Last night I dug out all of my granny squares and started seaming them together. I left it flat so I can use it to make a template for the lining. I haven’t decided if I’m going to follow the lines of the granny squares to sew up the lining or if I’m going to simplify the seams. I’m leaning towards the former because it will hide the lining’s seams better.

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I’m not sure what to do about the straps. My fabric store only had hard handles and I don’t really like those. Any ideas? I was thinking of getting an inexpensive purse from the thrift store and chopping it up to use the straps, but I don’t know what to do with the leftovers. I could also just use nylon straps like I put on my book bags. What I don’t want to do is battle with leather or pleather. I’m not sure my machine could deal with it.

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    • Regular fabric and yarn don’t make sturdy enough straps for the amount of junk I tend to carry around. They get stretched out too quickly.

  • I buy woven belts when I see them in charity shops, some of the kids ones are great bright colours and are just long enough for two over-the-arm sort of straps but an adult size belt would be needed for a shoulder bag I think. You can also use the strap for strength and crochet something around it to make it match the bag.

    • No need to even use an awl. There’s a leather punch for horse stuff somewhere in the house. Ask Dad. If you do want leather but not to sew them on, I have some old reins which have hook + eye ends you could use. Rubie used to make a lot of purses; she ordered handles online.

  • I would just make fabric straps if you are lining the bag. To strengthen them use fusible interfacing before folding them over. It makes a lot of difference. I also have a bag with fabric handles that are made by sewing plastic hose into the strap. It makes a lovely round handle. Or you can just use fabric webbing inside the strap for a flat version.

  • It’s looking really good! I love the colors you’ve chosen. I’ve used webbing for handles on totes and crochet bags to much success. As long as it’s sewn firmly between the lining and the crochet part, it should hold well.

    I’ve also used fabric and braided it for durability & styyyylllee. I did this type of handle on a bag I made a few years ago and it still holds up really well. It’s a huge bag that I stuffed a lot into, too, so fabric can be durable!

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