I finished making the "blue dandelion felted bag" in Clare Youngs book "Scandinavian Needlecraft." I'm pretty pleased, although I did make a few changes.
The bag is not rectangular in nature. It's a trapezoid. Prior to embroidering the dandelion I drew my initial pattern on a piece of freezer paper, ironed it to the fabric and then cut it out. I was worried about my symmetry and things not lining up. To combat that I used my initial piece of embroidered fabric as a template. I just stacked everything up, set the first piece of felt on top and then used a rotary cutter to cut them out.
The pattern calls for two 19x1.5 inch pieces of blue suede for the handles. I have no idea where to shop for suede so instead I used some navy ultrasuede. Ultrasuede is expensive so I purchased the smallest amount that I could. 1/8 yard. Fortunately it was a long piece of fabric. I cut the appropriate pieces for the bag but I did not at all like how it stitched together. Instead, I folded what was left in half (wrong sides together) so that I had a crease along the center of the strip. I opened it up and then folded the edges (also wrong sides together) towards the center so that the edges met in the middle along the crease. I then folded it half again so that the center crease was along one edge and the folded edges were along the opposite edge. I was unable to pin it, so I held it together with clothes pins until I could get it stitched down both sides. I have fabric to make a second bag and I'll try to have the forethought to get pictures of that step the next go round.
The result was a nice thick, suede like handle. I didn't have enough fabric to make the handles as long as the pattern indicated. My handles are also thinner, but I think it worked out ok.
For the liner, the pattern calls for folding over a small double hem and then slip stitching the lining into place. Instead, I followed the instructions for the stortotget bag on the following page. I then top stitched around the top edge.
This is going to be one of my project bags. I've always got a handful of "works in progress" projects lying around the house. Now I have someplace cute to store one of them!