I had several failed attempts, one involving interfacing which left me with a limp and floppy purse. I wanted one that had integrity, one that could stand up on its own!!
So I was in Five Below the other day (like a $5 and under dollar store) and saw a six-pack of takeout gift boxes. They weren't made of thick cardboard, more of a waxy, plastic cardboard that was thin and pliable. I decided to grab them and see what I could come up with.
One chinese takeout container, preferably made of a waxy cardboard that can stand getting wet, yet is thin enough to sew through.
Two fat quarters, or two fabrics of your choice, approximately 18 inches square.
Thread, bobbin, pins, sewing machine.
Step Six: You should now have something that looks like this:
Step Seven: Now, to do the liner you do the exact same process, but on the other side. I started out by cutting it out and then adding a pocket. I used pins to keep track of where the folds were. IMPORTANT: If you are adding a pocket you must sew it in before it is attached to the rest of the bag!
Step Eight: Fold under the entire edge of the lining and pin it. Now stitch along the same seam as the front, making sure you catch the lining.
I didn't do a tutorial pic for the handle, so I will give written instructions:
First, I cut a 2" strip from the left over fat quarter. Length depends on how long you want your handle. I folded it in half, wrong-sides together and sewed it with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Then I turned it right side out.
To put the whole thing together, follow the natural folds of the takeout container. I tucked the handle in between the two folds on the side. Use a strong thread to stitch through, and watch out for the holes in the original container, since they wouldn't be a strong point to attach! Here it is pinned. Notice, I finished over the "envelope hook" with an overcasting stitch, but I am considering alternatives, like ribbon or a binding.