You now have a completed shell and a completed liner with interior pockets. It’s time to make handles!
Step 15: Cut your handle fabric and padding material.
The length should include 2 times the desired drop (distance from top of handle to top of bag) plus 2 inches to go over the shoulder plus 2 inches for handle insertion. My bag has an 8-inch drop so the length of the fabric is: 8″ + 8″ + 2″ + 2″ = 20″.
The width of the cut fabric will be about 3 times the desired width of the handle: 1.25″ + 1.25″ + 1.25″ = 3.75″. The width of the padding material will be just a shade less than the width of the handle (shade = less than 1/16″).
For padding material in this project, I chose fleece interfacing. You can use whatever is available. I have used quilt batting, fleece interfacing, fleece, and nothing. Padding is not only more comfortable but it also keeps the handles from pinching to a rope.
Step 16: Place padding material on the wrong side of the fabric, slightly to one side of center. Wrap the short side over the padding, pin into place. Wrap the long side over and fold under a hem. Pin this into place so that the fold is about 1/8″ to 1/4″ from the side of the handle.
Step 17: Sew down the fold. Then sew the other side of the handle the same distance from the edge as you sewed down the fold.
To be continued…