This is a perfect bag for you to tote all manner of things, and the kids will love it to. Enjoy!
Step 1: Cut two 17 1/2" by 15" inch pieces of your main fabric (my main fabric is Woodland Chain in Pool).
Then, cut one 8 1/2" inch tall by 7" inch wide square from your pocket fabric (mine is Tree Stripes in Grey).
For the last piece, cut two strips of fabric that are 2 1/4" inches wide and 44" inches long (Pebble Lines in Citron).
***All fabrics are from the Circa 50 collection.
After making these cuts, you should basically have the following:
Step 2: Put the two long strap pieces right sides together, and sew a 5/8" seam along the short edge.
Press open this seam:
Now, press down 1/4" inch along both long edges of the strap you just sowed. As such:
Then press this long strap in half length-wise:
And sew along the length:
Your strap is now finished...onto the pocket.
Step 3: Press 1/2" down on all sides of the 8"x7 1/2" pocket piece:
Press down another half inch along the top 7 1/2" inch edge of the pocket:
Stitch down the double edged seam:
Your pocket is now ready to be sewn onto the main body of your bag.
Step 4: Pin the pocket onto the bag. Place the bottom of the pocket 2" inches above the bottom of the bag piece, and 4" inches from either side. Like so:
Then stitch along the two edges and bottom, leaving the top edge with the seam open:
Now onto sewing up the main body of your bag.
Step 5: Pin the two main pieces of the bag right sides together. Sew together along the bottom edge using a 5/8" seam.
Now for the slightly complicated part. Using a pencil or fabric marker, mark one inch above the seam you just stitched:
Then, measure two inches down from the top edge of the bag, and mark. Measure one inch below this line, and mark again:
Do this on both edges of the bag.
Begin at the first line you marked on the bottom of the bag, and sew to the 3" inch line on the top.
Then, begin at the first line marked and sew to the top of the bag. This is what you should have at this point:
Make sure you have the same stitching on both sides of the bag.
Step 6: Turn the bag right side out and press open your seams.
On each side of the bag you should have two small holes in the seam. You need to do a top-stitch around the top hole. This will hold the seams down when you put in your strap and will also keep the fabric from raveling.
Simply sew about 1/4" inch around each edge of the hole. This is what you want the top hole to look like:
Do this on both sides of the bag.
Do NOT topstitch the slit on the bottom of the bag.
Now, press down one inch on the top of the bag. You want the fold to meet the top of the slit you just topstitched. Like this:
Press down once more:
Turn the bag inside out once again.
You want to stitch a down the seam you just pressed as close to the bottom edge as possible.
Step 7: Cut the strap piece you made in Step 2 into two equal pieces 33.5" inches long.
Place a large safety pin in the end of one of the straps and thread through the top edge of the bag. Repeat for the other side. This is what you want to end up with:
Step 8: Lay the bag flat with the straps laying out on either side.
Place the straps on one side of the bag side by side, and place the two straps in the opening in the bottom of the bag.
Do this with both sets of straps on each side of the bag, pin and turn the bag inside out. You will have to re-adjust your pinning after reversing the bag, but this is what you want to end up with:
Now stitch the opening in the bag with the straps closed.
Turn right side out, press, and you're done!