I made one of these last year, and thought it would make a good project for my "Anyone can sew" series of 5 steps in 15 mins.
Here's how to make your very own handibag - great to slip into your handbag for when you go shopping - or perhaps to carry your kids artwork home from school!!
Step 1 - Cutting
Take a pillowcase you no longer use (or buy a pretty one from the charity shop).
Cut off the flap that is on the inside of the pillowcase - You'll use this for the pocket!
NOTE - This has caused some confusion amongst readers. Here in Australia and in the UK, there is a small 'flap' on the end of the open end of the pillow case, this slips over the end of the pillow when you put it inside the case - it's essentially just an extra strip of fabric. It seems to be missing off pillowcases in the US. You can just use any scrap of fabric for the pocket if there is no flap on your pillowcase!
Then cut two strips from the open end of the pillowcase - 10 cm (4") in width. These will be the straps:
Then cut one side seam from each 'strap' so you have two long strips, and your main bag left:
Step 2 - The Straps
Iron each strap in half length-ways,
then open out,and fold either side in towards the middle crease and iron again..
Then fold in half again and iron. This will give you two straps, approx 2.5 cm (1") wide.
Then machine stitch down both sides of the length of each strap.
Step 3 - Attach the straps:
Fold the top of the bag in on itself approx 2.5 cm (1") and place the end of one strap where you want it to be.
Then fold the bag end AND the strap over another 2.5 cm (1") and pin into place.
Repeat for all 4 strap ends:
Then machine stitch around the bag opening at both the top and bottom length of your fold. You can also stitch a cross on each strap for extra strength!
Step 4 - The Handipocket!
Take the flap you first cut from the pillowcase,
and cut a rectangle 16 cm x 23 cm (6.5" x 9")
Double turn all 4 edges to finish off neatly:
Then fold right sides together - ALMOST in half, like this:
Then pin it to the INSIDE top middle of your bag with the folded edge at the top.
Then stitch along the three sides of the pocket.
Step 5 - Into the pocket!
Now you have a nice strong, large bag.
Open it up and find the handipocket inside..
Then push the bag UP into the pocket from the bottom - turning the pocket inside out as you go around the bulk of the bag. Then finally flip the little flap over at the top.
And there you have - one handibag - to slip in your handbag - you never know when you might need one!
For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.
For an updated version of this tutorial, plus more tutorials for making a selection of shopping bags from upcycled fabrics,