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Cat's Eyes Hand-Bags

These two matching black-and-white handbags are quick and easy to make, and their simple two-color layout gives them an elegant and professional appearance. They make excellent gifts. We used the embroidery photo-stitch design Cat Eyes.

The finished size of the bags is about 9" wide x 10" high x 3 1/2" deep.

For each bag you will need a 15" x 25" piece of white or black canvas, a 15" x 25" piece of cotton fabric for the lining, a 15" x 24" piece of Pellon Peltex or similar fusible interfacing, 1 1/2 yard of black or white Quick Bias (fusible bias tape) 1/4" wide, and a pair of plastic handles available from any craft store .

Take the piece of canvas for the top, fold it widthwise wrong side to wrong side and lightly press to make a crease along the bottom edge. Cut 2" x 2" squares out of the lower corners.

Make the embroidery of the Cat Eyes design in the center of the front panel 3" from the upper edge. Use any iron-on tear away stabilizer.

When the embroider is finished, tear away the excess stabilizer. Press the working piece.

Spread the piece of Pellon Peltex one-side fusible interfacing on your iron table, fusible side up. Using a pencil, draw a line dividing the interfacing widthwise into two halves.

Place the embroidered piece over the interfacing face up. Align the crease on the canvas with the pencil mark on the interfacing. Fuse the canvas to the interfacing.

Cut the quick bias into four 6" long pieces. Cut the ends at 45 degrees angles. Place the pieces around the embroidery, aligning the angles. Press with a hot iron to fuse.

Cut another four pieces of bias tape 8 1/2" long. Attach them in the same manner 1" from the first length of tape.

Top-stitch the bias to the bag along both edges.

Fold the upper edges of the canvas over the intefacing and press.

Fold the bag in half face to face, align the sides. Stitch the sides together. The seam is about 1/2".

Now pinch the corners as shown in the diagram below. Pin. Stitch them closed. The seam allowance should be 1/2".

Turn the bag right side out.

Take the piece of fabric for the lining, fold it widthwise face to face and lightly press to make a crease along the bottom edge. Cut 2" x 2" squares out of the lower corners.

Stitch the sides together. Stitch the bottom corners as described and shown for the bag's top.

Fold the upper edge of the lining 1/2" to the wrong side and press.

Out of black cotton fabric, cut a strip 12" long and 2" wide. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press. Fold the raw edges to the creased line and press again. Topstitch the 1/2" wide strip 3 times with a space of about 1/8".
Cut the strip into 4 strips 3" long. Fold each small strip in half and press.

Pin the four strips to the upper edge of the bag to make the loops for the plastic handles. The distance at which you pin the loops depends on the size of the handles.

Insert the lining into the bag. Align and pin the edges of the bag and the lining. Topstitch 1/8"-1/4" from the edge, sewing together the bag, lining and loops.
Topstitch again 1/4" from the previous stitch.

Insert the handles into the loops. The handbag is ready!

We hope that you liked our idea and will come up with many of your own.

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