You will need:
1 yard main/outer fabric (I use good quality quiting weight cotton, but you could use home decor weight fabrics for a stiffer bag.)
1 yard base/lining fabric (I use linen, but canvas or home decor weight fabric would work too)
3.5 yards (4 to be safe) very lightweight interfacing (I use Pellon
Contrasting thread (for topstitching)
1. Start with your main fabric. Fold your fabric in half from selvedge to selvedge. Cut two 19" x 21" pieces and two 2" x 21" pieces. Pay attention to the direction of the pattern if you are print fabric. The 21" will be the width of your bag, the 19" will be the height.
2. Fold your base/lining fabric in half from selvedge to selvedge. Cut two 19" x 21" pieces, two 9.5" x 21" pieces, and two 2" x 21" pieces. Again, pay attention to the direction of the pattern if you are print fabric. The 21" will be the width of your bag, the 19" will be the height (and for the base the 9.5" is the height).
3. Cut your interfacing. You will need to cut four 21" x 19" pieces, two 21" x 9.5" pieces, and four 2" x 21" pieces.
4. Now we're done with cutting! Check to make sure you have all your pieces.
5. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of each piece (both main/outer fabric pieces and base/lining fabric pieces).
6. Trim the excess interfacing off of each piece to square them up.
7. Place one main bag piece right side up with the width (21" side) horizontal. Place a base (9.5" x 21") piece wrong side up on top of the main piece, with the bottom edge of the base 8.5" from the bottom of the main bag piece.
8. Pin base onto main bag piece. Repeat with other base and main bag piece.
9. Using your matching thread, sew along the pinned side of the fabric with a 1/2" seam allowance (you can use the side of your presser foot it that's easier for you to sew a straight line against).
10. Flip base fabric right side out over the main bag piece and press. Repeat with other side of bag.
11. Using your contrasting thread, topstitch along the top edge of your base fabric, lining the seam up with the edge of your presser foot. You might want to increase your stitch length to do this (my stitch length is set at 3 when I topstitch).
12. Topstitch again using a 1/4" seam allowance below the first row of topstitching.
13. Repeat steps 11-12 on the second outer bag piece.
14. Pin both outer bag pieces with right sides together. Make sure to align the base panel seams.
15. Using your matching thread, sew around the sides and bottom (not the top) of the bag using a 1/2" seam allowance. I actually sew around the three sides twice to make it extra strong.
16. Pin lining pieces right sides together.
17. Sew sides and bottom using a 5/8" seam allowance, making sure to leave an opening at the bottom for turning.
18. Press seams open on outer bag and lining.
19. Now it's time to make the box pleats. Pull the fabric at one of the corners of the main bag so that the side seam and the bottom seam are on top of each other. Align the seams and pin. Measure 3 1/2" down from the peak and draw a line perpendicular to the seam. The line should be 7" long.
20. Using your matching thread, sew along the line you drew, making sure to backstitch at the ends. It might be a good idea to sew a couple times along this line for extra strength. (Ignore the line on the right in my picture, measured wrong at first.)
21. Repeat step 19 on your lining corners, except measure 3 1/2" down from the peak and draw your line across. The line should measure 6 1/2". Repeat step 20, again sewing across the seam multiple times for extra strength.
23. Place one lining and one main fabric handle piece right sides together and pin. Repeat with the second set of handle pieces.
24. Using matching thread, sew along the long sides of each handle using a 1/4" seam allowance.
25. Turn the handle tubes right side out.
26. Flatten and press each handle.
27. Using constrasting thread, topstitch along the long sides of the handles using a 1/4" seam allowance. Topstitch again 1/4" from the first topstitched line.
28. Place one of your handles inside of the lining and place each end 5 1/2" from the outer edge of each side of the bag with the lining side of the handle facing the right side of the bag lining. Align the top edge of each side of the handle with the top edge of the lining. You should have approximately 5" between the inner edges of the handles. Repeat with the other handle on the other side of the bag.
29. Place your outer bag inside of your lining so the right sides of the outer bag and lining are together.
30. Start pinning the tops together by aligning the side seams with each other.
31. Continue pinning all the way around the bag.
Pay special attention to where the handles are located, sewing a few extra rows of stitches on top of the handle within the seam allowance.
33. Turn bag right side out through the opening in the lining.
34. Align the corners on each side in the bottom of the bag, and pin the outer bag and lining together at the top seam.
35. Using contrasting thread, topstitch along the top seam of the bag, aligning the edge of your presser foot with top of the bag. Topstitch again 1/4" from the first topstitched line.
36. Slipstitch the opening in the lining closed and press your finished bag.
This tutorial is for personal use only. Please do not use this tutorial to make items to sell.