Materials

2 pieces of Canvas Fabric 40 cm x 50 cm

4 coordinating fat quarters of quilting cotton (I used Fresh Solids Poplin in Navy, Triangles Elixir Poplin Fabric in Navy, Stripy Polycotton Fabric in Navy and this Nautical Fabric in Navy)

½ m lightweight Bondaweb

Two 50 cm lengths of Webbing

Sewing Thread in a contrasting colour (I used colour 46)

Thread to match your canvas (optional)

How to create the applique letters

Create an A4 sheet containing the letters you want to create; simple fonts and short words work really well. I went with SWIM to create a swimming bag but SHOP or your name could work really well too! The letters can be quite close together at this point as the letters will be spread out but do not make your design much bigger than A4.

Print this sheet.

Turn it over and carefully trace around the outside of the letters in a black pen so that they read back-to-front.

Place your bondaweb over your traced letters with the smooth papery side facing up.

Trace your letters onto the bonda web so that they read back-to-front on the papery side.

Roughly cut around the letters so that you have 4 separate pieces of bondaweb with your letters on them.

For each letter in turn, using a different quilting cotton for each letter:

Place your quilting cotton on your ironing board with the wrong side facing up.

Place your letter papery side up on top of the fabric

Press with a hot dry iron for 10 seconds

Carefully cut around your letter

Place all of the letters right side up into the desired position in the centre of one of your canvas pieces be sure to leave at least a 5cm gap all the way around the edges.

Once you are happy with the positioning of your letters place a small mark on the canvas at the top left corner of each letter to mark their position

Peal the papery back off each letter and place where desired on to the right side of your canvas with the right side facing up

Press with a hot dry iron for 10 seconds

Once all the letters are attached to the canvas load your sewing machine with a contrast thread.

Set the stitch length to a short length and using a zig zag stitch sew around the edge of each of your letters making sure one side of the zigzag is going through the quilting cotton and the other side is going through the canvas.

Constructing the Bag

I have continued in the contrasting thread to make the stitches easy to see but you could use a thread to match your canvas from here.

Place your two rectangles of canvas right sides together and pin along the bottom of the bag.

Sew this seam using a 15mm seam allowance.

Press it towards the back of the bag.

Trim the seam allowance down to about half of its current width and then zig zag stitch along the edge of the fabric to finish the seam.

Pin and sew the side seams of the bag. Press the seams towards the back. Trim and finish the seam allowances.

Line up the bottom seam of the bag with the side seam and pin so it lays flat. Measure 5 cm from the point and mark a line perpendicular to the seams.

Stitch along this line.

Trim the corner off so there is a seam allowance of around 7mm. Finish the edges.

Repeat for the other corner.

Turn the bag right sides out.

Mark the centre point with a pin at the top of the bag opening on the front of the bag.

Measure 6 cm either side of this pin and mark these points with pins.

Pin the ends of one length of the webbing at the points marked by the two pins, being careful not to twist the webbing.

Repeat on the back of the bag.

Leaving the webbing pinned in place. Finish the top of the bag with a zig zag stitch making sure to capture both the canvas and webbing.

Fold the top of the bag to the inside by 2.5 cm. Press and pin in place. Stitch this in place a couple of mm from the finished edge and then again a couple of mm from the top of the bag.

To secure the straps in place. Stitch a cross joining the 2 lines of stitching you have just created across the webbing at each point it joins the canvas.

Give everything a final press and you are ready to go!