- window screen material, new or used, 66 cm x 100 cm
- a piece of plastic for the bottom — the Clover ones work fine, but any other piece of plastic/wood/board would work equally well, 13 cm x 51 cm (it can be cut to size)
- a piece of oilcloth, new or used, enough to cover the board and to make a zippered pouch (optional)
- bias tape, enough to cover the side and bottom seams, and the zippered pouch side seams
- 15 cm zipper for the zippered pouch (optional)
- leather strip for handles (Note: If you can’t find any leather, you can use oilcloth or a piece of fabric to make your own handles.)
- rivets to attach handles
- hole punch
- sewing machine and thread
Making the pouch:
1. Cut one 17 cm x 6 cm rectangle and one 17 cm x 28 cm rectangle out of oilcloth.
2. With the zipper facing the right side of the smallest piece of oilcloth, attach one side of the zipper. Fold over and top stitch. Repeat for the other zipper half and the largest rectangle. Top stitch.
3. Fold in half to form a pocket and close the side seams on the right side, about 0.5 cm from the edge. Finish the seam with bias tape (if you’re a confident sewer, you can do this in one go). Repeat for the other side seam: close on the right side and cover with bias tape. No need to sew the top of the pocket closed, as this part will be incorporated into the top hem of the bag.
Assembling the bag:
4. At the short end of the window screen material, fold in 3 cm and fold over again. Use a bone folder to make the crease, if necessary. Secure with paperclips. Top stitch into place. Repeat at the other short end, now making sure to incorporate the zippered pouch, nicely centered. Secure with paperclips. Top stitch into place.
5. Fold the screen material in half, with the right sides facing. Close the side seams, 0.5 cm from the edge. Next, bind the side seams with fabric bias tape.
6. Sew the boxed corners. To avoid having to sew through too many layers, you can pre-cut the boxed corners. If you prefer to play it safe, you can cut away the excess material after sewing the boxed corners. If you wish to cut before sewing the boxed corners, cut away a square with sides equal to the width of the panel divided by two; however, don’t forget to take into account seem allowance! (So if the panel is 6 cm wide, take off a square with sides equal to 5 cm.)
7. Make an oilcloth cover for the plastic bag bottom stabilizer by sewing two pieces of oilcloth together, the size of the board plus 1 cm of seam allowance on all sides, leaving one of the short ends open. Turn over and insert the board.
8. Align the open end with one of the boxed corners. Sew together. Bind seams with fabric bias tape. Bind the other boxed corner.
Note: The plastic board is attached to the bag on one side only!
9. Determine where the handles need to go. Punch holes correspondingly, in both the bag and the handles. Attach with rivets.
Note: As the size of the rivets will never perfectly match the thickness of the materials used, compensate the difference by using a small piece of leather or other material in the back. This will also add extra strength to the materials used.