• 3/4 yd (68.6 cm) medium-weight vinyl
• Tailor's chalk
Cut one 22" x 22" (56 x 56 cm) square of vinyl for the bag piece, two 4" x 12" (10 x 30.5 cm) rectangles of vinyl for the inside facing pieces, and two 3" x 20" (7.5 x 51 cm) strips of vinyl for the bag handles.
Using tailor's chalk, draw 5 pleat lines across the right side of the square piece of vinyl, beginning 3" (7.5 cm) from the edge and making each line 4" (10 cm) apart. Mark the centre points between each pleat line with small marks at both ends. (A)
With wrong sides together, fold the vinyl along each pleat line, secure with a few pins, and sew about 1/8" (3 mm) from the edge of the fold, making little pintucks.
With the pintucks running vertically, fold and pin each pintuck to meet the small centre mark, creating a pleat.
Sew pleats into place at both ends, 1/4" (6 mm) from the edge of the vinyl. These will be the top edges of the bag. (B)
Fold two handle pieces in half lengthwise, right sides together, secure with a few pins, and sew with a 1/8" (3 mm) seam allowance. Turn right-side out and sew along each handle edge, sewing as close as possible to the edge.
Pin the ends of the handles to the top (pleated) edge of the bag, about 2" (5 cm) from each side seam. (C)
Pin each 4" x 12" (10 x 30.5 cm) piece of vinyl to each pleated end, over the handles, right sides together. This will be the inside facing of the bag. Sew across each end with a 1/2" (13 mm) seam allowance, attaching the handles and the facing at the same time. (D)
Fold the pleated piece in half; fold the facing up, right sides together, matching up the facing and the bag seams at each side perfectly.
Pin at this point first, then continue pinning the sides together. The facing should be pinned at the side also. (E)
Sew each side of the bag, starting at the facing, with a 1/2" (13 mm) seam allowance.
Turn bag right-side out and topstitch along the top edge of the bag with a 1/4" (6 mm) seam allowance. (F)
Add closures to facing if desired.
Excerpted from Simple Gifts to Stitch: 30 Elegant and Easy Projects, copyright 2007 by Jocelyn Worrall. Excerpted with permission from Potter Craft, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.
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