This weekend I made my first Kimberly Bag. Kimberly is a pattern by Amy Butler and I made my bag to look exactly like the picture on the pattern cover. I’m in love with the Primrose pattern from the Nigella line of her fabrics. LUV it!
This pattern was a bit trickier to work with than I had expected. This pattern is not for beginners.
I followed the pattern instructions, exactly. That took willpower. When I got to the instructions for the handles I almost improvised and made them the way I make them for the bags that I design. But I decided that I would stick with the pattern and see how it turned out. I should have improvised.
I nearly burnt my hand off making those darn handles!
So here is how I make handles. Simple, easy, quick and sturdy. Sturdy without bulk. Here’s how I do it:
For demonstration I am making thin handles. I prefer these but for my laptop totes I make wider handles since the load is heavier.
I cut my fabric strips 2 inches wide. If I am using a regular cotton weight fabric I might apply some lightweight fusible interfacing, but most times I don’t. Thicker fabric I definitely do not interface. Fold the fabric in half along the long edge and sew together using a 1/4 inch seam.
Next I turn the tube inside out using a very slick tool that I could not live without. The Fasturn.
Here is where the sturdy part comes in. I insert into the fabric tube that I just made a piece of belting. I use 1 inch belting and I cut it in half for the thin handles.
I then stitch along each long edge, stitching right through the belting. Done.
When you attach the handle to the purse/tote you sew right through the belting again. For wider handles I cut my strips 2 1/2 inches wide and I use the belting as is.
These handles would have worked perfectly on my Kimberly Bag. I could have saved myself some skin. Next time.
Oh, and here is the inside of the bag. I added a little pocket. So actually I did improvise, a tiny bit.