All of my amazing nephews (there are three, and yes, they are ALL amazing) play the piano and take piano lessons. Over the years I have made a couple of music bags for them to haul those music books back and forth. This year, my youngest nephew needed his own bag. He was sharing with the middle nephew and their bag was overstuffed with books.
Because I like themes, I stuck with a music theme for this bag. The other two bags have been made in this same pattern, but one has a sheet music theme (black and white) with a black and gold note appliqued on. The other bag has the black and gold fabric with the black and white note as the applique. This one needed to be a little different. It needed some color.
I cut the main fabric 11.5″ by 14.75″ inches. This will give me an 11″ by 14.5″ bag after the seam allowances. I left the fold in the fabric as the bottom of the bag. It makes the bottom stronger that way and doesn’t require reinforcement (although if you are expecting a heavy load in your bag, you may want to use a plastic insert and box the bottom).
I use an eighth-note template for the applique. I have used this on all three of the boys’ bags. Sometimes I like to carry that theme… 😉 I cut out the note and then pin it to the front of the fabric, with right side up. I use the zigzag stitch on my non-fancy Janome. You can use whatever stitch you like for applique, but I like the way it looks.
I trace over it a few times to make sure it is tacked on tightly, and not going anywhere. Then I put right sides of the bag together (keeping the fold on the bottom), and stitch a quarter inch seam up each side. I press the top of the bag over one quarter of an inch and then top stitch it into place, so the top of the bag doesn’t show the ragged edge of the fabric.
I then take the belting fabric that I use for the handles, cut two strips the same length (I used 14 inches on this bag), and then stitch the handles to the inside of the bag. I tack these down really well. I mean, REALLY well. These bags belong to boys, and they swing them around and abuse them. So I do one stitch across to tack the handle to the bag. Then I stitch around it in a square. Then I make an X through the square. Then I put a little prayer around it so it holds. 😉 Turn it all right side out, poke out the corners, and I’m done!