This is going to get a little long, but I hope you try to make this tote bag and that my notes and pictures help you...
For this tote I used ready made handles instead of following the directions included in the pattern. The handle length in the pattern is a little short for my liking so I would lengthen them according to what you are comfortable with. The bag is smaller, so the handle length indicated is nice for just holding the bag in your hand, but it would be tough to put it on your shoulder.
At step 3, I did not use Decor Bond for lining the pockets, I used Shape Flex 101 instead for a softer finish.
At step 4, the way the pattern is written, the inside edge of the pocket would have a raw edge, and the fabric handles would be visible inside the pocket. I decided to add the handles onto the pocket fabric and then use a sleeve to enclose the handles and make the inside of the pocket against the main panel finished. Here's how I did it.
Attach the handles to each pocket fabric piece and baste in place.
Fold the pocket piece over RST and pin.
Sew along the raw edge.
Turn the pocket piece inside out.
Now you want to watch for a few things when putting the bag together. I attached the pocket 11 inches from the top and 3.5 inches from the bottom seam of the two outside pieces.
Use a longer stitch length and baste the raw edge sides of each pocket onto the outside pieces:
Next use a small stitch length and edgestitch the pocket onto the outside piece along the bottom finished edge of the pocket:
What's nice now is that inside the pocket (below) there is no raw edge, just a nice finished seam on both sides.
Here's some visual help if you've never put a lining in a tote bag before. This is the method where you sew around the whole top and leave an opening in the lining. Put the tote into the lining RST and tuck the handles down.
Next match up the side seams of the tote and lining using pins or clips.
I know people like to use clips, but I find a lot of pins keeps the lining from having any puckers, so here's how I do it.
Turn your bag through the hole you left in the lining.
Iron the inside of the lining where the opening is and then stitch across with a small stitch length and coordinating thread.
After you iron all around, get those pins out again and pin all around the inside of the bag at the top leaving at least 3/4 inch of space from the edge. The more pins the less likely the lining will pucker when you stitch it in place.
If you have an edgestitch foot like this get it ready! If not you can just use your regular foot to stitch in the ditch. Sew all around the top of the bag, I like to start by one of the side seams. Be sure to keep the handles away from the presser foot.
Here's what the inside looks like when you are done.
If you make this pattern I hope some of these pictures help you. Have a great week and happy sewing!
Linking up with Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts.