Stage One - fabric selection. At this stage you spend a good hour cursing and swearing because you are looking for THE one piece of fabric that you have set your heart on. Of course you can't find it first time round, that would be ridiculously easy - at least one hour must pass and then you spy it, lying right in front of you.....You also have to locate the right fabric for the lining....another hour spent!
Stage Two - spend another hour fiddle faddling around trying to use the maximum use of embroidery balanced with the right proportions of the bag (trust your eye (just the one!) as we 'umans know the right proportions). Then, with right sides together, sew a rectangle around three sides (leaving the top!) - using another vintage fabric as backing (I try and always use the same fabric). I cheat further by using any straight lines on the fabric as my guide (none of that fancy measuring a line for me!)
Stage Four: If correct turn back again and then make folds in the bottom of the bag to get a bit of extra width to the finished article. Fold the bottom corners across the seam - it is good to get this right so that the seams meet up when complete. Stitch across the corner, check that the seams do indeed meet (not cockeyed, as father would say!) and snip off the excess!
Stage Five:Then snip two lengths of plain fabric for the handles (I tend to use the edges off the same cloth) - size and length are not measured as they don't need to be, so long as they look right and are both the same size - do the same with two lengths of vintage patterned fabric that you will use for handles and lining. Use the tried and trust fold and finger press method (see Flickr for how successful that has been of late!) to get a straight edge that will be your stitch line (my table has a handy straight line along it)
Stage Seven: Making the lining - you need to create the lining, using the same method that you created the outer bag with. Do not measure! You have now absorbed that you do not need to measure - you simply lay the outer bag on top of the fabric you wish to use and cut out! You do need to make the bottom corner folds, in the same way you did the outer layer. Make sure that the lining is within a cat's whisker the same size as the outer bag (otherwise you end up with tucks and folds all over the shop!). I admit that this is a palava if the fabric is the slightest bit stretchy - many a bag remains unfinished because of this fault in the design process!