Pretty AND practical.
MATERIALS: You'll need 1 yd. of fabric and matching thread. I used August Fields by Amy Butler. It's a decorator weight fabric in a scrumptious color. NOTE: 1-3/8 yds. of 58"-60" wide fabric will make two bags.
Cut one 19" x 36" for the bag and two 4" x 36" for the handles.
Cut one 12-1/2" x 19" for the bag bottom.
Fold and press one edge of each handle under 1/4".
Fold and press the other edge under 1-1/4".
Fold it in half and press.
Stitch close to the edges of the handles. This will be a lot faster if you don't lose one of the handles somewhere in your sewing room like I did!
Fold and press a crease to mark the center of 19" x 36" bag rectangle as shown.
Press a double 1" hem on each end. Stitch close to both edges of the hem.
Pin the handle in place as shown. The ends of the handles will be 10-1/2" down from the top and the sides of the handles will be 5-1/2" over from the raw edge.
Stitch the handles in place, stitching on top of the previous stitching along the edges of the handles and across the handle even with the hem stitching line.
Press a crease to mark the center of the 12-1/2" x 19" bag bottom. Press under 1/4" along the long edges.
Pin the bottom section on top of the bag, matching center creases. It will cover the raw edges of the handle ends. Stitch close to the pressed edge and again 1/4" away.
Place pins as shown, 4" on each side of the center crease at the bottom of the bag.
Fold the bag in half, wrong sides together.
Fold the top layer down, creasing across between the pins.
Repeat with the other side of the bag. There will be a big pleat as shown.
Stitch the side seams using a 1/4" seam, catching all layers of the pleat. Zig-zag the raw edges to keep them from raveling. I like to use either a 3-step zig zag or a feather stitch because it flattens the seam and finishes the edge at the same time.
When you turn the bag right side out, the corners will look like this.
Cut a piece of foam core or cardboard 8" x 10" for inside the bottom of the bag. See Nov. 5 post "After the Election".
Time to go shopping! This bag is a perfect size - even when it its full of cans, it's not too heavy! Because it is fat, it won't tip over in the car, even if your driving is like mine . . .