In this picture of the closure, you can also see the double line of stitching around the top.
And finally, choosing a button!
Time for a photo session!